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Sky is the limit for new GHS internships

A teenager stands in front of a small red plane with a vast expanse of sky behind him.
Senior Tanner Conklin is exploring a career in aviation with his VIP internship at Take Flight Aviation.

After successfully placing more than 250 students in internships over the past nine years, Goshen High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program has expanded its options for juniors and seniors this year with a new Vocational Internship Program (VIP).

Students in the VIP course are placed in fields such as Carpentry, Auto Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, Cosmetology, HVAC/Plumbing, Welding, Culinary Science, Animal Science, Fire Science, Law Enforcement, and Fashion– with the ability to take the course twice throughout their high school careers. 

“The course offers students a chance to observe, up close and personal, what they can only imagine before gaining real-world experience,” said Vocational Internship Facilitator Danielle Linguanti. “We provide a practical education so students can develop industry-related skills that allow them to transition from school to work.”

A head in the clouds 

Senior Tanner Conklin lives in close proximity to Orange County Airport and has always been interested in the planes flying over his house. As a kid he found himself fascinated on flights to Disney with his family, and was allowed in cockpits multiple times.

Through the years, Tanner’s passion for planes has only grown. When he was taken flying for the first time a couple years ago, there was no turning back.

“I just knew ‘I want this to be my office job,’” said Tanner. “The sky is my office.”

Now the 12th grader is enrolled in the VIP course to get aviation experience in the field, and expects to have his pilot license come spring 2024. 

“I take ground lessons with flight instructors,” he said. “But I spend most days in the maintenance shop working on the planes I fly for my lessons and learning about specific aircraft engines so if something happens, I can do diagnostics.”

Even though he can earn his first pilot license after flying 40 hours, he said he still has a ways to go. 

“To fly for an airline it’s 1,000 hours with multiple certifications in between,” he said. “My goal is going to American or United Airlines to fly.”

Two pathways to working with animals

A teenager crouches next to a wallaby in an enclosure at an exotic animal retreat.
Junior Kylie Rodrigues gets to work with exotic animals at her Noah’s Park VIP internship.

Junior Kylie Rodrigues’s family has worked with an animal adoption agency ever since she was very young, and has taken in many cats and dogs over the years. She was always in charge of training and taking care of them. 

“I have always been an animal lover,” she said.

This semester, Kylie was inspired to enroll in the VIP course to prepare for a future career as a zookeeper. Her internship at Noah’s Park, a local exotic animal retreat, gives her the opportunity to care for more than 25 animals – including a wallaby, cows, armadillos, sugar glider monkeys, and chinchillas. 

“I wanted to possess prior knowledge of exotic animals, and to educate myself in this work environment so I can work with animals in the future,” Kylie said. 

When she graduates, she hopes to attend a local four-year college to study zoology and marine biology. 

A teenager and a woman with white hair hold a small dog on a table at an animal hospital.
Junior Lucerena Jimenez Luna helps hold an animal at her internship at VCA Orange County.

Another junior intern and animal lover, Lucerena Jimenez Luna, has been placed at VCA Orange County, a local animal hospital. There she can practice caring for pet patients. 

“I help hold animals and clean,” Lucerena said, “and I also get to see some small surgical procedures.”

Lucerena said she also gets to see how the hospital handles blood work, uses microscopes, and treats ear infections and ear mites.

After she graduates from GHS, she hopes to enroll in a program to become a veterinary technician because she has always wanted to work with animals.

“Ever since I was a little kid, my grandpa had his dogs and they were so cute,” said Lucerena. “I would always spend time with them, and I knew I wanted to take care of animals when I grow up.”

*Juniors and seniors are eligible for this opportunity as long as they have 9th period free and their own transportation.