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Through Woodland Regional High School’s Internship Program, students at Woodland were given the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in a career they hope to pursue. The program was piloted in the 2015-16 school year, and was met with the utmost success.
This year, students worked with James Staib, Career Center and Internship Program Advisor, once again to coordinate placement in an internship of their choice. Once again, through this experience, students were given the confidence they need to enter the workforce.
Last year, approximately twenty-two students participated in the Internship program. Staib is very satisfied that the number of participants has increased to approximately thirty students this year. Students were placed as interns in a wide variety of fields like medical, education, journalism, business, and law.
Senior Taylor Dobbins worked at Waterbury Hospital on the Family Birthing Center Floor in the Neonatal ICU with a Physician’s Assistant. She had the opportunity to follow and observe how the PA worked with the patients. Dobbins was able to stand in during c-sections, assist the babies after they were born, and she even examined babies herself. She describes her experience as surreal and eye-opening.
“It allowed me to see the reality of life that you don’t see on television medical shows,” said Dobbins.
Her experience solidified her desire to work in the medical field. Her internship placement is where she sees herself working after she receives the necessary schooling.
Seniors Matthew LaPorta and Veronica Dergachev also thoroughly enjoyed their internship opportunity working with Speech & Language Pathologist Michele Charland. LaPorta and Dergachev were able to work with students at Woodland and Long River. They interacted with the students, observing and creating lesson plans.
“She provided an environment where both of us were encouraged to interact with her students instead of just sitting back and observing,” said LaPorta.
Both LaPorta and Dergachev hope to pursue a career in Speech Pathology. Dergachev thoroughly enjoyed her experience working with students at both the middle and high school level.
“I got along really well with the students I worked with and learned a lot from them and from my mentor, Mrs. Charland,” said Dergachev.
Staib expects to garner the interest of more students and streamline the paperwork process in order to ensure the success of the program in following years.
Staib said, “Every year it will get easier and I just hope I continue to have the interest of the students.”