New Canaan Seniors Trade School For The Workplace

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New Canaan High School's Greg Wagner got to spend time teaching third-graders at East School as part of the Senior Internship Program. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Abbie J. Stone

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Instead of taking notes and reading textbooks, 39 seniors at New Canaan High School spent the past month in the workplace as part of the Senior Intern Program.

“I never imagined I would be doing this type of work for my last four weeks of high school. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should apply for the program. But now I’m so glad I did, especially after looking back at all that I’ve learned about the workplace,” Emilie Kushner, an intern for Darien Sport Shop, said in a news release.

“It’s very fun and exciting because I’m actually working towards something. It’s super rewarding to know that what I have been spending my time on is going to be used and looked at by other designers and possible clients” said Jaclyn McCurdy, an intern for Oomph Furniture.

“The experiences and learning I've done at Earthplace is hands-on and experiential. Rather than passively reading about a waste water treatment plant, I toured one and ran similar tests for bacteria as they do. I've had the opportunity to do real science that affects and has an impact on the local communities,” Molly James said of her internship.

Beginning May 18, students participating in the program spent 20 to 30 hours a week at their internships, about same amount of time spent in school per week, the release said. Throughout the internships, the students complete journal assignments and are assigned a faculty mentor from the school and a worksite supervisor, the release said.

“It’s very important that we maintain the integrity of the program and for it to remain worthwhile. We’re not just looking for ‘time-fillers’ for the kids, and we don’t just want it to be a numbers game of how many kids participate. The overall goal is to have quality situations for both worksites and interns,” Tucker Murphy, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said in the release.

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