PV offers internship program for seniors

Bunnies were brought to PV with Tevaland. Kiara Smith, a senior, interns at Tevaland through the internship program offered at PV.

Bunnies were brought to PV with Tevaland. Kiara Smith, a senior, interns at Tevaland through the internship program offered at PV.

Anna McCabe, Staff Writer

At Pascack Valley, seniors are offered an opportunity to spend five days a week working with professionals in their desired field. In the afternoon, they can enter a new environment: a farm, a salon, or an administration building or doctor’s office. There, they are exposed to the way these businesses are run from the inside.

The PV internship program, run by Ms. Laura Grier, offers internships in nearly every field. There are internships at law firms, BMW, hospitals, doctor’s offices, clothing stores, farms, and hair salons. Students are given opportunities to help clients one on one, watch real surgeries, or even work on political campaigns — positions usually unavailable to high school seniors.

The program was originally started by Karen Koehler in 2002. Beginning with only 20 students, it has grown to about 160, and is run throughout Pascack Valley, Pascack Hills, Park Ridge, and Emerson High School.

“We have a very supportive and innovative administration that understands and appreciates the value of providing our students with amazing learning opportunities,” Grier said. “The internship program happens to be one of those opportunities. In addition, we have the support of the community and its businesses.”

At the end of junior year,  juniors are to inform Grier if they are interested in pursuing an internship during senior year. In order to narrow down the location, Grier questions the students about their interests and what they want to do as a profession.

“I was a junior who was really interested in the internship program,” said Kiara Smith, a PV senior. “I knew I wanted to work with animals when I got older, so I chose an internship at the farm.”

Smith is one of two interns at Tevaland Farm in Hillburn, New York, this year. Her experience has confirmed her desire to work with animals in the future.

“I drive an hour up and down a mountain each day to get to my internship. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted,” Smith said. “Interns definitely have more on their plate than other seniors and have much busier days. But it’s worth it to get this experience for the future.”

Internships begin at 12:15 p.m. Students are required to dress appropriately for where they intern. For example, interns at doctors’ offices have to wear scrubs, interns at farms must wear boots and warm clothing, and interns at professional offices must dress business casual.

Samantha Lashvilli wears scrubs while interning at Comprehensive Women’s Care in Paramus. She spends her afternoons around people who have the same profession that she hopes to have in the future.

“My internship has taught me how a doctor’s office is run and how to act like a professional,” Lashvilli said. “I am very grateful for this opportunity.”