Today, we are going to talk about the value of internships in high school. I’m asked question about this all the time, so it’s clear that the subject is top of mind in many schools, communities, businesses, and industries. So, in this episode, I want to shine a spotlight on a partnership that exemplifies the benefits of high school internships, for both students and businesses, and encourage other communities to adopt a similar model.
Joining us are Meka Pace and Vanessa Jester, two women who are doing a lot to create learning opportunities in the Columbus community. Meka is the Executive Director and Superintendent of the Metro Schools network, which includes Metro Early College High School, Metro Middle School, and the Metro Institute of Technology. Vanessa is the Workforce Development Manager at Turner Construction, and she spends a lot of her time building and maintaining relationships with industry partners and community-based organizations and entities.
The Turner program is only in its second year, so there is not a lot of data. However, all students in the Learning Labs are required to have a year-long internship resulting in a Capstone research project. Here is a link: https://www.themetroschool.org/about/learning-centers/. The teachers help the students make connections to secure these internships. Here is an article that can serve as a pretty good outline: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2015/02/16/take-5-steps-to-find-an-internship-during-high-school. Also STEM Industry Council (SInC) works to help Columbus City Schools secure internships. Here is their website: http://www.sinccentralohio.org/.