Sunnylands Holds Open House To Recruit Tour Guides For A New Season

Tiani Jadulang

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – Sunnylands is inviting graduating high school seniors to an open house at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, to learn about a paid internship program that trains eligible college students to serve as Sunnylands guides.

The Sunnylands tour guide internship program offers competitive pay and internship credit opportunities from participating colleges, universities, and majors.  It is also designed to help students prepare for their future careers through professional development workshops, individual assessments, and the exploration of “soft skills” to develop strengths as a team member and future leader.

The new class of interns will begin instruction in August and will serve as Sunnylands guides from September through early June 2023. Students will have the opportunity to stay for a maximum of three seasons, receiving advanced skill-building programs each year.

Sunnylands is the former winter home of the late philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg.  Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the couple famously hosted Hollywood celebrities, U.S. presidents, British royalty, and other dignitaries at the 200-acre estate in Rancho Mirage.

Currently, the estate operates as a high-level retreat center, drawing experts from various fields to address pressing societal issues, from a cure for HIV to U.S.-China relations. Adjacent to the estate, Sunnylands Center & Gardens serves as the public access point for the estate, but is a destination point in its own right, featuring nine acres of desert gardens, an art exhibition, and informational kiosks on Sunnylands and the Annenbergs.

“Tour guides are responsible for advancing the educational mission of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands by providing a welcoming experience at the Center & Gardens, historic house, and grounds through guided tours,” said Michaeleen Gallagher, director of education and environmental programs. “As a tour guide, students will be able to gain work experience in a beautiful environment that incorporates art, architecture, history, hospitality, golf course operations, and environmental sustainability.”

High school students who will be attending college in the fall, and their parents, are invited to an open house at Sunnylands Center beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.  Guests will have an opportunity to ask questions about the internship program, and hear from staff members about various aspects of Sunnylands. At 5:15 p.m., attendees will be invited to walk with onto the grounds of the historic estate for a light informational session about Sunnylands’ history and the Annenbergs’ commitment to education.

A full description of the Sunnylands guide program, eligibility requirements, and links to an application can be found here:

Sunnylands Center & Garden is located at 37977 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage.

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