State takes attention to Fremont County internship program - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

State takes attention to Fremont County internship program

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Students in Fremont County are getting a one of a kind opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.

It's the first year of the internship program for Florence and Canon City High School students and it's already showing great success.

It has caught the eye of the Colorado State Board of Education as a new example of experience-based learning and while it's only ten hours a week, these teens will tell you, this time is invaluable.

"This is our main surgery room, this is where we do all of the basic surgeries like spays, neuters, abscess removals," Tamara Chapman, a senior at Canon City High School said.

For two hours each school day, this is what every morning looks like for senior, Tamara Chapman, at the Fourmile Veterinary Clinic.

"I wanted to intern here because one I love animals and still trying to figure out what I really want to do and it was one of the best businesses to intern for," she said.

And this is what it looks like for senior, Paul Wild at Remax.

"Remax Royal Gorge, my name's Paul, how can I help you?" he said as he answered the phone at the reception desk.

"I feel like it's very valuable experience whether they chose to continue and pursue that career, or if they decide it's not something they want to pursue, it's valuable either way," Lisa Tedesko, the regional internship coordinator said.

The internship program is regional for both Canon City High School and Florence High School, sharing just under 100 employers across Fremont County.

"So basically because we're a small community, we decided that it only makes good sense to join effort and share our local employers," Tedesko said.

Most of which, happy to teach.

"Everybody loves animals, everybody wants to be a veterinarian but sometimes you don't see the behind the scenes things which some are great and some change people's minds," Jeremy Ley, veterinarian and owner of the Fourmile Veterinary Clinic said.

And as most great bosses will tell their interns, you get what you give.

"The more excited they are, the more engaged they are, the more things we allow them to do," Ley said.

At the end of the day, the key takeaway for every student, experience.

"That's the beauty of this program to help me be able to try something that I would have never been able to try before," Wild said. "So it's really nice to be able to test pilot some things."

And on the heels of graduation, it's a chance to consider whether selling houses or vet school could be in their future.

68 students have successfully completed their internships so far.

These internships are for school credit only but businesses can also put money in to a scholarship fund that will be spread amongst the interns at the end of the year.

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