Summer 2020 Details



On behalf of the National Park Service, we are thrilled about your interest to join our In My Backyard 2020 Summer Season! Thank you for landing on this page to learn more about this internship opportunity. Below, you can read more about our roots, goals, culture, and more that outline where we are heading this summer!


The In My Backyard (IMBY) Program is the first of its kind in the National Park Service (NPS). It is a grassroots effort by youth to find creative, innovative ways to engage urban youth with our surrounding communities, partners, and public lands. In doing so, these young professionals (known as IMBYs) increase access and engagement with national parks through designing equitable programming, as well as cultivating networks of their own.

The hope of IMBY is to help foster the next generation of stewards and to create opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved and underrepresented in the NPS. This includes communities of color, communities with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities, youth, and other groups that have and are experiencing systemic oppression. IMBY recognizes that individuals are intersectional and that barriers to access public lands vary. IMBY was created by youth, for youth to not only address such barriers, but to actively invite voices to share ideas and stories that can create a sense of belonging for all in our public lands.


  1. To create a sustainable and meaningful youth-driven program that engages the next generation of leaders for the NPS and the youths’ communities.
  2. To support the park’s mission and goals which include engaging diverse and underserved populations, leveraging the park’s urban location, and being an active community partner.
  3. To engage and empower youth in mutual, ongoing learning with the NPS to create culturally-responsive contributions resulting in a network of National Park Service ambassadors equipped with knowledge, skills, and connections to be leaders within their communities.
  4. To increase park capacity and diversify park staff and volunteer demographics.
  5. To cultivate a sense of belonging and empower youth to engage with our communities and reach new audiences by sharing their stories and challenging the traditional narratives of national parks.


Each IMBY will design a showcase for the program’s exhibit that is informed by their summer experience. In addition to conversations, workshops, and field trips, IMBYs will have regularly scheduled time to work on their exhibits during their internship.

IMBYs will be empowered to choose how they want to design their exhibits (i.e. photos, 3-D projects, essays) with the understanding that progress will look different for each IMBY.

Check out an event we hosted last November in our exhibit space the 2019 IMBY Cohort designed. We asked each 2019 IMBY, “what would it feel like to be in your ideal national park?” From there, each IMBY chose one word to describe the feeling they would experience if they were in their dream national park. From ‘tranquility’, ‘relief’, to ‘calm’, each IMBY then created their showcase that was put on display in our national park created in a variety of mediums.


IMBYs will receive numerous experiences such as visitor services, site visits to program partners, and professional development workshops. Based on feedback from past seasons, IMBYs will practice visitor service at Klondike’s Visitor Center and work alongside staff at community outreach events. IMBYs will gain professional development (public speaking, networking), partnership connections, and the opportunity to represent the National Park Service.

IMBYs will also visit partners within the Seattle area. These site visits offer IMBYs a chance to explore their communities, network, and gain inspiration for exhibit development. Additionally, IMBYs will gain experience in resume work and other professional development workshops to better communicate their NPS internship experience with future hiring managers.

Based on the success of youth participation at previous community events, it is highly encouraged that IMBYs attend community outreach events with Klondike staff where they can earn hours and professional development benefits.


IMBY seeks to create a space for youth to have a positive, direct interaction with the NPS in order to promote cultural and environmental awareness. As a representative of the United States Government and the National Park Service, it is a job requirement to conduct yourself with civility and professionalism. IMBYs are expected to engage in productive and important conversations while respecting each other’s feelings and experiences. We adopt a collaborative and problem-solving attitude within our work. We are only as successful as the support we provide one another. Teamwork is our number one priority.

IMBY is an opportunity for participants of all levels to share their ideas and concerns in shaping the program. We value ongoing learning experiences and strive to create a welcoming and empathetic culture for all program participants.


  1. A youth-led experience that truly celebrates youth voices by inviting program participants to collaborate with national parks and local sites, creating a sense of community while building knowledge of local resources.
  2. Exhibit showcasing a unique program that is designed for youth, by youth in which youth voices and projects are on display for the public at Klondike Gold Rush NHP.
  3. Develop professionally and personally through mentorship, trainings, networking, and more through meaningful engagement tailored to each individual.
  4. Receive necessary tools to become leaders in their communities and progressing along their NPS journey.
  5. NPS visitors receive inside look to youth perceptions of and ideas for national parks which are perceptions that have been underrepresented in our shared public lands.


If you’re between 13 – 27 years old and looking for a PAID summer internship with professional development opportunities, field trips around Seattle, and collaborating with the National Park Service, this is for you! We truly believe in tailoring every summer to reflect each cohort’s goals. Not only is this a PAID internship, but you have the opportunity to complete school volunteer hours/credit needed for graduation.


  1. NOW – We are currently planning the 2020 season. Submit your contact information here to be added to our email list. From this email list, we will share details on the 2020 program and how to apply.
  2. Early July 2020 – IMBY 2020 Season begins.
  3. Mid-August 2020 – IMBY 2020 Season concludes.
  4. Fall 2020 – IMBY 2020 Exhibit debut.


If you have questions about the 2020 IMBY Season, please email us at and we will respond as soon as possible.


If you would like to learn more about the project, check out Our Story page!