Staples Interns Rock The Real World

Once upon a time, Staples High School 12th graders marked the month before graduation with boredom, pranks and trouble-making.

Now they build homes and websites. They help bakers make cakes, and bankers make money. They work in corporate offices, on sustainable farms, in recording studios and dance studios.

They use the math, writing, analytical, computer and common sense skills they’ve honed during a dozen years of school. For perhaps the first time in their lives they solve real-world problems with bosses, colleagues and clients.

They learn how to communicate — and how to commute.

On Friday, over 400 Staples seniors completed their 5-week internships. They work hard, at real work. They learn a lot, met new people, and (for the most part) had fun. Many call the program one of the most valuable experiences in their entire school careers.

On Thursday, they graduate.

Thanks to their teachers, administrators, coaches, club advisors and counselors — and their Staples Senior Internship — they’re as ready for the real world as they can be.

Colin McKechnie and Hallie Lavin capped their internship at the Weiser Kitchen by preparing and hosting a delicious party.

Claudia Lagnese does environmental work at Harbor Watch.

Alice Sardarian with a young patient at Village Pediatrics.

During their internship at Oliving Experience — a builder of energy-efficient luxury homes — Josh Berman and Teddy Lawrence worked on spreadsheets and handled social media. They also did lots of manual labor.

Faiza Qureshi gets into position at Kaia Yoga.

Becky Hoving and Jillian Stefani get into the mood for the Long Lots School field day.

Grace Wynne at Whittingham Cancer Center.


5 responses to “Staples Interns Rock The Real World

  1. Bonnie Bradley

    This is so great! I had no idea a plan like this had been created and implemented. Wish I’d had these opportunities while “in the doldrums” of the do-nothing end of senior year – nor do I remember anything similar when my children graduated from Staples in the 80s. Keep up the good work.

  2. Steven Halstead

    Brilliant. So happy to see this program so integrated into the Westport public educational experience. More than 12 years ago, while I served on the Board of Ed, this was carefully piloted and now has become such a positive opportunity for the Westport community. Congratulations to all who have contributed to this success and to all the students who participate.

  3. Linda Whitney at Staples '63

    Brilliant is the word!
    Some schools in the old days had Career Day fostered often by the local Chamber of Commerce. Kids could spend a day in an office or shadowing a career professional for a day to see if a they “liked” the profession they were interested in. That was good experience for some but nothing compared to this program.
    I would like to see this program implemented for juniors as well, if possible. More experience like this would be wonderful college prep and part of a portfolio of experience for applying to college programs on line as well as in established institutions.
    Once again, Westport uses its extensive resources to lead the way in innovative ideas in education!! This should be pushed at the National Principles Academy Meetings. It makes education much more meaningful in preparation for actual jobs in the community.
    Well Done!!

  4. Aspetuck Land Trust hosted 9 Staples interns this summer. They did a tremendous job for rebuilding stone walls, producing videos, removing invasive plants, planting trees (900 of them!) and mulching blueberry bushes (1,000 of them!). A big thanks to these wonderful interns and to the Staples Internship coordinators, Michelle Howard and Denise Pearl.

  5. I listened, once again, this morning on the news that there are six million unfilled jobs in America and 6.9 million people looking for work. The skills required are: problem solving skills, ability to speak clearly, ability to work in a group to complete a task, good math skills, etc. it sounded like a description of a Staples education. Our graduates will continue to be successful throughout life.