ThinkLab High School Program
Creative Mentorship for High School Students

How are people reinventing home and their midstory in this time of flux, particularly in the spaces of struggling middle American cities?

The Midstory High School ThinkLab is a six- to eight-week summer high school mentorship program that challenges young people to tell the many hidden “midstories” of Toledo through a creative and critical lens. We encourage the integration of interdisciplinary methods through multimedia platforms to reach young people and their peers. The ThinkLab trains students in three major areas: research, writing and production/publication. Throughout the program, students will work alongside college students from universities across the nation and the Midstory staff to assist on and create projects that address both local and national issues.

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Past student projects have included video series, short films, written series, graphic design, art projects, podcasts and more. Midstory expects all students to be professional, mature and ready to learn efficiently. So, while the number of students is limited, those who participate in the program gain extensive experience through mentorship and exploration.

The Midstory ThinkLab is free for all students accepted.


  • Will be a rising junior or senior in high school at the time of the program (graduating seniors may apply to our college ThinkLab program)
  • A desire to learn and put forward your best work
  • A self-motivated, team-oriented working attitude
  • Ability to take direction and work in a dynamic environment
  • A willingness to learn hard skills, such as softwares and protocols
  • A car or ride available for daily transport to the Midstory office and for regular local field trips
  • Any experience in journalism, writing, graphic design, art, video and audio editing, photography, interviewing, filming and cameras, software (Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Suite, etc.) is a plus!
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This internship is for you if you:

  • Are, or want to be, a storyteller.
  • Have an interest in improving your writing, media, and storytelling skills.
  • Want to learn from creative young professionals who are trained across disciplines.
  • Want to cultivate your leadership abilities.
  • Want to get to know and make a difference in your community.
  • Can articulate ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Are a creative problem solver and idea generator.
  • Believe in creating powerful multimedia content that is true and authentic to this region.
  • Aspire to be a social architect, visual artist, designer, filmmaker, or writer.
  • Apply Now:

    Please download the application below and remember to provide a resume, a cover letter and any other listed attachments. When completed, you can email your application and attachments as PDFs (or multimedia files if relevant) to

    Summer program deadline: May 5, 2024 11:59 PM (ET)

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    During the course of the program, Midstory staff will lead guided seminars and lectures on both hard and soft skills: leadership, college and career counseling, media editing, software proficiencies, writing and editing, interviewing and community engagement. Midstory staff will also lead field trips to various local destinations, such as Downtown Toledo, the Toledo Zoo, Cedar Point and many more in order to learn about and better understand the resources and institutions of our city.

    I’ve lived in NW Ohio my entire life, but never appreciated the stories, culture, and history that rests underneath the seemingly deprived city. As a high schooler, I planned to leave the area, believing that Toledo had nothing to offer me. I participated in the High School program during the summer after my senior year, right before I left for college. After the Midstory program ended, I found myself having a hard time saying goodbye to a city that I had fallen in love with. Midstory opened my eyes to a new side of my city, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more and become connected to my hometown.

    Lydia Applin

    HS Intern '19

    Over the summer of 2019, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the internship from Midstory. This internship provided me such an amazing experience and furthermore, it gave me insight and changed how I view the world and things inside it. It was amazing how much growth I had during the summer. Not only did we learn new skills, but we also got to listen and see different perspectives and different jobs.

    Abby Kim

    HS Intern '19

    About Midstory

    Midstory Media Thinkhub is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in March of 2018 by four core members from the Midwest who have received an education from universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT and have since returned to Toledo, OH to begin a lifelong journey for post-industrial communities. With an interdisciplinary approach, the Midstory team dedicates its operations to curating a voice out of the Midwest through research, publication, public engagement, and broadcasting. In the midst of a noisy national canopy, our Midstory is a space of connection and intersection in the American experience. We believe telling these stories will reveal and enrich the cultural narrative of these post-industrial cities, demonstrate today’s revitalization, and draw vital people and movements to uncover the foundations on which future progress may be built.

    Midstory does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other protected class. If you have a disability, we’re more than happy to accommodate and make the interview process easier for you.