Akila Prayaga of Vienna is an ambitious high school senior with big goals.
Prayaga, a senior at McLean High School, launched her new business this week. She created YCareer, a website with a database of more than 400 free internships and summer programs geared towards high school students. The website also features the ability for users to create a social profile on the website to interact with other users, a blog where high school students share their experience with their internships and summer programs, and an opportunity for students to share their internship applications on the site for peer review. These features are available to users for a onetime fee of five dollars.
Prayaga began brainstorming ideas for her business late last year and started working on YCareer in February. She spent an average of 10 hours a week learning to code and create a website. She was inspired to start YCareer after researching internships and seeing a plethora of opportunities available to high school students they may not otherwise be aware of.
"There are so many amazing opportunities available to high school students they don't know about," Prayaga said. "There are so many great resources in the Vienna community and kids need to network. They can go to their teachers, friends, and parents and find out about internships."
The hardest part of starting her business was building the website, Prayaga said.
"It was my first time building a website and programming," Prayaga said. "It was a learning experience. Most of the hard work is done, I'll be putting out content and looking for more opportunities for the website."
Prayaga is no stranger to internships. She has interned with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) program in her freshman year of high school, internships with the United States Korean Arts Foundation (USKAF), Fairfax County Republican Committee, and the Design Apprenticeship Program at the National Building Museum in her sophomore year of high school, and the Bank of America Student Leaders Program and Givology in her junior year of high school.
For more information, visit http://www.ycareer.org/.