Internship Program Expands

Over 80 Seniors Involved


Ashley McCue ('23), Orbit Contributor

On April 3rd, over 80 seniors began community internships in lieu of their regular classes for the rest of the semester, to gain work experience before graduating. 

The internship program has expanded this school year. In the past this program was aimed at students who felt unmotivated as their high school years came to an end and wanted a break from regular day-to-day school life. However, this year the program is expanding to any senior, in good standing, who would like to participate. Students interested in the program must have above a C- average in all their classes and less than 8.5 unexcused absences in semester 2. Assistant Principal Ms. Buckley explained that the minimum requirements are meant to create a broader pool of students for the program: “We really feel like everybody should have an opportunity to do an internship.”

Students who chose to participate in the internship program stopped attending their regular classes on April 3rd and the program will run until the seniors’ last day, May 18th. Intern students enrolled in AP classes will still be required to attend those classes daily until the completion of their respective AP exam in May. Ms. Buckley said, “For students who are taking AP classes, we will be very flexible in scheduling.”

…this opportunity is great for introducing me to the field, helping me make connections, and giving me experience for future jobs.

— Sam Panariti ('23)

Interested students were encouraged to attend an internship fair that was held during flex block on March 2nd. The school hosted many local businesses, ranging in specialties, who were interested in having an RMHS intern. These businesses ranged from beauty to engineering and everything in between. The response from the senior class after the internship fair has been “very positive” according to Ms. Buckley, who said: “We got over 65 students that came to the internship fair to meet people and even more are interested in the internships.” Students can also work internships through their current employer or from another willing business.

The expansion of the program has come with opportunities for students to earn money for their 20-30 hour work weeks. Some of these internships will not be paid through the individual employers. For example, students enrolled in STEM (science, technology, math and engineering) internships will be paid through the town by a grant from the MA Department of Education. RMHS’ long-running education internship offered through the Child Development course will also be paid through a grant. For all other internships, partner businesses are encouraged to pay their interns for equity reasons. 

One student interested in the previously mentioned education internship is Lucy Boyden (‘23). A big draw to the internship for Boyden was the opportunity to expand her experience in a professional setting and to learn valuable communication skills that she can carry with her into her business management major in college. Boyden doesn’t mind missing her regular classes in favor of the internship. She says, “The fact that we can stop taking classes that won’t benefit our future and instead start working in an environment that we potentially would like to work in is so beneficial to us.”

Another interested student is Sam Panariti (‘23) who will be interning at a local at-home salon run by owner Jaclyn Paglia. As an intern, her workload will include helping wash/prep hair, helping to make appointments, and training in hair styling and business owning. “I want to work in the beauty industry as a hair stylist or makeup artist,” Panariti said. “And this opportunity is great for introducing me to the field, helping me make connections, and giving me experience for future jobs.”