Internships are a great way to get involved with companies and gain life experience. However, they are often only given to college students, but with GreatNews.Life, we are including high school students in those experiences!
The #1StudentNWI program allows students to become a reporter within their own high school. For this program, students develop monthly articles about the following topics: what’s recently happened, what’s coming up, a staff spotlight, and a student spotlight.
Each month the #1Student can further develop their skills by researching, writing, and taking photos for these articles. At the end of the internship program, they are able to have an entire portfolio full of published journalistic work!
Brenna Sealy became a #1Student in her senior year of high school at Lake Central in the fall of 2020. Her school journalism advisor, Sarah Verpooten, reached out to her about the position and helped her apply.
“I definitely learned a lot about how to talk to people of authority and communicate better,” Sealy said.
Being a #1Student provided Sealy with opportunities she previously wouldn’t have had. She attended school board meetings, a principal’s pinning ceremony for the National Guard, and other various events. The biggest opportunity she has had though, is gaining a job at GreatNews.Life through the internship.
“I’m still here and using all those resources to this day,” Sealy said.
When Sealy graduated, she decided to reach out to Alayna Wilkening, another student at Lake Central, to take over her position as a #1Student.
Wilkening decided to graduate from high school a semester early, which resulted in her only being in the program for a limited time. However, she still was able to learn a great amount of helpful information in a short amount of time.
“I learned how to take feedback from editors and shape my writing for the next article. I also learned how a real editorial process goes and the overall process of making your product, turning it in, making tweaks if needed, and then seeing that come to fruition,” Wilkening said.
Wilkening was able to quickly join the GreatNews.Life team after graduating from Lake Central. She enjoyed her time as a #1Student and didn’t want it to end, so she reached out to the team asking for any other opportunities.
“I joined as a part-time office helper, and I have now moved to a position where I am running the whole #1Student program,” Wilkening said. “It definitely opened that door for me and it was a great way to get involved in the company and see how it works.”
Wilkening works as the lead of the #1StudentNWI program now, since this past March. Previously being a #1Student has helped her in many ways to lead the students better. She understands how it is to handle both school and an internship, and she is understanding when the students need further help with their articles.
The #1Student program is always seeking students to join from schools across the Northwest Indiana area. If you or someone you know is interested in the program, please contact Aubrey Thomson at email@example.com.