What began as a fledgling intern program in 2011, has grown into a regional effort to retain youth, according to a press release from Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth official Jacque Beckman.
In recent years, the Nex-Generation Student Internship Program has expanded from six interns and now encompasses more than 20 businesses, extending nearly 250 highway miles across northwest and north-central Kansas.
This summer, 16 students, from Cheyenne to Mitchell counties, will experience hands-on learning as they embark on what their predecessors have called “an experience of a lifetime.”
Two interns are working in Lincoln this summer as part of the program.
Intern Aaron Phillips is working with Lincoln School District officials under the direction of Brenda White, district technology coordinator.
During his internship, Phillips will work on several projects for the school, including a new inventory system and web program, as well as a beautification project for the athletic complex, which suffered damage from a storm.
Phillips said he was looking for an opportunity allowing him to put his computer skills to work.
“This internship will provide me with many ways to use my computer skills and teach me more about small-town life,” Phillips said.
Among Phillips’ long-term goals are becoming a firefighter and an emergency medical technician. Phillips, who attends Independence Community College, is a 2014 graduate of Chanute High School.
The Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation and the local community garden, The Radish Patch, are hosting Fernando Rojas as their intern this summer.
Rojas will assist with graphic design projects for the economic development office and help manage the community garden.
“I am excited to learn more about how to help the community,” Rojas said.
A sophomore at Barton Community College, Rojas is the son of José and Veronica Rojas of Lincoln, and a 2015 graduate of Lincoln High School. He is working under the direction of Lincoln County Economic Development Director Kelly Larson and Gwen Knight, with The Radish Patch.
For further information about the Nex-Generation Student Internship Program, contact Jacque Beckman, executive director, at 877-567-7872, www.nex-generation.org.