Trekkers’ LEAP program (Launching Empowered and Aspiring Professionals) had six high school juniors in 40-hour paid internships in the local business community. These internships were coordinated by Trekkers Internship Coordinator Caitlin Clark. The goal of the program was to help students connect their developing interests and passions to real-world employment experiences. The participating organizations included Pen Bay Healthcare, Alexis Iammarino in conjunction with The Steel House, VStv, Bay Chiropractic, In Good Company, and Penobscot Bay YMCA.
Chanel Courant, a Trekkers 11th grader at Oceanside High School, served as an intern at VStv. Chanel specifically requested an internship with VStv following our LEAP expedition visit in November. She was impressed by the studio facilities, and excited about the possibility of gaining hands-on work in video, writing, editing and graphics. During her internship, Chanel worked on a community brief, which is a short video highlighting an event in the community. She wrote the script and created the graphics in Photoshop. She also created a storyboard for an advertisement in Photoshop, sat in on news meetings and tried out as a voiceover reader. One morning, Chanel came in at 5:30am to observe the morning news filming, which happens live. That morning there was a breaking news item, which forced the production staff to re-write the script on the fly. She said, “I’ve enjoyed learning what goes on behind the scenes. I never thought about how much work goes into making the news.” Chanel also conducted market research for VStv at a Trekkers fundraiser, Trekkapalooza.
VStv has been in business in Rockport since 2014, and is the only full-service commercial TV station serving Midcoast and Central Maine exclusively. Programming includes news, weather, and sports—plus politics, arts and culture, health and fitness, business and finance, local talk, food and entertainment, and community events. Viewers can access VStv online at www.vstv.me, through a Roku box, or on Time Warner cable channel 88.
Speaking of her involvement with the LEAP program, Director of Creative Development Jessica Jones said, “Chanel always had a positive energy when she came in for her internship with VStv. Her professionalism, composure and skill set exceeded expectations. We hope the knowledge and experience she gained at the studio was as valuable as she has been to our team.”
Trekkers’ Internship Coordinator Caitlin Clark remarked, “Chanel was one of our students who had a clear set of interests that matched well with an organization. It was exciting to see her take the next step in her career and college exploration through LEAP and also gain a new set of skills.”
In April, the six LEAP students, along with their fellow 11th grade Trekkers, participated in a 10-day College/Career Exploration expedition. In that program, each student researched careers of interest and selected up to two institutions of higher learning that they wanted to visit during the expedition. At the end of the expedition, the students were equipped with a list of insights and personal preferences to help guide their post-secondary pursuits. At a time when they are focused on their future, the LEAP internship program is a logical first step for informing the students’ college/career program in the spring.
For more information about these 11th grade programs, go to www.trekkers.org or contact the Trekkers office (207) 594-5095. Trekkers is a non-profit outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. This year, Trekkers will serve more than 200 7th through 12th grade students from the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston.