Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ride For Wyatt carrying on, despite lack of snow

If initiative is what it takes to succeed, these high school students have got it.

This year, Kasson-Mantorville High School staff launched their new KoMet Internship Program for seniors who were interested in interning with an area business. Initially six students were signed up to participate but, once word spread, five additional students joined the ranks.

What’s more, some students considered the businesses offered up by the Internship Program and, finding none that interested them, sought out community businesses to intern for on their own.

“I have found it remarkable how our current interns, and those rising seniors who will be enrolled in the program next year, have sought out opportunities that will give them experiences in the careers they are considering,” said Brook Santjer, an organizer of the program. “These Komets have shown a high level of initiative.”

Calleigh Richards is one such student. The 17-year-old K-M senior is interning at McKern Financial in Kasson after an in-depth search of area businesses she was interested in working at.

“I knew what I was interested in, but I wanted to see what my opportunities were,” she said. “Once I went to McKern, I knew I wanted to intern there.”

“I am super excited and grateful for the opportunity,” Richards went on. “They didn’t know what they were getting into with a high school intern coming during the day. So far I really enjoy it. I do a variety of different things. I’m very involved. It’s a great fit. It’s been a great start.”

She only recently began her McKern internship, but said she loves it so far. It solidifies her plan to study economics at Bemidji State University in the fall after high school graduation.

K-M senior Charlotte Woodrum has always been interested in being a veterinarian, but her internship at Carriage House Animal Hospital in Kasson this past fall solidified her plans.

Like Richards, Woodrum queried area businesses she was interested in interning at, and eventually connected with one right here in her hometown.

Woodrum worked a morning shift and said her favorite aspect of the job was observing surgeries.

“I got to see some really cool ones,” she said. “It was really neat.”

“It was a great experience,” Woodrum said. “Toward the end I got to do more. Not a ton, but I got to observe a lot and there was a lot to learn.”

Rylee Kleeberger was drawn to the business she interned for after attending the high school’s internship fair, where students were connected with participating businesses. She spied the Huckleberry Floral Design & Gift booth and was instantly sold.

“I loved it,” she said. “I really wanted to intern there. I want to explore different fields because I don’t have a plan for college. I absolutely love agriculture and everything like that.”

One K-M junior is eager to start the Internship Program in the fall when she’s a senior. Education is her jam, so she’ll intern with a K-M special education teacher.

“I’m so excited,” said Natalie Knutson. “I think it’s going to be really awesome to make sure this is what I want to do. Experiencing it gives a good preview of what I’d be doing in my job.”

“This program allows our seniors to determine their own path,” Santjer said, “completely personalized to their interests. Additionally, the interns begin developing their network early.”

The program wouldn’t be possible without the school’s community business partners, she said.

“Overwhelmingly, the interns have expressed how they have been welcomed to their site as a member of the team from their very first day,” Santjer added. “Because they feel comfortable in their environments, the level of learning has been outstanding.”

“It is truly a remarkable experience that can provide a trajectory for the future of our students on the cusp of the next phase of their lives,” she said.


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Dodge County Independent

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