Sustainable Summer Announces 5-Week High School Film Internship in Ecuador

Brooklyn, NY, April 18th, 2013 – Sustainable Summer, an environmental study abroad program, today announced a high school summer film internship opportunity to take place this summer in the South American country Ecuador. Sustainable Summer is run by the Brooklyn-based not-for-profit Sustainable Learning, which specializes in experience-based environmental education programs for teenagers.

The organization is accepting applications from current high school sophomores or juniors to produce, direct, and shoot a series of short videos about Sustainable Summer’s program in Ecuador, which teaches high school students about environmental sustainability through a combination of experiential and academic learning. The assignment is on location in Ecuador from June 28 to August 2. All expenses, including flight from the United States to Ecuador, will be paid by Sustainable Learning.

Sustainable Learning was founded in June 2012 by Jeff Sharpe and Anne Fenton. Mr. Sharpe and Ms. Fenton both have extensive experience in the pre-college enrichment field. Mr. Sharpe was previously a partner at Career Explorations, a summer internship program for high school students and later the Executive Director of Discovery Internships at Summer Discovery, which acquired Career Explorations in 2010.

“I have had the opportunity to work with some truly remarkable high school students throughout my career,” Mr. Sharpe said. “I know that motivated students are able to produce professional caliber work. Recruiting a high school intern, rather than a pro, was a logical choice for this project.”

Internships provide valuable real-world education experience. Unpaid internships, however, have been the subject of much debate in the media for a variety of reasons, ranging from proliferating the gap between rich and poor to widespread violation of labor law. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal labor law, contains a 6-point test concerning the legality of unpaid internships, including a provision that “the employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student.” Enforcement of the FLSA has been rare, however, and unpaid internships continue to be the standard gateway to employment in many industries, particularly create fields, like film and fashion.

NACE, the National Association of College and Employers, a leading authority on internships, issued this statement in a 2010 position paper on unpaid internships: NACE “recognizes the enormous value of internship programs to individual student participants…We believe that the U.S Department of Labor criteria for assessing whether internships in the for-profit sector may be unpaid must be reviewed and further clarified.” In its position statement, NACE outlined 8 principles aimed at clarifying ambiguity related to the FLSA, including the following: “Unpaid internships in the not-for-profit sector reflect the fiscal realities and limitations for organizations in that sector and are acknowledged accordingly in current Department of Labor guidelines and enforcement practices.”

Sustainable Learning is a non-profit. The high school film internship is unpaid, however the intern will receive in-kind compensation valued at over $5000.

Online applications for the high school film internship with Sustainable Summer are being accepted through April 30th. Candidates can apply online at

Sustainable Summer is also currently accepting student applications online at Participants should plan on applying before May 1st to ensure availability. Tuition for programs starts at $1995 and financial aid is available.

About Sustainable Summer

Sustainable Summer is a program run by Sustainable Learning Inc., a Brooklyn-based environmental education non-profit. Sustainable Learning’s mission is to cultivate new ways of thinking about sustainability for the next generation of problem solvers.


For more information, visit  or contact Anne Fenton at 646-504-5046, or email Anne at