THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Seniors at Westlake High School will be given the opportunity to gain real world experience at businesses throughout the greater Westchester County area through the school’s senior internship program. The program is in now in its second year at the school and Principal Keith Schenker said it continues to grow.
“I think it’s really expanding by word-of-mouth from seniors that did it,” Schenker said. “Seeing it through the eyes of a fellow student is what’s helping it expand.”
Schenker added that the internship program is a growing trend amongst many high schools in the area. The bulk work of the program takes place at the end of the school year after Regents exams and AP tests are concluded. The program allows students to utilize their last few weeks in high school to the fullest.
“It’s a great way for the students to take a time period that could be a down time and flips it around completely and gives them an experience in a field that they may want to major in in college,” Schenker said.
This year around 50 seniors are participating in the program, or about one-third of the senior class. The number is nearly doubled from last year’s total. The students are currently in the process of seeking out a local business to intern with and also a teacher within the high school to act as their mentor. Students are required to put in around 30 hours of work per week and also to meet weekly with their mentor. Last year, students interned at businesses such as the Botticelli Fitness Center, the Westchester County Police Academy and Van Cortlandt Manor Homestead.
Schenker said that students could have valued experiences going forward from both positive and poor internships.
“This program can be beneficial to the student by either helping them focus on a major that they want to do, or a major that they thought they wanted to do and now they want nothing to do with,” Schenker said.
The internship program is set to begin around April 23.