While many teenagers are whiling away the summer with beach trips and leisurely pursuits, 38 Coffee High Students are busily gaining experience and knowledge of the working world in local business and industry worksites. Twenty-two local companies and organizations have made a commitment to employ students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) internships. During June, each of the participating 22 employers will mentor young people by offering them real-world experiences in accounting, manufacturing, engineering, financial services, chemistry, medical, equipment maintenance, video production, marketing and technology.
The STEM program began in summer of 2013 with eight employers hiring 11 interns. Throughout the internship, students learned the importance of work ethics and other soft skills as well as technical skills to ensure a productive future. The STEM program grew summer of 2014 to 16 employers who mentored 21 young people. The focus is on these young people graduating college and returning to Coffee County to share their knowledge and experience with a new generation in the workforce. This is a real testament to the business/industry community who want to have a hand in “growing our own talent.”
In preparation for the STEAM Summer Internship 2018, every student who met grade point average, attendance, and behavior criteria entered into an application and interviewing process. The process began with seminars during Coffee High advisement sessions on Tuesday mornings. Human Resource Managers and Mr. Brad Riner, CTAE Director, conducted classes on resumes, job interviews and workplace communications along with skills training on obtaining and keeping a job. As a result of the advisement sessions, students became more confident in the process of applying and interviewing for a position with the companies and organizations.
On April 26 , the participating company representatives arrived on the Coffee High campus to conduct formal job interviews. This year 67 students applied for a position and 57 were interviewed by the representatives. At the end of the afternoon, companies bid on students whom they felt would work well within their organizations.
School, Business and Industry Chairman and PCC Airfoils Human Resource Manager Scott Smith states, “The STEAM Summer Internship program is a win/win for Coffee County; 1) students gain knowledge and work experience in their chosen field of study as they transition to the college level and 2) employers will enhance their future succession planning with local candidates. This program has surpassed our expectations and has quickly become a program in which students and employers find value. To me, the best part of the program is to see how excited the students are about working and learning in an environment that they have selected for a career path.”
Courtney Toth, 12th-grade student comments on the STEAM interview process, “The interviewing process gave me the necessary skills to prepare for future interviews. It was kind of nerve-racking, but each employer made me feel comfortable and seemed genuinely interested in me and my career goals. As a young person within the community, the STEAM Internship Program has not only shown me that my future is in my hands, but has provided me with countless opportunities to advance in my personal, academic, and career goals.”
In addition to the work experience, interns will attend training sessions on Friday afternoons. at The Friday training sessions will focus on topics that are paramount to success in college and the workplace. Students will explore leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and workplace diversity.
The 2018 STEAM Summer Internship Employers include the following:
Broadcast South, City of Douglas Waste Water Treatment Plant, Coffee Regional Medical Center, CRH Physician Practices, Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Coffee County Board of Education, Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce, Douglas National Bank, Douglas-Coffee County Parks and Recreation Department, Elixir Extrusions, Fresher Brands Management, Magistrate Court of Coffee County, Mosquito Squad, Optima Chemical Group, PCC Airfoils, Premium Waters, Southeastern Orthopaedics, Southwire, South Georgia State College, and Studio 317.
The 2017 STEM Summer Interns include the following:
Kevin Alatorre, Jasmine Avalos, Ashlyn Benton, Madeline Booth, Zemiria Bussey, Bryonna Castor, Ashley Clement, Caleisha Clemmons, Darryan Dixon, Jarod Gaff, Elisabeth Gowen, Cecilia Guerrero, Blake Hicks, Madison Jowers, Brandon Kight, James Land, Carswell Leis, Audrey Mancil, Angel Medina, Brice Minix, Sanjay Patel, Mona Patel, Deep Patel, Samina Patel, Milca Ramirez, Adrianna Rivero, Gioia Rosier, Ian Scott, Hayden Skipper, Alandra Soles, Lexie Southerland, Emily Tomas, Courtney Toth, Kiara Trejo, Gant Vining.
The culminating activity will be a presentation by the employers and students at the June 25th Chamber Power Lunch at the Atrium. For more information on the STEAM Summer Internship, contact Christi Thomas or Brad Riner at Coffee High School, 389-6619.