UW’s LEAP Forward program seeks hosts for summer 2023 MMSD science interns

LEAP Forward is a part of UW’s commitment as an anchor partner to the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Personalized Pathways Initiative based within the health sciences. Now in its 4th year, LEAP has been developed as a way to engage MMSD rising sophomores and juniors within the Pathway in a multitude of health science experiences across UW-Madison’s campus. As a part of the internship students are engaged for a total of 16 hours a week, 12 of which taking place Monday-Thursday at various internship sites across the UW–Madison campus. For the other 4 hours the students are enrolled in a 1 credit hour course each Friday morning, which is facilitated by the UW-Madison Office of Financial Aid. Last year there were a wide variety of sites across campus that hosted interns, including Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine, Discovery Outreach, among a few others. Students who participate are paid a stipend for their time worked, provided 1 UW credit hour, provided union cards for food, and also obtain MMSD credit for their time. This effort is funded and supported directly from the Chancellor’s Office, with the Chancellor just recently reinvesting in the program for 3 more years. There are also a few media pieces on the website for reference of the type of experiences provided by the program. 

The program aims to eliminate as many of the administrative burdens as possible (such as pre-college compliance, hiring, logistics, etc.), but does rely on each host site to establish and facilitate their own unique internship experience. These experiences vary widely between units, so there is certainly a lot of flexibility to potentially structure this however hosts may wish. The hope with all of these internship experiences is that they are engaging students in actual work (not just shadowing) which allows for them to get a sense of potential career opportunities within the wide umbrella of health sciences. 

For those interested, below are the program dates to be aware of:

  • Orientation Date: Week of June 19th (Time/Date TBD)
  • Start Date: Monday, June 26th
  • Break: July 3rd– July 7th
  • End Date: Friday, August 11th 
  • Internship Reception: Week of August 14th (Time/Date TBD)

Program organizers are hoping to solidify the interest of internship sites prior to Friday, Jan. 13, as the recruitment process begins in early spring at the high schools. The Office of Financial Aid team manages all of the recruitment process so that campus hosts can focus solely on establishing and supporting the internship experience over the 6-week period. For more information about any aspect of the program, please contact Kristina Rittel, student employer manager, UW-Madison Office of Financial Aid, at; or Tom Browne, senior assistant dean for recruitment, retention, and inclusion, CALS Office of Academic Affairs, at