Student Internship Program Takes Root at SCHS

Student Internship Program Takes Root at SCHS

Deciding what they want to be when they grow up is getting a little easier for children attending school in the village.  

Silver Creek High School is embarking on a new program for juniors and seniors to explore a variety of vocations via a community collaboration with local businesses and organizations. 

The goal of the nascent Silver Creek CSD Internship Program is to assist students form or refine their college and/or career goals as they prepare to graduate, according to district librarian Paula Michalak.  The idea for the program was presented by Tom Buczkowski, High School Principal with Mrs. Michalak present to the Board of Education recently. 

How the internship program works: The students will rotate though different host sites a month at a time. The goal is to provide them with an understanding of what to expect in that field of work should they choose to pursue it. It is a pilot program and students do not receive credit though there is continued conversation around National Honors Credits in the future. 

“It’s really just a sampling,” says Michalak. “They could work with one of our music teachers one month then head over to Silver Creek Pediatrics the next month to get a look at what it takes to be a nurse.” 

SCHS is pursuing partnerships with area businesses to create host sites willing to give students a glimpse at the roles, responsibilities, and expectations necessary to fulfill a specific job/role.  

“It is also making the students develop a deeper connection with the community that’s raising them,” says Michalak. “We want them to consider ‘This is my town. This is where I want to grow.’ “

So far, the following have agreed to volunteer as host sites: the Village of Silver Creek, Sky’s the Limit recreation center, the Northern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, The Backline, Radack & Hartnett law firm, SCCS teachers and Just Pets pet store. Board of Education member Matt Bogosian and his wife, Karen, are welcoming interns at their respective real estate agency and fitness business as well.  

“We have a lot of support coming in,” says Michalak, who notes that the job of a good librarian is to match people with their information-seeking needs and says that overseeing the internship program is an extension of that. “Now we are trying to get students aligned into to those host sites.” 

On campus, interest is strong: Several general education teachers and a few of the physical and speech therapists as well as the Technology Department are open to taking on interns. 

Currently, one senior is interning at NCFCU and another is interning at Silver Creek Pediatrics.  A third student will be interning with Mrs. Gould, Silver Creek Elementary Music teacher, as well. Current interns are: seniors Danaceus and Dakotah and Amanda. 

The students may elect to intern at the sites during their study halls if they have access to a vehicle. After-school internship opportunities are also available and – for now – students can be dropped off, but not picked up, at the host sites. Mr. Buczkowski is working on possibly providing bussing to and from the students’ internship sites if the need arises.  

“We’re hoping to provide parents with a better understanding of the program so they will encourage their child to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Michalak, who notes it’s to students’ advantage that they put themselves slightly above where other college and job applicants are and be noticed. “It’s shows personal commitment, motivation, maturity and helps students develop soft skills, which are an asset in all workplaces.”  

Students who complete internships are encouraged to add them to their college entrance form and solicit recommendations from their host sites for employment. 

“We hope to continue growing the community connections and the program for years to come as we get our students college and career ready,” says Michalak, who encourages local organizations and individuals interested in hosting interns to reach out to her via email at pmichalak@silvercreekschools.org