Maintenance department intern program funds seven scholarships this year

The St Lucie County Schools Facilities and Maintenance Department has identified seven scholarship winners from 2011 Summer Youth Internship Program.  They include John McDonald, Ft. Pierce Westwood, $2,000; Sandra Luxama, Ft. Pierce Central, $1,500; Tedra Turner, Port St. Lucie High, $1,000; Austin Fountain, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; La’Metria Bivens, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; Iman Hall, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; and Rafael Chavez, Ft. Pierce Central, $500.  For the past four years the Facilities Department has raised all funds needed to support the Summer Internship Program, primarily through their biggest fundraiser, their Annual Golf Tournament. Through the dollars that are raised, not only are student interns paid wages they also are able to compete for college scholarships from funds raised. Since the inception of the Summer Internship Program, the Facilities Department has partnered with the Career and Technical Education Department to make the internships a reality.  Regional workforce board Workforce Solutions has also collaborated allowing even more students who qualify for their services to participate in the internship program. It is a great win-win situation where student interns learn the soft skills necessary for employment.  For many students the summer internship is their first job.  Students learn the important expectations necessary to keep a job such as being on time, coming to work every day, communicating with a supervisor, communicating with a co-worker, returning from lunch on time, and many more skills that entry-level employees need.  Thanks go to maintenance department bookkeeper Cindy Hill, secretary Regina Chester, senior bookkeeper Dainia Breakenridge, and project manager Gary Taylor have spearheaded this student opportunity.  Their dedication and partnership with the Career and Technical Education Department has led to a very successful program that has grown, changed and improved each summer allowing more students to participate. Pictured is Austin Fountain as he assists Gary Taylor maintaining sports fields.