Hell, both of my internships were paid. There was absolutely no way I could afford to do it otherwise and even then, it was difficult to justify to my parents (or anyone) the merit of what it was I was doing. In retrospect, one of them was a real step up if I'd realized how great the opportunity was if I actually wanted to do that job (Copy editing, I didn't...) where at major newspapers people hated their jobs but loved the money. The other one was one of those "looks good on paper, but probably a bad idea" type deals. But I learned a lot, except being a few years older than a traditional college student I tended to be a bit jaded. I think if you can afford to do this, so be it. But I'd never let a kid do it if we could help it. I think there are so many other valuable experiences you can get other than working for free.