GHS students find opportunity at LEAP for Education

Chef+and+Author+Nina+Simonds+at+an+organic+farm+visit+with+internship+students.

Joanne Leavitt

Chef and Author Nina Simonds at an organic farm visit with internship students.

CLARA DEL VECCHIO, Staff Writer

The LEAP for Education summer program was a success, with nineteen students attending the virtual internships and learning key skills for the future. The six week program provided the opportunity for students to attend workshops and work with mentors in chosen career paths, ending in a project shown on August 11th over Zoom.

There are many options for mentors and career paths available in this summer program, including music, healthy cooking, video production, video game development, photography, and more.

“I went to LEAP for the opportunity to participate in this program. Being thrown into an environment where nine hours of work is expected every week really helped me to develop good work habits that I know I will need for the rest of my life. I also learned how to use digital tools to produce music,” said GHS junior Ella Young.  Skills such as workplace communication and financial and college aid research were taught over the virtual workshops.

It may seem that things would change because of Covid-19, and they did, but those changes may benefit the students more. The program had to be moved mostly online, but that only enhanced the student’s computer expertise, as well as opening doorways to meet with mentors that may not have been able to make it in person. JoAnne Leavitt, the program coordinator, agreed. “This was also a great opportunity to engage a wider community of professionals who were eager to mentor students with their projects.”

In addition to honing important workplace abilities and meeting with helpful advisors, students were given a $500 stipend on completion of the project due at the end of the LEAP program.

The program was made possible by support from the Clark R. Smith Foundation, Institution for Savings,  Brace Cove Foundation, the Applied Materials Foundation, and donations from individuals.

For more information, contact JoAnne Leavitt, the program coordinator at jleavitt@leap4ed.org, or at www.leap4ed.org.