Internships & Scholarships


Our Recent Interns


Jessica Martinez

Jessica came to GROW’s attention through our partnership with Job Train in Menlo Park, where she graduated with her Business Management Certification in June of 2017. Prior to Job Train, Jessica completed introductory classes in Business and Accounting at ITT Technical Institute.

When we met, Jessica was an expectant mother of a girl due to arrive in mid-September. She moved from Richmond, CA to Redwood City and began her studies to give her daughter all the best life can offer.

Western Allied Mechanical in Menlo Park was thrilled to extend an internship to Jessica in their accounting department.

Jeff Pierce, CFO of Western Allied commented “Jessica is as bright as she can possibly be and it has been wonderful to have her on our team. We are hoping to see Jessica again after her maternity break. She will make a wonderful employee for someone, maybe us!”

She is bilingual and high organized. She describes herself as thriving in fast-paced multitasking environments and through the GROW internship, she has discovered that construction related companies are warm, family environments where great careers await her return!


Shir Haidari

Shir is a native of Kabul, Afghanistan. During high school, he heard the United States military forces were hiring bilingual English and native Pashto and Dari (Farsi) speakers. He sought out and was hired by the American Special Forces in his home country, and for more than 5 years he served as a translator and solider.

He received numerous letters of commendation for his bravery and valor. After his American military service was complete, he applied for and was granted immigration to the US for his wife, young son, and himself.

Landing in the US without many skills other than those of a solder, Shir soon found himself working as a Lyft driver. Through a lucky turn of events, he met one of the board members of GROW.

The conversation during that drive led Shir to apply to GROW’s mentoring program. And through GROW he also gained a contract employment position at Gilead in their construction commissioning group.

GROW and Shir’s teammates have provided Shir tutoring services as he pursues his GED, and he has found a new dream, beyond his first thought of becoming a policeman. He is now extremely  committed to becoming an engineer, to provide the life he wants for his family.

Shir says “I often look up from my desk and have to convince myself this is not a dream. After years of bullets flying over my head and thinking today is the day I will die, I am now surrounded by engineers. And people who care to help me.”

Shir, his family, and his story were featured on KTVU television recently. A link to that story is:

Laurien Small

Lauren Arnold

Speaking with Laurien and looking over her resume, I see she is a young woman who was wise in her educational choices. After graduating form Menlo-Atherton High School, she obtained an A.A. In Studio Art from Foothill College, and a B.A. in Graphic Arts and Design from Notre Dame Namur University.

While showing great work ethic and professionalism in her career in retail, she saw that it did not present a long-term career path that was promising for a fruitful life in Silicon Valley. A friend introduced Laurien to JobTrain, a local non-profit providing career training and guidance, who in turn introduced her to GROW. Laurien was ready for a change and something challenging. We facilitated her joining Gachina Landscape in their accounting department, where she has discovered a family atmosphere and a place that lends an artistic hand to the built environment.

When asked what she would like people to know about her, Laurien flashed that amazing smile and said “I love a challenge”.

Marquis small

Marquis Hollings

GROW introduced Marquis Hollings to Fenwick & West in the summer of 2015, where as an intern he was successful in their facilities and caterering departments. This was Marquis very first job after graduating high school. Working that summer, Marquis earned enough to comfortably leave to attend West Valley College in the fall. After his first year at West Valley, Marquis tried retail at Target, but recently reached out to Fenwick & West and has returned to the work he loves.

What would you like the world to know about you Marquis? With a broad happy smile “ I am ambitious!”
Henry Small

Henry Bleisch

Henry Bleisch has been a De Anza College student for two years, in addition to working at the Kirsch Center as an employee in the Environmental Studies Area. He has strong interest in green buildings and technology, is pursuing an energy management certificate.

Henry participated in the Essentials of Facilities Management program, jointly provided by the IFMA Chapter of Silicon Valley and De Anza. At the conclusion of the course, GROW placed him a six week facilities management internship at NXP Semiconductor in San Jose.

He said he discovered his passion for facilities management, stating “in addition to learning about how to make facilities more sustainable, I found I like analyzing facilities to understand how they work, and use energy and water. This feeds my personal interest in science.


If you wish to consider an intern, please contact Bob Dills-




As GROW builds funding streams, we plan to offer scholarships to students and young FM professionals from diverse backgrounds to IFMA, AFE and BOMA educational programs.  And we are committed to supporting scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in facility management or related fields through our partnership with the IFMA Foundation.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, needs and other criteria, including recommendations and career goals.  The scholarship program is locally funded by donations from our sponsors and our fundraising event throughout the year.