At Mashpee High School, Seniors Set Career Goals Through School-to-Career Program

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Career Exploration, School to Careers | 0 comments


Prior to choosing an internship for the Mashpee High School School-to-Career program, 18-year-old Audrey M. Sylvia, an animal lover, completed a job shadow at Leach Animal Hospital in Mashpee, and after four hours of observing animal surgeries, realized that veterinary work was not her calling.

“I’m definitely interested in it but I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life,” she said this week.

The School-to-Career program, an alternative graduation requirement to completing a senior project, consists of an internship supplemented by a class taught by business and technology teacher Carol P. Riley. Ten students participated in the program this year. After they completed three job shadows at different locations, each senior applied for an internship and worked with a supervisor for 10 hours per week over a 13-week period.

For Audrey, her experience at the animal hospital provided an opportunity to reevaluate her career goals. She pursued instead an internship at the Riverview School in East Sandwich and discovered a passion for working with special needs students.

“Some of them had issues with bullying and maybe their families had placed them there,” she said. “I liked talking with them to figure out what they needed and helping them through certain things.”

Audrey was responsible for assisting students with daily tasks such as chores and homework, and participating in activities with them like nature walks and social events. When behavioral issues with students arose, she learned to remove the individual from a given situation and redirect him or her to a different task.

The soon-to-be graduate will begin a paid job at the Riverview School this summer. In the future, she hopes to attend college and become a therapist for special needs students.

Seniors Margo Smith and Vanessa B. Martins were inspired by their internships to help others through the field of nursing.

Margo was responsible for making patients comfortable while getting their IVs and blood transfusions, delivering their lunches and drinks, and observing the nurses. She also had the opportunity to watch a peripherally inserted central catheter line procedure, in which a line is inserted into the arm and fed through a vein into a patient’s chest.

“I saw a number of procedures performed and learned how to do them without actually doing them,” she wrote in a report of her experience to the Enterprise. “I also learned that while working in a hospital, there is always communication going on to make sure their [the nurses’] work is accurate.”

Margo hopes to join the Air National Guard after high school, then attend a state college to study nursing.

Vanessa, on the other hand, enjoyed learning about the different responsibilities of nurses in the operating room.

“The internship only made me fall in love with the medical field even more,” she wrote in her report.

Although Vanessa wants to pursue a career in nursing, she is unsure whether she wants to work in an operating room. She plans to attend college at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

“One of the things [from my internship] I will always keep with me is how I learned to be responsible for myself and what I want to achieve and how to go after it,” she wrote.

Published in the Mashpee Enterprise on June 13, 2014

Read More

Recent Mashpee Grads Value School-To-Career Internships

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Career Exploration, School to Careers | 0 comments

By: LANNAN M. O’BRIEN, June 18, 2014

Recent Mashpee High School graduate Kristen N. Tavares, 18, learned the challenges of running a business while interning with her family’s landscaping company, Francisco Tavares, Inc., for her School-to-Career class this year.

“I learned that running a company is extremely stressful and that I never gave my father enough credit for everything he has to deal with on a daily basis,”  she wrote in a report of her experience to the Enterprise. Kristen and her classmates submitted answers to questions about their school-to-career internships for the newspaper. “I learned that this business is all about people-pleasing and keeping people happy no matter what.”

She added that seeing a proposed design “come to life” through the hard work of employees was a rewarding experience.

The school-to-career program is an internship program accompanied by a class on obtaining a job and working professionally. Seniors must complete either a senior project or the school-to-career program to graduate. This year, 10 students participated in the program, for which they were required to apply to a position of their choice and work with a supervisor for 10 hours a week over a 13-week period.

For her internship, Kristen was responsible for calculating the amount of material needed for various projects; visiting job sites with her supervisor, project manager Jonathon Searles; sitting in on meetings with builders and clients; delivering materials to job sites; and completing tasks such as filing paperwork, running machinery, mixing and screening loam, and cleaning the shop.

However, there was one obstacle that the intern found difficult to overcome: being a female in a male-dominated industry.

