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Seniors Prepare for Internships

internship logos of companiesSchool’s almost out for Hastings High School seniors, who, having completed all their graduation requirements and AP exams, will start their month-long senior internships on May 16.

The students will engage in a wide range of activities and work opportunities, from helping elementary school teachers to working in a local law firm, recording a music album, writing food blogs and hiking the Adirondack Trail.

“It’s ultimately all about what we do here,” says the program’s coordinator and social studies teacher John Buchanan. “We’re preparing kids for life after school, and this gives them the opportunity to dip their toes in the real world.”

Some of the organizations and businesses where high school seniors will be spending their month-long internships this spring.
Founded about 15 years ago under former high school principal Tom Fazio, the senior internship program has become an annual tradition in Hastings.

“He was trying to contain ‘senioritis’,” Buchanan says. “Having completed all their academics, seniors tended to check out around now, and he was concerned that that might have a negative effect on underclassmen. It’s also a great way for them to spend these last few weeks.”

Students select their internships or come up with a project and find a mentor. Some students pick up on the work they may already do after school, while others pursue a passion or get a taste of a possible future career. Each week teachers will check in on each of the 124 seniors to see how their internship is going, as well as confer with their mentor or employer.

On June 13, the seniors will return to school to give brief presentations to underclassmen on their experiences. “They talk about the challenges and rewards and offer advice to the juniors who will be doing their own senior internships next year,” Buchanan says.

Judging by student presentations in previous years, Buchanan believes the program achieves precisely what it sets out to do. “The students really take it seriously and rise to the occasion. It’s a perfect way for them to spend their last few weeks of school.”