Streamwood High's growing student internship program to expand next school year

  • Streamwood sophomore Hannah Jennie gives a high-five during an internship at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin on Thursday as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program.

      Streamwood sophomore Hannah Jennie gives a high-five during an internship at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin on Thursday as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Streamwood High School juniors Wero Pytel, left in the background, and Tori Covington work with kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program on Thursday.

      Streamwood High School juniors Wero Pytel, left in the background, and Tori Covington work with kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program on Thursday. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Sophomore Emily Kuehl, left, helps Carly, 8, at Boys & Girls Club of Elgin Thursday. She was among 39 students participating in the Streamwood Career Exploration Program which places students with local businesses and community agencies to get internship experience.

      Sophomore Emily Kuehl, left, helps Carly, 8, at Boys & Girls Club of Elgin Thursday. She was among 39 students participating in the Streamwood Career Exploration Program which places students with local businesses and community agencies to get internship experience. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Streamwood High School students, from left, Victoria Bajorek, Anna Rataj, Damali Nazario, Diego Castillo, Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare System business development director Eric O'Brien, Mariane Salgado-Roman, Miriam Salas, Jessica Ramirez, and Ariana Benitez participate in the Streamwood Career Exploration Program this week.

    Streamwood High School students, from left, Victoria Bajorek, Anna Rataj, Damali Nazario, Diego Castillo, Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare System business development director Eric O'Brien, Mariane Salgado-Roman, Miriam Salas, Jessica Ramirez, and Ariana Benitez participate in the Streamwood Career Exploration Program this week. Courtesy of Village of Streamwood

  • Streamwood High students -- Joseph Crumlett, left; Brandon Garduno, second from left; Joshua Vallejo, center; and Andrew Pfeifer, right -- work with precision manufacturing instructor Matt Erbach, second from right, during a mini-internship this week as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program.

    Streamwood High students -- Joseph Crumlett, left; Brandon Garduno, second from left; Joshua Vallejo, center; and Andrew Pfeifer, right -- work with precision manufacturing instructor Matt Erbach, second from right, during a mini-internship this week as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program. Courtesy of Village of Streamwood

  • A group of Streamwood High School students got to learn about precision manufacturing during a mini-internship this week with instructor Matt Erbach, right.

    A group of Streamwood High School students got to learn about precision manufacturing during a mini-internship this week with instructor Matt Erbach, right. Courtesy of Village of Streamwood

 
 
Updated 3/29/2019 8:03 PM

From a young age, Alyssa Zuno saw her single mother struggling and was able to ease that burden by taking care of her two younger siblings.

The experience developed Alyssa's love for children and her passion for becoming a teacher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I've been wanting to do this since I was in second grade," said Alyssa, 16, a Streamwood High School sophomore who spent spring break teaching children at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin. "It fills my heart. I love it so much. You have to have patience ... lots of patience because kids will be (bouncing) off the walls. You have to know how to stay calm."

Alyssa was among 39 Streamwood High School students participating in weeklong mini-internships this week as part of the Streamwood Career Exploration Program, now in its fifth year.

The program is a collaboration between Streamwood High School, Elgin Area School District U-46, and Streamwood's Community and Economic Development Commission. Students are placed with local organizations to learn about business, early childhood education and new manufacturing technologies. Officials plan to expand the program offering internships in new career pathways next school year.

This week, students interned with Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare System, Heidner Properties of Hoffman Estates, Gold Rush Gaming, the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, BBS Automation, Otto Engineering and the Technology and Manufacturing Association. They helped develop a business marketing plan for a new service and a promotional plan for a gambling cafe, worked on an in-school precision manufacturing project, and created new or modified after-school curricula.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

All Streamwood High School students can apply for the program, which started off with 15 participants in each of the first three years, when the focus was on manufacturing jobs and business. Early childhood education was added two years ago.

"(Participation) has grown quite a bit, and they are expecting it to grow more," said Barb Thomas, Streamwood High business teacher and career exploration program coordinator. "The goal is to expose these students to the real world by having them work on industry-based projects with the potential for implementation. It has provided the students an understanding of what to expect once they leave high school."

Brooke Cidonio said she got to "see how different ages function" working with students from kindergarten through sixth grade at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin.

Teaching runs in her family, said Brooke, 16, a sophomore who's debating whether to become an elementary school teacher or teach chemistry to high schoolers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I love the little kids, but I also love chemistry. I'm still leaning toward high school," she said.

Senior Anna Rataj, who helped produce a business proposal for Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare's new service line, said participating in the program the last three years has helped hone her communication skills.

"It's not the kind of experience you can get in a classroom," said Rataj, who plans to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this fall to study museum management.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.