Internships For High School Students

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Is your high school student ready for the working world? A program through the Sioux Falls School District and Southeast Tech is trying help kids figure out what they want to pursue after high school. Thanks to local businesses, they’re getting a lot of useful experience.

Haden Dicus has been working as an intern at Workplace IT for nine months. While he looks like a professional, he actually started out as a senior in high school.

“It’s nice because you realize that, especially here, that we’re all a part of a web of support so no matter what happens I can always count on somebody to lighten the load or to teach me what to do,” said Dicus. 

This is the kind of lesson the school district and Southeast Tech were hoping for when they applied for a Citi Foundation Grant. That money was used to hire a Career Coach and Internship Coordinator to make the internship program more robust.

“A day to day experience of what that occupation is, as opposed to what they maybe mustered up in their brain and imagined for themselves or heard from a friend, heard from a teacher etcetera. They get to see it and see how they would fit,” said Renae Oines, Career Coach with Sioux Falls School District. 

While some business owners may be nervous about letting a teenager into their professional work environment, Workplace IT Management president Joe Zueger sees a lot of benefits.

“They become very familiar resources to us, so they know if this is the type of job opportunity they might want to pursue when they graduate and we certainly know what kind of employee we might have. So it’s kind of an extended test drive,” said Joe Zueger, President of Workplace IT Management. 

This also helps kids trying to figure out their futures outside the classroom.

“It gave me the raw knowledge and then this place just kind of helped me to hone in on like a specific aspect of it and learn where to use those tools that I learned about,” said Dicus. 

90 students are currently taking part in the internship program, but the district is expecting more than 300 by the end of the year.

They are also looking for more local businesses to take part in the internship program.

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