Career Development Interns Honored for Hard Work

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The high school’s career development program students were recognized at a recent meeting by the East Islip Board of Education, and the participating employers were lauded for their community service.

The 17 student interns honored were Donald Ahlers, Adonese Akl, Scott Barry, Matthew Judge, Cheyenne Laterza, Anthony Lipari, Anthony Molewski, Jason Otten, Anthony Pagano, Michael Quagliara, Yasmin Reyes, Jason Rodriquez, Steven Rogers, Anthony Russo, Jean Warnken, Christopher Watts and Richard Worsley.

Also recognized were the participating employers providing worksites for the students, which included All Friends Veterinary Hospital, Allstate Insurance, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Home Depot, Lee’s Auto Body & Glass, Marshalls, Residence Inn Marriott, South Shore Children’s Center, Tire Express and the Town of Islip Department of Public Works.

East Islip’s career development program emphasizes independence, preparing high schoolers to transition to the world of adulthood. The students spend the first six periods of the day in the high school, learning the functional and academic skills they will need for future success, and participating in regular student activities.

“We spend a great deal of time in class figuring out how students’ interests can match their talents, and having them ask themselves how can they turn that into a job,” said career development teacher Margaret Gallagher.

The last three periods are spent out in the community at numerous different jobsites that are tailored to the skills of the students. Donning red student intern shirts, they head out to meet with job coaches and then their employers, gaining hands-on, real-world experience.

“We are the next generation of employees,” said Akl proudly.                                         

Some of the students have been hired by the businesses where they interned, and continue to work there. The oldest group of students spent last year applying, interviewing and completing the fingerprinting process so that they could be paid for their internships as part of the New York State Employee Training Program.

“I could not be more proud to honor our students who are eager and willing to learn new things and work hard every day,” said Gallagher. “I could not be more humbled to be part of such an innovative program and to work with such caring professionals every day, and I could not be more grateful to the administration, all of the parents and this community for making it all happen.”