Student internships prepare Wayfinder Schools students for the future

Posted on Thursday May 19, 2011

Wayfinder Schools’s Residential Class of 2010 is graduating on May 20, and preparing to head off to college and summer jobs.  One of those graduates is 19 year old Caleb Terry of Bradford, who said of his time at the school, “I didn’t know what to expect when I first came to the school in September. It’s different from public school because the focus is on you as an individual, and on social justice and diversity.  You learn different things, different relationships.  You learn more about yourself, and because of that you understand other cultures.  It’s a good program academically and sociologically.  All of the staff are nice and the whole community helps.  We try to give back.”

One of the ways students give back is through the school’s internship program, which matches students with part-time job placements at area businesses.  While the program benefits local businesses, it also helps students prepare for post-graduation employment.

Terry held three internships this year, working Monday mornings at the Camden Public Library, Tuesday mornings at local radio station WRFR, and Wednesday and Thursdays mornings at the Lincoln Street Arts Center.  Terry said all three internships have helped him build communication skills, learn workplace responsibility, build his resume and graduate with references that will help him in the future.

On a recent Monday morning, we caught up with Terry at the library, where he had just finished helping with a large mailing project for National Library Week.  According to library Deputy Director Jamie Ritter, Terry also helps library staff with everything from sweeping the front walk to cleaning computers, organizing book shelves and helping in the children’s room.  “We’ve really enjoyed Caleb’s help,” Ritter said.  The library has been involved with Wayfinder Schools’s internship program for two years now, and Ritter said, “The students we’ve had have been phenomenal.  It’s just been terrific.”

Terry spoke fondly of all three of his internships, including the opportunity to host his own weekly radio show at WRFR.  Terry said he plays primarily hip-hop, and that his favorite part of his hour long show is developing play lists. “And I get to be on the air.”

Terry hopes to pursue a liberal arts degree at Eastern Maine Community College, and is one of 24 students graduating from Wayfinder Schools this spring.