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Great Neck South Internship Program: A Way to be Productive with your Time

By Hannah Weinberger

Tucked away in the downstairs math hall, Ms. Kinsey carefully pairs students with internship programs specific to their interests. These school-credit internships are open to all tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students. Whether helping others with homework at COPAY or observing veterinarians perform surgeries on puppies, students can gain experience in their anticipated career paths all because Ms. Kinsey is able to find the program compatible with each student’s aspirations. After 50 hours of service and five short writing assignments, students receive a full credit internship that can be included on their resume. While internships serve as a great addition to a college application or student resume, more importantly, they teach students lifelong skills that are not necessarily taught in the classroom and give students exposure to the world outside of high school.

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In senior Natali Avshalomov’s case, an internship can be just as helpful in ruling out a profession as it is in confirming one. With hopes of one day studying physical therapy, Natali began observing at the New York Neurology and Pain Medicine Center during the Fall of 2016. Week after week, she’d pay careful attention to physical therapists’ techniques and strategies and admire their ability to connect with their patients. However, for Natali, rather than confirming her interest in the practice, this internship ruled out her anticipated career path. She came to realize that for her, physical therapy revolves too much around set routines. She believes that she would thrive in an area of medicine that offers a new experience every day—something, according to Natali, “more interesting.” Although she still hopes to attend medical school and continue in the medical field, Natali points out that if it weren’t for this internship, she would have limited herself to college with physical therapy programs. Other than learning that physical therapy isn’t for her, Natali’s internship has taught her values that don’t necessarily apply to physical therapy alone. She now knows that no matter what path she ends up taking, she must be passionate about what she’s doing. Seeing the therapists build connections with their patients has taught her that sometimes there is more to a job than what’s portrayed in textbooks.

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Like her twin sister, senior Stephanny Avshalomov also plans to take pre-med courses in college and hopes to eventually attend medical school. To broaden her horizons and see the profession from a new perspective, Stephanny spends her time riding in ambulances and learning to handle the many unpredictable situations that arise as a member of the Youth Corps. The Youth Corps is an organization in which teens are able to observe and assist EMTs while they are on the job. Whether it’s carrying first aid kits to patients, practicing CPR and bandaging, or simply looking over the EMT’s shoulder, these students are seeing their desired career paths in a new light.

In addition to training her in CPR and AED, riding with the Youth Corps has helped Stephanny realize that working in this field means being prepared for anything that comes her way. For Stephanny, the unpredictability is what makes the job so difficult yet so exhilarating. She explained, “sometimes you need to save a life while other times you may just need to be the voice of comfort.” Needless to say, this internship has touched Stephanny in ways that taking a biology class in school could not. She has not only learned skills that will help her to progress in her dream to study medicine but also developed life long values that she can apply to all areas of her life.

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Determined to pursue veterinary medicine as a career, senior Hannah Gal has spent the past year and a half working alongside animal surgeons at the Great Neck Animal Hospital. Initially, Gal spent this time walking around the hospital and asking the technicians about different animals’ conditions. Although she was never able to assist directly, she would observe the veterinarians perform emergency cystotomies.

Gradually, the doctors began to give Gal small tasks to accomplish. As time went on, these tasks grew: she now injects medicine into sick cats, gives eye drops to dogs with conjunctivitis, and keeps the animal cages clean and dry. Gal said, “Working at the Great Neck Animal Hospital has taught me to adapt to new situations, trust the people I work with, balance work and fun, and stay on my toes.”

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Junior Eugene Yi spends his Monday afternoons helping elementary school students with their math and reading homework at an organization called COPAY. COPAY provides family and children services to the Great Neck community. Yi participates in COPAY’s “Kids Helping Kids” program, in which high-school students tutor kids once or twice a week. This internship not only gives back to the community but also gives students experience working with children. While Yi would still like to learn more about other career options, teaching is definitely on his list of potential careers. Reflecting on his COPAY experience, Yi said, “Volunteering at COPAY has taught me that having patience is key when dealing with not only children but also everyone you encounter.” He further explained, “this is a skill that can be translated anywhere and really shows maturation and respect.”

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Lights, camera, action!

From directing the morning HTV news in middle school to editing recruitment videos, Junior Adam Sperling has always been drawn to the television field. Now, as a contributor to Public Access TV’s “Teen TV” live variety show, Sperling spends his spare time planning, writing, and editing different pieces that are aired on the show. Sperling has even hosted his own segment on “Teen TV,” which is modeled after the John Oliver program on Last Week Tonight. In his segment, “2017 Predictions,” Sperling and his co-host sarcastically read comedic events that they jokingly thought would occur. Sperling’s favorite prediction was, “the museum of natural history unveiled its new exhibit on the extinction of Jeb Bush’s political career.” According to Sperling, “this internship has done nothing but confirm this passion.” Additionally, “it has allowed [him] to test the waters for a field that [he] is almost positively going to go into.”

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