Words Beats &Life Academy Internship (Winter and Spring)


$500 per 40 hours

Hours per week




Application Deadline



1525 Newton Street, NW
United States


PROGRAM: Words Beats & Life Academy

REPORTS TO: Executive Director and Academy Teaching Artists

PURPOSE: Words Beats & Life is building a team of energetic and results-oriented Academy Intern. The Academy Interns will work with the Executive Director, administrative team and teaching artists to strengthen and execute the operating practices of the Words Beats & Life Academy. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who enjoys working semi-autonomously to gain experience in the field of non-profit management, youth development and communications.

About Words Beats & Life, Inc.

Founded in 2002, Words Beats & Life (WBL) transforms individuals and whole communities through the core elements of hip-hop culture. At the heart of all that we do is the belief that hip-hop can serve as the necessary filter between hope and despair for the youth of the District of Columbia. WBL accomplishes its goals through two main program areas—The Words Beats & Life Academy and The Cipher. The Words Beats & Life Academy is a pre-vocational, arts-based youth development program for youth and young adults. The Cipher is a growing resource for our ever-expanding network of hip-hop based organizations, which equips organizational leaders with the tools and experiences necessary to build sustainable communities. It is our organization’s larger mission to set a high standard in arts education and presentations for youth and emerging artists.

About the Academy

The Words Beats & Life Academy utilizes hip-hop culture as a vehicle for positive youth development to foster the engagement of a new generation of artists and scholars thereby developing the necessary hard and soft skills to support extended learning, employability, self-actualization. At WBL, we feel that hip-hop is the ideal means for creative expression to break the cycle of hopelessness because the history and culture is rooted in the community itself. We validate the students by valuing hip-hop culture. Through the development of intergenerational relationships rooted in hip-hop culture, Academy staff work closely with the students as coaches and mentors. These relationships allow the teaching artists to share their talents and skills as a means of increasing the students cognitive, communication, and interpersonal skills. The target age group we work with is 6-23, but we do make exceptions for older and younger artists. WBL is committed to producing learning journeys through hip-hop that lead Academy students to succeed in our five focus areas: Skill Mastery, Employability, and Post-Secondary Education, Community and Self Mastery. WBL currently serves 200 students at its three Academy sites in Washington, DC.

If you are ready to make change and learn new skills, join WBL’s team as the Academy Intern to help us build out our infrastructure for a long-term, sustainable impact in DC.


The Academy Intern will play a support role in assessing the various functional aspects of the Academy and implement action steps that will optimize WBL’s program effectiveness and efficiency. The internship will engage in the daily operations of running programming for a non-profit and will be responsible for:

Supporting all activities related to Academy outreach/recruitment, enrollment and onboarding of all students for at least 2 or more of Academy site

Supporting all activities related to Academy outreach/recruitment, enrollment and onboarding of all students for at least 2 or more of Academy sites

  • Supporting all activities related to Academy outreach/recruitment, enrollment and onboarding of all students for at least 2 or more of Academy sites
  • Updating and maintaining our student database
  • Updating and managing our organizational resource database
  • Assisting with the implementation and evaluation of policies and procedures
  • Archiving historical and relevant Academy materials and documents
  • Working with management and WBL marketing interns to ensure a holistic approach to streamlining improvements to WBL’s operations and communication systems
  • Maintaining and updating digital portfolio for Apprentice Students
  • Working to schedule performance opportunities for Creative Core members of the Academy


We are looking for candidates who possess the following skills/experiences:

  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite applications
  • Propensity to learn and use software applications; basic understanding of database management is a must
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • At minimum has completed either their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate studies. Students earning degrees in Non-Profit management, Business Administration or a related field are encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate for this position is detail-oriented and extremely organized. S/he will be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • In an artist in one or more of the elements taught in the Academy
  • Excellent ability to work proactively and take initiative.
  • Strong work ethic and sense of responsibility
  • Eagerness to learn and committed to sharing strengths
  • Ability to recognize opportunities to strengthen the way the organization operates; generate ideas and create systems to address those needs
  • Ability to follow-through on multiple projects/deadlines with minimal oversight
  • Creativity, resourcefulness and a sense of humor

Knowledge of hip-hop culture, strong social justice analysis and previous experience in a non-profit setting are all pluses, but are not requirements to apply.


Academy Interns will gain valuable experiences and skills including:

  • An understanding of non-profit management and back-end procedures
  • An understanding of budgeting and responsible financial management
  • Leadership, communication and project management skills
  • Upon successful completion of your internship, the Academy Director will be happy to provide valuable, personalized recommendations for you in the future.


This is an Academy 2 Session long internship with the potential to extend it into the Summer.


Having a car is a strong plus for applicants.

How To Apply


E-mail your resume and a short cover letter to: mazi@wblinc.org

  • Your brief cover letter should tell us why you are interested in working with WBL, why this specific position interests you, and what skills you can bring to the internship.
  • The subject of your e-mail should be "WBL Academy Fall/Winter Internship".
  • Include examples of your own art.
  • No Phone calls please.