This City is Run by Interns

Vo-Zone facilities are managed by Interns. Peers elect Student Commissioners who then approve the Vo-Zone’s budget, just as a city would. This budget is designed by students in the Economics School. This Intern lead system is facilitated throughout the facility. Interns in each Vocation Training School are responsible for the success of that department. Interns are introduced to vocations while being paid to provide those services in the Vo-Zone. Organically creating motivation to be excellent because guests know the Interns are in charge. This is their city.

Student’s Own It

Vo-Zones have a unique financial plan that gives the Intern’s ownership. The afterschool training programs are free for at-risk youth. During the school hours, Interns produce income from managing corporate team-building training and school field trips. Interns in the Economics school use this income to cover operating costs. The excess income is used to pay Interns to facilitate training sessions in satellite locations such as community centers, schools, partnering nonprofits, and other locations. This is providing income to Vo-Zone Interns, many of whom live in improvised neighborhoods. 

This is important because many youths from these neighborhoods don’t see a path out. This leads to many youths losing hope because their environment is holding them back. Within the Vo-Zone, they learn that the success or failure of the programs they are running, is in their hands. They experience the freedom to excel or to struggle, knowing in Vo-Zone, it is dependent on their efforts. The Interns learn the progress for this city, their Vo-Zone, is a direct result of their work. 

Photo of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo floor November, 2017

By Intern Jonathan Lee If you search this photo, you will not see African Americans. We will change this. Not because of some new legislature. But because Vo-Zone facilities are going to be at the forefront of new, creative entertainment strategies. Interns like myself, are going to be the next generation of leaders connecting entertainment to immersive experiences.

I look forward to when our first permanent location is finished, and all the ticket sales are managed by Interns. Things will get very interesting. If we don’t do well, like not selling enough tickets to make our budget goals, or our performance tanks, it is on us. Worse of all, if our friends don’t think Vo-Zone is cool, we can only blame ourselves. This is important. I have friends who work hard at everything they try, and I have friends that don’t. If the Vo-Zone is cool, we did that. If it is not, we own that. We know it is up to us. Are you Fired-Up?

Intern Johnathon Lee; Stax Music Academy; Actor – Playhouse on the Square, Memphis; CoreFire Intern Lead Actor “Find the Cure” Immersive Theatre