Senior Interns Get Hands-on Start on Careers through Pathway Courses

by Avery Prudenti ’22

One of the many opportunities that Sherwood has to offer is its career pathway courses. These programs focus on teaching students the proper basic skills and occupational training that will aid them in earning credentials for jobs related to a specific pathway. The two most prevalent courses at Sherwood are the Academy of Health Professions (AoHP) pathway and the Early Child Development Program. Both of these programs often lead to students doing an internship in their senior year.

The Early Child Development Program uses real teaching, planning, and learning in a preschool setting. This program doesn’t need to be done all four years, but in order to get the 90 Child Care Certification, students need to complete Advanced Child Development 1 and 2. After these classes, many students also choose to do an internship at a local elementary school, where they can use what they learned in the program in a real school setting.

There are currently nine students doing an internship through this program, one of them being senior Giselle Reyes, who is interning at Olney Elementary School. “The most helpful thing about the education program was finding ways to communicate with young children,” said Reyes “I learned so many new communication skills and how to interact with children in a good manner that will help them grow.”

Reyes is planning on majoring in education, and the Early Child Development Program was the perfect way for her and similar students to gain experiential practice that will help them during and after college. “As an intern, I have helped teach small lessons, organized, graded, made activities, helped the children with their work, and monitored the class when substitutes are in.” Reyes is one of only nine students out of the 50 currently taking level 2 and 3 of the class that are enrolled in an internship.

Students in the medical track have the opportunity to apply for internships in places like retirement homes, veterinary clinics, and hospitals. The program takes four years, and those who complete it and pass the Maryland Board of Nursing exam will be certified nursing assistants right out of high school. This gives students a critical asset on their resume that can assist them in getting into competitive programs and securing future careers.

The medical program currently has 14 students working as interns this semester. Senior Erin Dunlap is an intern at Shady Grove Hospital and she believes that doing an internship is extremely helpful to build a foundation of medical information to better prepare for college. “In my opinion, Sherwood’s Academy of Health Professions has greatly assisted me to feel more prepared to study medicine in college and beyond,” said Dunlap. As someone whose dream is to become an ER doctor, the opportunity of being able to work in a real hospital as a high school senior is one that offers extremely helpful benefits.

Seniors who aren’t sure what they want to be when they are older can go through these pathways to give them the opportunity to learn about the many different professions in the medical field.

These programs may be extremely helpful for students planning on pursuing medical related majors in college, but they are also very difficult. Senior Arletta Kochanowski said that the intensive course provided hands-on learning experiences such as “getting respiratory and heart rates, and obtaining all of the skills necessary for becoming a CNA [Certified Nursing Assistant].” She is currently interning at Brookeville Animal Hospital because she wants to be a veterinarian. By completing the medical program and the internship, it is helping her “go into college confidently, as I have spent the last year gaining knowledge and experience in the field.”

These seniors took advantage of a great opportunity that Sherwood gives its students to work real time in an actual setting of the profession of their choice. This gives students critical knowledge that will give them a head start compared to others that