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Lawndale Elementary School District

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Social Worker Intern Program

Contact Information

Maria Ruelas, Ed.D
District Social Worker
Ext. 50130

LESD serves as a Teaching Institute for the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. We offer an internship program for bachelor and graduate level interns to gain invaluable, hands-on experience in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT), Social Work,  and Counseling. 

The program is a partnership with the University of Southern California (USC), California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Vanguard University.


Step by Step Intern Application Process

  • Step 1: Contact LESD Student Support Services to introduce yourself and send resume via email.
  • Step 2: Attend a 30-40 minute intern interview.
  • Step 3: LESD will complete the University Intern Reaction Survey
  • Step 4: University will inform LESD if the student intern was a match
  • Step 5: The student intern will submit the necessary documentation to complete the onboarding process.
  • Step 6: LESD will work on student intern placement which is based on the following: 
    • Resume 
    • Experience (1st year versus 2nd year) 
    • PPSC
    • Schedule
    • Personality 
    • Secondary Language

LESD Intern Program: the Experience


Our program has received the following recognition from the University of Southern California:

  • 2018 Heart of Social Work Award 
    • Evelyn Garcia, School Social Worker at Will Rogers Middle School 
  • 2018 School Social Worker of the Year 
    • Maria Ruelas, District Social Worker at Lawndale Elementary School District 
  • 2017 Distinguished Field Instructor Award
    • Van Bui, School Social Worker at William Anderson Elementary School 
  • 2016 Agency of the Year