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ADAPT Internship Program Sets Students Up for Success with Hands-On Learning 

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As a city-wide nonprofit organization, ADAPT Community Network highly values community connections. We believe it is important to not only educate our community, but also to offer opportunities to engage with our staff and the people we support.  

ADAPT recognizes the incredible potential of young people to impact the health and human services fields. This is why we offer internships to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students around the state. Not only do we give them an opportunity to gain valuable real-world exposure in their chosen field, but we also appreciate their insight and fresh ideas. 

Currently, ADAPT Community Network has 38 interns working in our various departments and locations. They come from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from high school students participating in youth employment and career readiness programs to graduate students looking to gain hands-on experience before graduating. Many of the interns intend to follow a career in human services, but some are pursuing studies in healthcare, psychology, and more.  

Whatever their chosen field, ADAPT customizes the interns’ experiences to their individual needs and aspirations. Often, they will take a pre-placement visit to their potential future program or location and are evaluated throughout the program to ensure they receive the fullest education possible. 

“Students that intern with us feel like they have a leg up from their peers,” said Mark Heffner, Intern Coordinator at ADAPT Community Network. “They’re not reading it in a textbook—it feels more human and it excites them.” 

Ezra Affoumado, a graduate student at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, is one of the interns who joined us this summer. Ezra found a listing for internships online and contacted Mark, who sat down with Ezra to figure out what placement he would benefit the most from. They concluded that Ezra would split his time between the Family Support Services department at 80 Maiden Lane and Adult Day Program Services at various Day Habilitation locations.  

Throughout his internship, Ezra has assisted in various projects, such as Family Reimbursement applications and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) grant. The grant is focused on developing parenting skills for parents with disabilities, and Ezra spent much of his internship developing a curriculum for it.  

“I’m really grateful to Tracy [VP of Family Support Services] for involving me in the process because [project management] is one of the things that I want to do in the field when I’m out of school,” Ezra said. “Learning about difficulties that come along with it was very enlightening because I haven’t done it in the real world before. I’ve talked about it in classes, but it’s nice to put that knowledge to a real-world situation.” 

Although Ezra’s internship has ended, we are happy to note that he has received a job offer and will be continuing his work with Family Support Services. 

If you are interested in interning or volunteering at ADAPT Community Network, please contact Mark Heffner at or call 212-683-6700, x1945. Please visit for more information. 



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