In August, four high school freshmen earned a big opportunity. The Cristo Rey Richmond students became paid Henrico County interns.
“I like learning to work because this will help me so much in the future,” said student Celiana Gutierrez Ayala.
The 14-year-old works one day a week in the Voter Registration and Elections Office. Her internship gives Gutierrez Ayala work experience and helps pay her high school tuition.
“The County Internship Program allows high school and college students to develop skills and opportunities to flourish in a professional environment,” explained Henrico internship program coordinator Debbie Lumpkin.
The county implemented its internship program in 2012. The goal was to position Henrico as an employer of choice for young adults and to develop a year-round source of motivated short-term employees. Since its inception, 471 interns have participated in this award-winning program.
“It’s exciting. I see my future at the school,” added Gutierrez Ayala.
Three of her classmates are also county interns. Elizabeth Vargas is assigned to the Finance department, Joshua Hughes to General Services and Annisha Rustin to the Library Administration office.
Cristo Rey Richmond High is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means. Students are required to participate in a corporate work study program that pairs them with businesses and organizations. Henrico is one of several area employers participating in the school’s internship program.
“I relish the excitement from students and the long-term implications of the program,” said Lumpkin. “Many stay in touch years after and end up working for us full-time, which is a win for Henrico County and the community.”
For more information on interning for Henrico County, click here.