Career Enhancement Internship (CEI)

For the past four years Sunflower Hill Gardens, a horticultural training program established by Sunflower Hill, has provided a unique educational, therapeutic, and vocational learning environment for people with diverse learning skills; hosting Special Education classes from High Schools, High School Transitions (age 18-22), and Adult Day Programs throughout the Tri-Valley area.

General Objective: The Career Enhancement Internship (CEI) volunteer position provides enriching work experience to a college student, or high school junior/senior, that is directly relevant and beneficial to their professional career development path. This is a seasonal internship lasting from June-August (exact dates TBD with each candidate per educational calendars).

Interns can expect to:

  • Gain knowledge and experience in how to engage and interact with neuro-diverse individuals
  • Learn the value of a horticulture garden environment for neuro-diverse populations
  • Gain general horticulture knowledge and skills

CEI Track Options: To meet a variety of career goals, SFH Gardens offers interns the choice of two specialized tracks. Interns are asked to select one from the following:

  • Teaching Track:  This track will focus on a wide range of teaching experiences, with an emphasis on speaking in front of groups, delivering step-by-step instructions, and working alongside a small group of neurodiverse students and their visiting staff in the garden. This person will assist our lead Garden Teacher in a variety of teaching aspects; including but not limited to, general program and lesson set-up/tear down, aid during instruction, and will receive coaching on how to research, prep, and execute a lesson, with a focus on modification for neurodiverse learners; culminating in the creation and delivery of 1-2 personal lessons.
    Teaching Track Supervisor: Rebecca Langstaff, Garden Teacher
  • Psychology/Vocational Track: Along with psychology and vocational training, this person will also focus on a wide range of garden experiences with an emphasis on exploring what neurodiverse individuals need to help them perform specific tasks. They will assist to identify specific behaviors and create tools to help individuals in the garden setting. Various diagnoses may be discussed if desired as well as strategies to help make tasks more attainable. This person will help with the intern program, and work with them on maintaining appropriate workplace boundaries, social communication, and detecting nonverbal social cues.
    Psych/Vocational Track Supervisor: Allison Arons, LMFT, Vocational Coach


      • Commitment to a positive, fun, and team-oriented working environment
      • Patience, kindness, compassion toward diverse populations, and an eagerness to help them find value
      • Ability to give and receive feedback in a positive manner
      • Commitment to all responsibilities and expectations
      • Desire to work in a garden and ability to meet the physical demands of this setting (bending, lifting 25 pounds, kneeling, digging, food prep, safe movement in uneven terrain, performance outdoors in heat/wind/etc.)


      • 2-3 days/week (Tuesday/Friday/may involve Saturday)
      • 4 hour garden work day (9am-12pm, w/occasional end of work day meeting with supervisor and/or garden team)
      • One page reflection at the close of internship

To Apply: Please send Resume and Cover Letter to [email protected], noting the CEI Track of interest

Sunflower Hill is an equal opportunity employer.