RED BANK, NJ – Eighth-grade students at Red Bank Charter School gained invaluable skills during a school-year internship program with 22 participating businesses and nonprofit organizations in the greater Red Bank area.
The program recently culminated with a dinner reception at the school for participating students, their parents and business mentors. Students shared highlights of their individual learning experiences in brief presentations during the program.
“At Red Bank Charter School, we believe education goes well beyond the classroom walls,” said Principal Meredith Pennotti. “We are so grateful to local businesses for providing such rich learning opportunities for these young scholars. Our community partners make this program possible.”
PHOTO: Emily Tierney learns about chiropractic care under the guidance of mentor Dr. Bill Walsh of Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation in Shrewsbury.
At the start of the school year, each of the 20 students was assigned an internship based on their career interests, learning and work styles. They spent one day a week through the end of April learning about a specific career under the guidance of mentors.
As part of the program, which began 18 year ago, students develop resumes, practice interview skills and capture their work experiences every week in their journals.
PHOTO: Kevin Tiro-Gregorio (left) and Brandon Pacheco prepare to serve their classmates lunch, which they prepared in internships at West Side Eatery, Red Bank and Tavolo Pronto in Fair Haven.
From architecture, Web site design and veterinary care to business law, computer consulting and chiropractic care, students experienced firsthand what it’s like to work in various professional settings.
Matthew Welch, who interned at Defined Logic, a digital innovation, design and development agency in Red Bank, said he learned about all the steps to building a Web site.
"It was a pleasure having Matthew on our team," said Derek Riddle, director of creative services at Defined Logic. "The internship program is a great opportunity for both the students and the businesses. Students grow from the hands-on experiences and we in the workplace have a chance to participate in the learning process."
Mariel Vera got a closer look at what it’s like to be an attorney by interning at the Red Bank Law firm Foss, San Filippo & Milne. Her capstone project was to construct a mock trial, which enabled her to experience the roles of a defendant, plaintiff, two lawyers, judge and jury in a court room. “Overall it was a remarkable experience. I'm glad my school gives us this opportunity,” she said.
Roger Foss, a managing partner at Foss, San Filippo & Milne and president of the school’s Board of Trustees, said the firm believes strongly in supporting youth development in the Red Bank community. He said the firm “was delighted” to work with Mariel. “We look forward to continuing to support this enriching program," Foss added.
PHOTO: At the Red Bank Borough Council Meeting on May 9, Alec McCourt accepts a certificate of appreciation for his service as a student intern at the Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department from (L to R) Mayor Pasquale Menna, Councilman, Erik Yngstrom and his mentor Charlie Hoffmann.
Alec McCourt got more than hands-on experience at the Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department. He was presented on a certificate of appreciation for his services from Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Red Bank Borough Council meeting on May 9.
For at least four of the students, the volunteer internships will translate into summer jobs, Pennotti said.
The program was coordinated by eighth-grade teachers Christopher McCarrick and Nevin Salem.
Following are the mentors and their respective businesses:
Terrell Wilson, The Community YMCA; Eric Wagner, Kellenyi, Johnson & Wagner Architects; Scott Spivak, Taylor Sams; Jac Bloomberg, Alpha Graphics; Stephen McMillan, FrameWorks; Del Dal Pra, Red Bank Regional High School athletics; Vicky Culver, Guild of Creative Art; Peg Rizzo, Lunch Break; Sue Barr, Barr Photography; Charlie Hoffmann, Red Bank Parks & Recreation; Patti Balderas, Tavolo Pronto; Eileen Kennedy, Red Bank River Center; Dr. Gregory Heins, Two Rivers Animal Hospital; Libby Waterbury, EM Waterbury & Associates; Edgar Arroyo, TriTech Computer Consulting; Mary DeMont, Barbizon; Dr. Bill Walsh, Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation; Chino and Nikki Grandinetti, Westside Eatery; Michelle Clark, Esq., Birdsall and Laughlin; Roger Foss, Esq., Foss San Filippo & Milne; Heidi Zaentz, Monmouth Day Care; and Derek Riddle, Defined Logic.