Students Learn Job Skills During 5-Week Internship Program

Erin Donahue spent the first part of her summer working as an intern at the OSU Extension Service, gaining valuable experience and creating and producing a workbook that will be used by elementary students in a hands-on chick hatching program.

Natalie Norris earned money and customer service experience helping customers at Turn Thom Point S Tire and Auto Service. Hadyn Burk, a junior, worked at the food truck, Mac and Cheese Steaks, getting work experience with the added benefit of trying out the menu.

Students participating in the Basin Partners Internship Program pose for a group photo during an event that showcased their experiences over the summer.

The three are among 15 teenagers who participated in this summer’s Basin Partners Internship Program (BPIP), which pairs students with local organizations and businesses so they can earn a paycheck and gain job experience.

The program is currently operated by Klamath County School District and is open to all high school students in the Klamath Basin. It started in 2016 as a partnership between the school district, Oregon State University Klamath Basin Research and Extension Service and the Southern Oregon Education Service District. The OSU Extension Service still participates as an employer and hosted three interns this summer.

Participant employers contribute $1,200 to the program. Of that, interns earn a $1,000 stipend for working 120 to 140 hours over a six-week period.

To participate, students must have completed their freshman year of high school. They apply to the program like they would a job – creating a resume that includes their GPA and other significant achievements. A committee determines whether the student gets into the program and their placement within a business or organization.

Donahue enjoyed the work environment at OSU Extension and is pleased her work on the Chick Hatch book will be used by KCSD students in years to come. A 2022 Mazama High School graduate, she plans to attend the University of Oregon this fall and study audiology.

“I really liked the job and helping kids get ready for fair,” she said.

The students showcased their experiences at an event for parents and partners Wednesday night. Business and organizations hosting interns this summer include Klamath County Library, Turn Thom Point S Tire and Auto Service, Klamath County Assessor’s Office, OSU Extension Offices, Klamath County Developmental Disability Services Office, Klamath County School District, Klamath County Museum, Mac and Cheese Steaks, and Klamath County Public Works.

For more information about hosting a student or becoming an intern contact Jenelle Hess, BPIP internship coordinator, at hessj@kcsd.k12.or.us

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