For this one-week program, each student is placed with a local business or organization. The location is selected by the student based upon his or her interests. Students do not attend class at the Middle School during this week. Instead, their job sites become their classrooms and their employers become their teachers.
Two LifeSong students participated in the internship opportunity this year. M (12 years old) enjoyed interning with two LifeSong parents that own BE. Creative Makers with RV Metalshop. She had the opportunity to observe how they create their designs, help finish and ready some ornaments for shipping, check-in and inventory a supply order of t-shirts, prepare the vinyl designs for transfer onto the shirts, and learn how to use a pottery wheel. J (age 15) chose to intern at Great Southern Music at West End Commons. He did some cleaning, organized music, built some stands for amps, saw how lessons were scheduled and took some credit card payments.
The students were evaluated by their supervisor at the end of the week, and also completed a self-evaluation. The following week, they turned in a portfolio with a schedule or itinerary of their activities, a daily diary entry, photos, an interview with their supervisor, and conclusion about the overall experience. They also made a presentation to the Elementary class about their experience.
Our three main goals of this experience are the following:
To internalize knowledge -The opportunity to take what is relevant into real life situations is one of the best ways to stimulate learning and foster growth in critical thinking and problem solving.
To refine communication skills - Building positive work ethics and meaningful relationships plays a key role in the growth and development of healthy communication skills.
To enhance self esteem - Opportunities to contribute to society encourage students to give as well as receive from the community. This experience allows them to realize that they have many talents and skills to share with others.
We feel that this program provides an invaluable experience for the adolescent. In addition, we feel that there is no better way to prepare a student for real life and the working world than to actually take part in it. We appreciate our community partners who helped make this opportunity a reality for our students this year.
Written by Maggie Wertz, Adolescent Guide