hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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November 15, 2012

Learning the ropes

Students get experience shadowing police officers, mechanics

The career path some high-schoolers may choose is far off their radar.

But some Haverhill High School students are getting practical experience in a work environment as they consider which career to pursue.

It’s all part of the Haverhill High School Internship Program. Participating students are taking a class for a half credit, which involves them shadowing local business people and public service workers. Students go to the businesses twice a week for about two hours each time. They go there either after school or during the last period of the day if they are caught up on all of their academic credits.

Lisa Hunt, one of the program’s coordinators, was responsible for finding businesses which would allow the kids to shadow their workers.

“We have a bunch of locations based on students’ interests,” Hunt said. “The students seem to love it.”

The students have been placed in a variety of locations. Several are shadowing lawyers at the Law Office of Honig & Barnes and the Law Office of Ursula Furi-Perry. Others have been shadowing officers at the Haverhill Police Department and one student is shadowing an accountant in the city’s finance department.

Student Karen Mendez-Garcia was placed at Merrimack Valley Hospital because she is interested in becoming a nurse. While there, she greets patients who come into the emergency room and comforts them while they are waiting.

“It’s really interesting so far,” she said. “Everyone is really nice. I joined this internship because I wanted to become a nurse and this is helping me to see if I really want to be in the nursing field.”

While the students have enjoyed it, the businesses and organizations participating are also benefitting from having interns.

“The businesses have been wonderful,” Hunt said. “There are some really good mentors who are excited to share what they do.”

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