S.H.S. initiates new internship class


Senior Leticia Caudillo holds a cat that’s at the Happy Tails Shelter. Caudillo is a current student in the internship class and chose Happy Tails as her internship location.

  This year, Sterling High School offered a brand new internship class for juniors and seniors where students participate in a career-focused experience that allows students to become directly involved in the workplace. 

  This experience provides students with an opportunity to apply the skills obtained in school to real work situations and learn additional skills. The class is also guided for students to define their career goals. While she has been a teacher for 22 years, this is teacher Rebecca Koerner’s first year teaching this class.

  At the beginning of the semester, the students met in the library to go over the guidelines for the class and figure out where they want to intern at. The students were allowed to pick where they would like to go, and Koerner contacted that advisor to see if they would accept students as interns. Once they have permission to go to the internship, the students were responsible to set up a schedule for when they would be at their internship during the week, still meeting as a class again once a month until the end of the semester.

  A number of expectations are expected to maintain a good grade in the class. Students must earn 30 hours per semester, which is broken down to two and a half hours per week minimum, but earning more hours is highly encouraged. Each week students email a journal to Koerner reflecting on their highlights of the week and turn in a time-card paper that has the hours completed on it.

  The class has been a huge success for those involved. Senior Colin Karrow shared, “I’ve worked with a lot of the officers in Sterling and learned a lot of skills needed to be an officer. I definitely would recommend this class as it helps a lot with determining what skills you are good at and it tells you if you really want to do certain jobs.” Karrow is currently interning with S.H.S.’s resource officer Travis Nease.

  Senior Leticia Caudillo is currently interning at Happy Tails Animal Shelter and Vet Clinic and said that she has learned so much from the internship so far, such as to how to draw up vaccines and the process of spays and neuters.  She says she would recommend this class to anyone, especially those who are unsure if they want to go into a certain profession.   

  Caudillo also stated, “This class has helped me so much at first I was unsure of becoming a vet because I felt like I had no clue what I would have to do, but now going to Happy Tails every week they have let me see exactly what my routine could be if I were to become a vet tech and I am so grateful for that.”

  Koerner is delighted that the long-awaited class is finally a reality. 

  “I find it very important for students to see what the ‘real’ world looks like of a career that they think they want to pursue,” Koerner shared. 

  The internship experience allows for students to see that before they go to college and spend a lot of money on a career that they end up deciding is not for them. 

  The class has been in the works for over a year or two, but the actual planning for the class was able to begin last year. Koerner stated, “The process takes time. Each student’s request is unique and I want to try to fulfill their placement with the right employer.” 

  Koerner also mentioned that in the summer many days were spent calling businesses, and a lot of work was put into contacting employers to agree to take on juniors and seniors in this new program. 

  The internship program has made a big impact on S.H.S. students, and the positive feedback that has been received implies that it will be a popular class in the coming years.