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West Virginia high school students learn through internships

CHARLESTON — High school interns recently showcased the skills they developed during summer internships to business leadership teams and state and national officials.

Students participating in The Education Alliance’s West Virginia Ready Summer Internship program made their capstone presentations during a July 31 Zoom call, outlining their experience, personal growth and future career goals.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Robert Burton, president of West Virginia American Water; Srini Matam, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia; and Tom O’Neal, site director of Dow Inc.; were among those observing the presentations, which were hosted by The Education Alliance’s Amelia Courts and Olivia McCuskey.

West Virginia American Water, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Dow Inc. played host to the interns. Parkersburg South’s Rebekah Rowan was placed with Toyota.

“We are thrilled that Sen. Capito is able to join us by Zoom to observe the interns’ capstone presentations. We are so pleased to highlight the tremendous growth and success of participating high school interns,” said Courts, who is president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance. “The Education Alliance is excited to offer these real-world learning opportunities to West Virginia students. By creating a pathway of career readiness for West Virginia students, the … program is truly a life-changing experience. I want to thank Dow, Toyota, and WV American Water for hosting interns virtually this summer and look forward to expanding to additional businesses next year.”

The West Virginia Ready Summer Internship Program started last year as a four-week, paid internship program placing high school juniors and seniors with businesses in the state. Due to COVID-19, the program transitioned to a virtual internship experience that placed 15 interns from Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Taylor, and Wood Counties at Dow Inc., Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV, and WV American Water Company.

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