Down and dirty: Castle View interns get first-hand experiences in the career field of their choice
Students see what a job is like, before even going to college
CASTLE ROCK – Whether they’ve always dreamed about working with those that have passed away at a mortuary or those that are very much alive at a collegiate sports science facility – Castle View High School students participating in the school’s internship program have the chance to really find out what they are in for in whichever career they’re interested.
This is the eighth year of the internship program at Castle View and the school’s internship coordinator, Stacy Hancock, says it often helps students determine which career they’d like to pursue, before they ever step foot on a college campus.
“Sometimes they go and find out that it is not like they showed on TV,” Hancock explained. “Sometimes they go and they find out that there are boring parts to the job. Maybe there are a few exciting parts – but a lot of it is just sitting in a cubicle. ‘Well, I don’t want to do that.’ I would rather them find that out now, rather than when they go pay for college courses and maybe find out their junior year of college that maybe this isn’t what I want to do. I’d rather them find out while they’re still in high school.”
Learn about the experiences of two Castle View High School seniors who participated in very different internships:
Olinger Andrews Caldwell Gibson Chapel
Air Force Academy Sports Science Facility
About 75 seniors participate every year, after applying for the student-driven program in their junior year.
After being selected, the teens are responsible for contacting potential employers and establishing their internships. Hancock works very closely with each student to help them best placement, while also encouraging them to take the lead. This allows them to follow their passions and gain experiences that will serve them in college and beyond.
“We are really preparing them to go out into the real world, because the students are going out into the real world and having to function,” said Hancock. “They are having to learn how to communicate, how to be held accountable.”
Students in the program have done everything from working with veterinarians to neurosurgeons and financial investors to realtors. One even created a new GPS application for the Town of Castle Rock.
In whichever career field they choose, the students spend at least three hours for nine weeks at their internship. This is unusual at the high school level, where most students only get an opportunity to have a half day of shadowing a career of their choice.
Additionally, the students work throughout the semester to answer an "essential question" through research and hands-on learning and then create a project that benefits the internship site, Castle View, or the community. Their work is presented through a report and presentation at the end of the term.
A project that sought to get more students to vote, for instance, was (and still is) incorporated into senior checkout in May.