“There’s still that stereotype out there that females, especially in this male-dominated industry, can’t do or don’t know as much as the men,” she wrote. “I’m a petite woman, so men wouldn’t really expect me to be able to lift 80-pound bags of concrete mix or operate heavy machinery, but they were pleasantly surprised when they saw that I can.”

Her classmate, 18-year-old Cameron M. Murphy, decided to “get his feet wet” in the mechanics industry by interning at Cape Auto Repair in Sandwich.

“My favorite thing about School-to-Career was that I got to work on my own cars,” he wrote to the Enterprise. “When my car needed something done to it, [owner Eric York] would just schedule me in for a day and then I got to fix my car myself.”

Cameron said that he chose an internship in the automotive industry because he is “fascinated by everything with a motor,” and his experience reinforced his desire to pursue a related career.

Under the supervision of Mr. York, he completed work on cars, such as changing oil and replacing wheel bearings, ball joints, and valve cover gaskets.

Cameron was recently hired at the Arc of Cape Cod in Hyannis—an organization that works to secure opportunities for residents with developmental disabilities—and in his free time, enjoys riding dirt bikes and ATVs, fixing cars, and playing sports. The graduate plans to attend the Universal Technical Institute in the fall.


Published in the Mashpee Enterprise: June 18, 2014


Read More

Cape & Islands student interns leverage more than $840,000 in wages

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in School to Careers | 0 comments

Written by David Augustinho
The Cape & Islands School to Careers Partnership, an activity of the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board, completed the year by placing more than 430 high school juniors and seniors in internships. Some 336 local employers provided placements this year. More significantly, local employers paid more than $840,000 in wages to 173 students, who earned between $8 and $15 per hour.

Over the last 18 years the School to Careers Partnership (STCP) has grown to serve students in high schools across the Cape and Islands. The STCP is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The program is also referred to as connecting activities. The goal is to help prepare students for success after high school, whether they are heading to college or into the workforce.

In the program students have the opportunity to learn what it means to be an employee, develop confidence, and learn job skills. One student recently reflected, “I learned that this business (landscape construction) is all about people pleasing and keeping people happy. You must be quick at problem solving, because some type of problem is always bound to happen. I also learned that the economy plays an extremely important role in this industry. I not only learned a lot about the business but a lot about myself because of this internship. I’ve learned to overcome the stereotype that I can’t do or know as much about this business just because I’m a female in a male-dominated industry. But I can operate heavy machinery just as well, if not better, than most of them. I may be petite but I can still lift and carry 70-pound bags of concrete mix.”

Students find that their internship experience changed their attitude and helped them mature into young adults. At Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School, an 18-year-old senior assisted with administering CPR during a ride-along with the Yarmouth Police while another earned three bylines with the Cape Cod Baseball League, acceptance into a journalism program, and a summer job with the League

The benefit to students is the opportunity to advance in the world of work. Mashpee High School’s School to Careers Coordinator, Carol Riley, wrote, “This year ten students interned for 125 hours each in the fields of criminal justice, landscape construction, health care administration, equine management, nursing, elder care, social work, and automotive repair. At the end of the program, one student gained full-time employment at her internship location, two other students will work part-time for their employers, and another two students have agreed to “drop in and help out” as necessary…which means 50% of our interns have a true head start on their careers!”

The program has helped students discern whether their career choice is the correct one. A Mashpee senior wrote, “My experience with STC has changed my future plans; I learned that I don’t want to be a bio-medical engineering major, although I was pretty sure that was what I wanted to do when I started my internship. My internship changed my major to biochemistry—a biology related field—with a pre-veterinarian track. I still love the sciences, but I now know I want to work with animals.” A Chatham senior reflected on his internship at the Harwich Police Department: “The Community Internship Program has only confirmed my career choice and given me valuable insight on things I need to accomplish in order to become a law enforcement agent.”

I want to congratulate each of our School To Careers coordinators in our 11 partner districts; they make the program run, helping Cape and Island students to experience the world of work, gain confidence in their abilities, and earn some money.

Published in the June 27, 2014 Barnstable Patriot 

Read More