Tag Archives: Internship

Seniors use final Expeditions to explore future careers

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.”


Summit Prep senior Will Hill

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. 


Summit Prep senior Jorge Zamora

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.


Summit Prep senior Lily Yuriar

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. 


Summit Prep senior Marvin Vasquez

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.


Summit Prep senior Alana King

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.”

Independent Learning explores different interests

By Ellen Hu and Diego Quintero-Serrano

Staff Writers

Students have many different interests, but sometimes they aren’t able to build these skills through classes. Summit’s Independent Learning course is the exception, allowing students to explore their interests through internships and independent studies.

“I chose this because I love making the school nice,” Denali sophomore Jiapsyh Estrada Tellez said. This year she interned with Expeditions Dean Kalyn Olson as a teacher’s helper.

“We want to make sure that we are offering the time management and planning skills and support for a student to make sure they are mapping out for those 30 hours a week, for those eight weeks,” Ms. Olson said.  Students who are are interested in participating in either internship or independent study next year can visit tinyurl.com/theILwebsite for more information.

See below for a video about the Independent Learning course:

Featured image (at the top of this post): Denali sophomores Jiapsyh Estrada Tellez and Daisy Diaz Orozco interned with Expeditions Dean Kalyn Olson this school year. PHOTO CREDIT: Diego Quintero-Serrano

Internships at Summit Prep prepare students for the real world

By Garrett Kelly and Carter Reid

Staff Writers

Internships at Summit Preparatory Charter High School are what help separate Summit Prep from the average high school. Internships at Summit Prep offer a wide variety of different topics, and students are given the opportunity to guide themselves on a course they most likely created themselves.

In order to fully understand what an intern goes through on a day-to-day basis, we followed the Juvenile Justice Commissioner’s intern around for a week. We shadowed Rob Wilds, a senior who has been interning for the past two years.

Wilds’ responsibilities are helping the commissioner with whatever she needs. This often consists of analyzing juvenile justice data and creating slideshow presentations for inequality conferences.

During the third Expeditions round this year, Wilds attended and presented in a social justice conference held at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The conference was primarily focused on the inequalities and racial minorities experience.

“It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the experiences others have had and the privileges that I possess,” Wilds said. 

Wilds clearly enjoys being involved with the commissioner and feels he’s helping his community. “I have loved this opportunity to be an intern during school hours as it has given me the flexibility and freedom to explore my interests and get real-world experience.” 

Expeditions Dean of Instruction and School Culture Kalyn Olson explained: “Internship opportunities are a chance for a student to examine their skills against what will be expected of them in the real world; they will be able to compare themselves to college students and young adults getting jobs in these careers and in professional fields.” 

According to Ms. Olson, interning is a “little bit of the student experiencing what it’s like to go into the real world and what it’s like to manage time on a day-to-day basis.” 

After shadowing Wilds for two weeks, it is understandable how the process of becoming and working as an intern has a correlation to real-life scenarios. If you’re interested in becoming an intern, it’s a great opportunity to build connections and learn what it takes to be a professional in the outside world. You can learn more at tinyurl.com/theILwebsite

See below for a video about one student’s internship experience:

Business Expeditions wrap up the year with Celebration of Learning presentations

By Eliza Insley

Staff Writer

Celebration of Learning is an annual showcase of all the work done in the Expeditions courses. These three Expeditions, Internship, Entrepreneurship, and Computer Science, all explore different aspects of business.


During the Internship Expedition, sophomore and senior students have the opportunity to do an off-campus internship for local organizations and then give a presentation discussing their experience and skills learned. These internships let students explore their interests in a variety of work environments, get ideas about what they want to pursue in college or as a career and gain work experience.


Summit Prep seniors Jacyn Schmidt and James Bamford explain how they got to experience both being out in nature and being in an office environment during their internship at the United States Geology Survey.


Jesse Uiterwijk, a Summit Prep sophomore, talks about his internship at San Jose Jazz and what the organization does.


Summit Prep senior Tom Chu talks about his daily schedule and commute to his internship at the Midpen Media Center.


Entrepreneurship is another one of the Expeditions courses offered at Summit Prep. Here, students learn real-life business skills such as creating a presentation, making a product or crafting a business plan. Entrepreneurship teacher Aaron Calvert accomplishes this by placing students in real-world situations, such as pitching an idea to potential investors (a similar experience to that of  the TV show Shark Tank).

Students in this course can apply the skills they learn to other careers or jobs, which helps them branch out to other possibilities.


