Newport News students gain work, career experiences this summer


Posted: August 5, 2019

Thanks to three career preparatory programs, hundreds of Newport News high school students gained valuable career experiences through paid internship programs over the past several weeks. High school students worked as tutors, computer repair technicians, mentors, food service workers, instructional assistants, retail clerks and more.

Designed to introduce students to work experiences while developing workplace readiness skills, the Career Pathways Summer Internship Program, the SPARK (Summer Program for Arts, Recreation and Knowledge) Internship Program, and STEP (Summer Training and Employment Program), the school division's newest venture originally implemented by the City of Newport News, provided students valuable, paid work experiences.

Participants in the Career Pathways Summer Internship Program were matched with several school division departments including Child Nutrition Services, Driver's Education, NNPS-TV, Technology, and Curriculum and Development. The interns were matched with the department that best met their career goals and they committed to working about 60 hours (about 15 hours per week). The interns worked under the direction of a NNPS employee.

SPARK Student Interns were hired to work in one of seven schools to assist students, teachers and administrators. Ninety-eight student interns worked seven hours daily at an assigned school. Orientations and onsite training prepared each intern for their job specific responsibilities. NNPS employees served as mentors and supervisors.

This year, the school division partnered with the City of Newport News and assumed the coordination of the school-age portion of STEP. About 150 participating youth ages 16-18 received employment training, career exploration activities and academic support. They worked up to 30 hours per week at various business and industries throughout Newport News. As part of its new agreement with the City of Newport News, the school division is expanding STEP to a year round program. During the school year, student participants will receive academic and career planning/advisement, career assessments and interest inventories, and will be introduced to career and technical education courses in their areas of interest.

Group photo of Summer Interns
Group photo of Summer Interns
Summer Intern helping a student
Summer Intern helping a student
Summer Intern helping a student
Summer Intern helping a student
Summer Intern helping a student on a laptop
Summer Intern helping a student on a laptop