School system, Carteret Health Care partner to provide internships for 18 students | News

MOREHEAD CITY — The county’s two largest employers have joined forces to create internships for 19 high school students that can lead to future careers with Carteret Health Care.

Officials with the Carteret County Public School System and the hospital gathered with students and families Thursday at Carteret Health Care to witness the interns sign agreements.

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Croatan High School students, from left, Lucas Somogy, Chelsea Zheng, Fabrizio Fonseca and Eli Doyle signed internship agreements Thursday with Carteret Health Care in Morehead City as part of the school system’s Careers and Partnerships in Education program. (Cheryl Burke photo)

Students from Croatan, East Carteret and West Carteret high schools signed on with Carteret Health Care to work in paid internship positions through a new public school system program called Careers and Partnerships in Education (CAPE).

“Our hospital recognizes the immense potential and talent that resides in the youth of Carteret County,” Kyle Marek, Interim Carteret Health Care CEO and president, said in a press release about the partnership. “Our goal is to empower and inspire the next generation of healthcare leaders, and we are committed to offering internships to help bridge classroom learning and real-world experience. In addition to clinical care, students have the opportunity to work in many other departments within the organization, including information services, facility services, food services and housekeeping. We are excited to collaborate with Carteret County Schools to create a partnership that will contribute to the growth and development of our community.”

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Croatan High School students, from left, Abigail Miranda-Jimenez, Skyler Hudson and Brooklyn King signed internship agreements Thursday with Carteret Health Care in Morehead City as part of the school system’s Careers and Partnerships in Education program. (Cheryl Burke photo)

Carteret County Schools Superintendent Richie Paylor agreed the program was a great opportunity for students and future employment opportunities.

“The school system and Carteret Health Care are two of the largest employers in Carteret County, so this is an exciting partnership that just makes a lot of sense,” he said. “The opportunity will provide students with career discovery and on-the-job training while ensuring an intentional, well-developed future workforce for Carteret County.”

With a tagline of Find Your Future at the CAPE, the CAPE program is an extension of the Career and Technical Education and Career Development programs at Carteret County Public Schools (CCPS). The CAPE program began in January 2023 as a concerted effort to partner with businesses in the community with multiple benefits for both students and organizations.

The programs:

  • Is a collaborative effort between the school system and local businesses.

  • Matches students to areas of career interest.

  • Provides on-the-job training and skill development for students.

  • Provides a source of income for students along with class credits.

  • Provides workforce development for businesses.

The district piloted the program earlier this year by hosting their own interns within its operations department, where students this semester work and learn maintenance, plumbing, HVAC and other skills while getting paid and simultaneously earning class credit.

The program was then introduced to Carteret Health Care, and more than 75 student respondents to an interest video and job survey. From there, interviews were held, and 19 students were chosen for different areas of interest in the hospital, including information services and technology, food services, maintenance, certified nursing assistance (CNA) and housekeeping.

Students picked for CAPE are: Croatan High School, Lucas Samogy, Chelsea Zheng, Fabrizio Fonseca, Eli Doyle, Abigail Maranda-Jimenez, Skyler Hudson, Brooklyn King, Courtney Hewlett, Ana Martinez and Olivia Caulder; East Carteret High School, Kimberly Geronimo, K’Ryah Reels and Ethan Rose; and West Carteret High School, Alaya Gethers, Nehemiah Scriven, Javier De La Cruz, Savanna Evans, Gabriel Torres-Curet and Saylor Gray.

Students who signed on Thursday said they saw it as a great opportunity.

Croatan High School junior Fabrizio Fonseca, who will intern in information systems technology, said, “I’ve already taken everything I can take in IT at my school. I just need practical experience in the field and see this is a great way.”

Fabrizio added that he’s interested in becoming a software developer.

East Carteret High School sophomore Kimberly Geronimo will intern as a CNA.

“I’m excited and just thankful for this opportunity,” she said. “I thought this was a great opportunity and a way to open lots of doors. This will give me a lot of opportunities. I am interested in working here, and I really like maternity and the birthing center.”

West Carteret sophomore Alaya Gethers, who has signed on with the food service area, said, “I want to be a culinary chef, so this is an amazing opportunity.”

Career and Technical Education Coordinator Allison Dees said students will begin their internships June 12 and work through the summer.

“One of the benefits of the program is to allow students to see if this is a career they want to pursue,” he said. “It’s better to find out young whether this is the right job for you.”

The CCPS career development team will assist in supervising students and monitoring the success of the program in collaboration with the hospital. Students who complete the program as high school seniors have the potential to be hired by their intern hosts in full-time positions upon graduation. The district hopes to expand the CAPE program to other businesses and organizations in the future.

Businesses interested in providing internships can contact Dees at 252-728-4583.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.