This summer, the Santa Clara Valley Water District hosted 48 local high school and college students for a paid summer internship program. Out of 500 applicants this year, 10 participants were high school students from MetroED’s Silicon Valley Career Technical Education. These students marked the first time high school teenagers were selected for the water district’s summer internship program. The hands-on learning opportunity introduced these students to water career pathways based on their individual interests.
Several key partnerships helped make the summer internship program possible at the Santa Clara Valley Water District. These include: San Jose-Evergreen Community College District, Metropolitan Education District, TeenForce, and Silicon Valley Career Pathways.
Students began the program with an orientation, developed a learning plan with their mentors, completed safety trainings, completed assigned duties within their specialty, and attended social events to connect with business professionals. Students completed a five-minute capstone presentation in addition to a performance evaluation by their mentor.
According to Peggy Donatelli, Program Administrator for Recruitment at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, student interests included engineering, environmental related programs, business, political science, and computer science. Feedback from mentors was very positive and the water district has hired 18 former interns, to date.
San Jose-Evergreen Community College District’s Chancellor, Dr. Deborah Budd, told the water district board that the partnerships are the beginning of “the collective impact we can have, all working together, between the high schools, MetroED, community college, and four year institutions with business so that we can really build those pathways for our students in the community, hire within the community, and really build everyone’s future.”
Following Dr. Budd’s statement, MetroED Superintendent Alyssa Lynch acknowledged the risk businesses take on when hiring high school students, thanking the board for their commitment. She continued with: MetroED has “over 1,500 students that are looking to try on a career before they go to college and save their parents a lot of money,” in order to “find out what they might want to do.” The connections facilitated by Silicon Valley Career Pathway’s Alexandra Duran and Jesus Nava helped coordinate the collective partnerships.
TeenForce collaborated as the employee of record, hiring the students and managing payroll on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. John Hogan, CEO, was proud to say that ten high school interns started the program and all ten completed it successfully. They each worked between 150 to 180 hours over a period of six weeks. He added: “thanks and congratulations to the students for really making us all proud.”
NONDISCRIMINATION IN DISTRICT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES:
The Governing Board is committed to providing equal opportunity for all
individuals in district programs and activities. District programs, activities,
and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including
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