By Jon Garvin and Eliza Insley
Expeditions gives students a chance to explore areas of interest to help students find their true passions. During Summit Prep seniors’ final year, they are taking this opportunity to begin pursuing possible future careers through internship and independent study.
According to Melissa Thiriez, the supervisor of internships and independent studies, 96 students from Summit Prep are enrolled in an independent study or internship.
An internship or independent study is a path offered within Summit Expeditions. It allows students to choose a possible passion and explore it further.
An independent study course is an opportunity where a student, or group of students, chooses something they are interested in. They then make a contract with a plan and complete projects to learn more about their subject. They also have a supervisor to oversee that they are on-task.
Summit Prep senior Will Hill knows exactly what he wants to do: work on cars. As an intern at European Motors, he says he works on anything “from a basic oil change to rebuilding your entire engine if you need.”
When asked why he chose to intern there, Hill responded, “It’s my passion. It’s probably what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, just working on cars and making them go faster, making people happy.”
Another Summit Prep senior took a similar interest in working with cars: Jorge Zamora took an internship at a hot rod fabrication shop.
Zamora said, “I chose this internship because I am interested in fabrication and anything mechanical to do with cars … I work there, so I decided to, might as well, make my own little projects as I work there.”
Zamora explained his internship ranges from cleaning up around the shop to changing oil to pulling motors out of cars. When asked why he chose this, he explained, “I chose internships over Expedition classes just because internships let me get out into the world and actually let me see how jobs are and what I want to do later on.”
Summit Prep senior Lily Yuriar decided to partake in designing and producing this year’s yearbook as her independent study. She collaborates with four other seniors to reach their goal of publishing and selling the yearbook.
Yuriar said, “We’ve seen kind of similarities between the different themes in past years and want to make it different and bring more of the feedback from students who have been here for more than a year and get what they want to see more in the yearbook.”
Yuriar explained that she is interested in multimedia and thought it would be a fun project to work on. She can see herself using skills she’s been learning in her future education and career paths.
Some seniors chose internships not specifically because those jobs are their desired career, but because they are interested in developing the skills associated with the job.
Marvin Vasquez, a Summit Prep senior, interns at the gym Obstacouse Fitness. He described his role as organizing and supervising classes, creating workout plans and helping people with their form.
Vasquez chose to intern there because he felt it would be a good opportunity to grow his people skills. Vasquez wants to pursue a career in medicine and thinks building his people skills will help him with patients in the future.
Another Summit Prep senior working on real-world skills is Alana King. She is interning for Expeditions Director Lucretia Witte.
King has her own interns as well, supervising another senior and a junior, helping Ms. Witte out with organizing paperwork and making her role as Expeditions Director easier by doing some of the more tedious work.
King said, “When I actually do get a real job, it’ll be good to have these leadership skills under my belt.”