Joel Kestelyn, a sophomore at Summit Prep, explains his business called 4D Calligraphy to parents visiting Summit’s Celebration of Learning.


Summit Prep freshman Victor Aguilar-Mendoza explains the shoe business he calls Fuji Chancla to Summit Prep teacher Michael Green. Aquilar-Mendoza said, “My business is making chanclas that are good for the environment and comfortable but also fashionable.”


Dariana Pacheco and Mimi Moore are freshmen who paired up to create a business called EGs, which is short for Electronic Gadgets. Moore said, “Everything we do here is to create opportunities for ourselves that will get us through real-life situations.” Pacheco said, “The skills here can be applied to a lot of jobs or careers. Especially with so many options to choose from in the world, this kind of helps with narrowing it down.”


Luke Desmarais and Max Moeller, Summit Prep freshmen, introduce the product they named MirrorCam. Desmarais said, “We made this product to make sure the driver can have a 360-view when they’re driving. This makes driving safer because we are in cars almost every day of our lives and this eliminates blind spots, which are dangerous.”


Esteban Ramirez, a sophomore at Summit Prep, presents his product called Hoods. Ramirez said, “My product is that hoods on your jacket or sweater or whatever – you have a camera lens that can take photos or videos.”


Juan Hernandez, a Summit Prep senior, gives an introduction to a clothing brand he named Distinctive World.

Computer Science

During Computer Science, students learn how to use Cloud9, a JavaScript program, and Scratch to develop different programs. This course gives an beginning look at programming, allowing students to expand their skills and pursue a possible career path.

Matt Hesby, the Computer Science Expeditions teacher, said his original plan was for the course to be open only to sophomores and above; however, “we needed a class that was a little bit more accessible, a little bit more something that students can come in, start getting their hands on programming a little bit and find a way to connect with it.”

Mr. Hesby said this year’s class has a lot of freshmen, and he designed the class for that audience. “Literally it was just to tap into that interest in video games, but give them that as the avenue for beginning to learn the program. So that those students who reach into it and really find that part of it is really enjoyable and really fun, kinda run with the programming and keep going with it.”

Summit Prep Computer Science students showcase their finished programs to an audience of friends and family. 

Here’s a look at the Computer Science displays during Celebration of Learning: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Staff Writers Daneyah Penisini and Alexis Sanchez contributed to this article. 

Expeditions students explore potential careers

By Liz Kromrey

Staff Writer

The closer students get to senior year, the more they start to worry about what career they want to pursue or study during college. Using the Expeditions classes College Readiness, Internship and Sociology of Law, students are able to get closer to knowing what career they want to follow.


File_004At the beginning of the year, students applied to internship positions at jobs they wished to pursue. The jobs they did as interns changed depending on which business they were assigned to. While interning at Alpha Tech, Rainier senior Willy Teav was assigned the job of counting lightbulbs: “I did a lot of counting, a lot of math skills.”

File_001Rainier senior Judit Solorio interned at a Tech Shop, where she was able to use equipment such as the laser cutter. 

College Readiness:

Ashley Pinnell and Veronica Bettencourt were the teachers this year for College Readiness, and both got to showcase so many things that go into the process of college application for the juniors this year. The students in their class detailed what made them interested in certain colleges during the Celebration of Learning showcase.



Rainier junior Jackie Diaz gives her presentation, highlighting that she wants to attend a small Christian university on the West Coast and that she is looking forward to the independence that comes when going to college.





Rainier junior Rylie Weaver presents to the after-school audience, explaining that his dream school is Princeton and that it is considered a lottery school.


20170511_181948Rainier junior Mario Rios presents his best fit criteria document to onlookers. Rios spoke about his target college, ASU. 

20170511_183513Rainier junior Matthew Guerrero, chose to use a slides presentation to talk about his target school, USC. 

Sociology of Law:

In this course, students from all different grade levels took part in learning about the sociological effects of the law in our country. Here are some perspectives from students, faculty and parents on the question: Should we have armed guards in all public schools across the nation to help prevent mass shootings in schools?




Lissa Thiele facilitates a Socratic seminar in which students and parents discussed how best to keep schools safe. 




Rainier junior Jackie Diaz stated that having armed guards at all public schools would create a hostile environment.

Adding onto that, Elizabeth Franco-Lee, parent of Rainier senior Joshua Franco-Lee, stated that there would be a high level of worry brought onto parents of children at schools with armed guards due to the possibility of accidental shootings.

 The group then debated the following question: Even if this idea were to happen, where would we get all the funding from? What would this funding take away from other school programs?