LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite an extremely successful Senior Internship Expo last week, where more than 75 Livingston High School (LHS) students and 22 local businesses and organizations met to discuss available internship opportunities, there is still time for agencies to apply to be a part of this inaugural program.

According to program managers Maggie Wohltmann and Colleen Cornell, several businesses/agencies that were unable to attend have inquired about how to share more information with the students as interested mentors. It is up to students to secure their own internships, but any local businesses/agency who is interested in having an intern from May 26 to June 19 is invited to apply by Feb. 28 to become a mentor.

LHS Principal Mark Stern, Superintendent Dr. Matthew Block, high school administrators and district personnel were all on hand to support last week’s internship expo, where students met with prospective mentors and explored available positions in various industries.

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“The overall feedback was that mentors were impressed with the LHS seniors and excited for May,” said Wohltmann. “Seniors who I spoke with feel the same way.”

The Class of 2020 is the inaugural group of students and mentors to take part in this program, which allows students to volunteer to intern a local business, agency or school within 20 minutes of LHS over the course of four weeks.

According to Wohltmann and Cornell, the program is a great way for seniors “to explore their career and academic interests prior to high school graduation.”

“It allows them to build relationships with local businesses and agencies, develop valuable skills, and gain real-world experience,” they said prior to the internship expo. “A participating business/agency benefits by mentoring tomorrow’s employees and guiding them on the skills needed in the workplace. Our seniors have a lot to offer, and hopefully both groups benefit from this relationship.”

They further explained that the program is intended to empower students to take ownership of their education by pursuing an internship in a special area of interest. 

In place of attending traditional classes, participants will expand their learning by interning at an off-site location for a period of four weeks from May 26 through the week before graduation. During this time, the students are expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week at their internship and no more than eight hours a day for those students under age 18.

Students will be guided through the process by one of the Senior Internship Program Coordinators, who will also hold periodic meetings to assist students with completing the program requirements.

Once the internship starts, students will submit weekly journal assignments to the coordinator. At the conclusion of the internship period, students will be required to complete a final presentation detailing and reflecting on their experience as a culminating assessment. 

Students will earn one credit upon completion of all program requirements and a positive evaluation from both their internship mentor and faculty advisor.

Stern, who Wohltmann said has been the driving force behind the program since it was approved last year, encourages local businesses to get involved because he believes that this will become “a full community venture,” where the students benefit from the expertise of people working in their fields of interest and where businesses will benefit from the “new, fresh, exciting ideas and skill sets” that LHS students will bring to their tables.

Those interested in applying as internship mentors are encouraged to visit the Senior Internship Program Website.  For more information, CLICK HERE or contact the organizers.

Wohltmann can be reached at mwohltmann@livingston.org or 973-535-8000 ext. 5408, and Cornell can be reached at ccornell@livingston.org or 973-535-8000 ext. 5304.