For the last five weeks, Wilton High School seniors have been learning a different curriculum than what they typical get inside a classroom. They have been working as interns at a whole variety of different businesses, organizations, locations and enterprises, from veterinary offices to political committees, from cookie bakeries to Trackside Teen Center, from Hospital Emergency Rooms to Miller-Driscoll School classrooms–and so many more.

This evening, the seniors will present their final internship projects for their classmates and teachers, as well as for invited internship mentors. They’ll share what they learned and what they did during the internship period.

Several Wilton organizations and businesses shared with us what their interns were able to contribute. We also included GOOD Morning Wilton‘s own three senior interns, putting them in the spotlight for a bit. It’s the least we can do, considering how much we benefitted from their incredible work ethic, writing skills and dedication. It’s clear all of these Wilton students will go far.

Trying on Journalism as a Career Choice

We enjoyed having Julia Foodman, Skyler Addison and Lynn Huffard (pictured L-R above) work as GMW‘s interns. They generated story ideas and did all the journalistic legwork involved in writing stories, including interviewing subjects, transcribing interviews and writing the articles. These stories were ones that readers devoured and they clearly showed the abilities of the writers behind them.

Addison found that internship was a great way to gain real life experiences in a field she may be interested in studying in college. “I know that I benefited by interning at GOOD Morning Wilton where I got to experience what it’s like to have a career in journalism, whereas if I were still in school, I wouldn’t have had this dynamic learning opportunity.” She wrote articles that got lots of reader views, including one on “Late Night Wilton and two articles about students who will be traveling over the summer with teachers. She also put together this year’s very helpful Memorial Day Guide.

Huffard wrote stories about the new murals at WHS, as well as profiles of business owners and retiring teachers. She also brought readers emotional stories, such as one about people involved with Relay for Life and another on a Wilton filmmaker’s documentary about autism assistance dogs. “Going on internship is a great way to see skill sets you’ve learned in high school in action. GMW provided me the opportunity to try a new field before deciding what it is I actually want to study at college,” she said.

Like her friends, Foodman says the experience helped make it clearer about pursuing writing as a career. “My internship helped me get a sense of if I actually want to go to journalism, and I think I do. It forced me into lots of ‘adult’ situations I know I couldn’t have experienced in a classroom. I had to be thoughtful when writing my articles, and I got to see first hand what it’s like to run a business, specifically a new website.” She contributed several profiles, including one on a Wilton author, two on retiring WHS teachers, and a high school junior graduating a year early. She also combined her love of theater (and role in the spring musical) with writing a behind the scenes article on how WHS theater scenery gets conceived and created.

Promoting Sustainability

Wilton High School students Emily Zimmerman, Catherine Vose and Emily Mitrione are Wilton Go Green’s 2017 Spring Interns. Under the direction of WGG executive director Daphne Dixon, the intern team helped build a media kit, communications plan and social media strategy, and met with local business and community leaders.

Dixon said of the interns, “These young women are extraordinary. I am impressed by their ingenuity, brilliance, work ethic, cooperative spirit and their leadership skills. They have been a blessing to Wilton Go Green and we are very grateful for all they have contributed to the organization.”

The Spring interns executed multiple tasks as a team. Along with the overarching projects, each had an individual pursuit. Vose and Zimmerman focused on updating the Wilton Go Green website, while Mitrione focused on business outreach to educate local companies on the benefits of receiving WGG’s Green Business Designation.

As a whole, the team hoped to create a positive impact on Wilton through their efforts. They gave a joint quote about what they had hoped to achieve:  “We wish to promote sustainability in Wilton and assist the expansion of Wilton Go Green. Our outreach efforts will help this organization make more connections with local non-profits, corporations and even places of worship. The possibilities are really endless. If we can get the Wilton Go Green message out to the community, we can establish a firm foundation for our cause. What we accomplish now, will help strengthen this organization for the future.”

Learning Public Service

WHS senior Andrew Nisco had to travel a little farther outside of Wilton’s town borders, to fulfill internship in the Bridgeport office of Congressman Jim Himes. The experience will surely prove very valuable for him as he’ll be attending the School of Public Affairs at American University in the fall.

Given Himes’ heavy workload in Washington, DC over the last several weeks, Nisco unfortunately wasn’t able to meet the congressman. He did, however, get to do serious work over the five weeks, really gaining a comprehensive look at the various issues a U.S. representative and staff deal with on a daily basis.

“I was honored with being able to work first hand with his staffers in his Bridgeport District Office. This internship has provided me with incredible insight and gave me an inside look as to how the federal government operates on a local level. It was an honor speaking with so many constituents this past month, and hearing all of their concerns, fielding all of their questions, and beginning the process to remedy their issues. I am confident that I will be able to utilize all that I have learned from this valuable experience in my studies.”

The Show Must Go On

Two senior interns with deep interest in the performing arts spent their internships with Wiremill Academy, learning to write and produce a stage show. Co-founded by three Broadway professionals with years of experience both onstage and in the studio, Wiremill Academy offers acting class, voice lesson and summer camps.

Both students, Ben Senneff and Nikki Scamuffo, participated in Wiremill program as middle and high schoolers, and they’ll also be studying theatre in college. Rick Hilsabeck, Broadway veteran and one of Wiremill Academy’s founders, says the two were put to work helping write the shows that will be performed during this summer’s summer camp programs. “

“We thought, a career in the theatre is a mosaic. Priorities change and evolve throughout your life and can include many different types of work in the arts. One of these areas is writing and putting together a show.  Ben and Nikki are talented self-starters. Why not give them some experience that might be useful before they go off to college?” he explains.

The four Wiremill Academy Camps that the interns helped write for are:

  • Frozen/Moana for grades 2-6, June 26 – July 7
  • IMPROV for grades 5-12, July 10-14
  • Broadway Bound for grades 6-12, July 17-28
  • Broadway Goes to The Movies for grades 6-12, July 31 – Aug. 11

No Day at the Beach Teaching Science of Long Island Sound

SoundWaters, the Stamford-based environmental education organization, selected WHS seniors Delia Creveling and Kyle Wilson for its spring internship program. The two got the chance to work at the organization’s Coastal Education Center at Cove Island Park in Stamford.

They did more than just get their feet wet. At SoundWaters, they worked every day alongside and under the guidance of SoundWaters’ professional educators, teaching the science of Long Island Sound to elementary and middle school students from schools across the region. They helped students in a classroom and lab setting, but also on the beach and in boats on Holly Pond where their young students do their field work. Over the five week period of their internship, they worked with over 1900 students from 13 elementary schools.

“SoundWaters is an amazing organization and I am lucky to have this internship. I get to work outside around the water with kids and help them learn about Long Island Sound and how to protect the environment,” says Creveling, who will be attending Skidmore in the fall. “I enjoy helping the students, but I’m also learning a lot about Long Island Sound myself and how a non-profit works,” Creveling added.

Raising Money for Trackside Teen Center

The 6th annual Trackside Teen Center Charity Golf Tournament took place on Monday, June 12 at Oak Hills Park Golf Course in Norwalk. Five senior interns–Hannah Armstrong, Ryan Farinas, Matt Kronenberg, NoraNoël Nolan, and Sean Westerholm–were tasked by Trackside’s director Mark Ketley to organize the entire event.

In a press release written by the interns to thank sponsors, they wrote, “We truly enjoyed our internship at Trackside, as we worked under the tutelage of Mark Ketley. It was both a rewarding and memorable experience, as we learned the process of putting together an event from start to finish, while raising money for a worthy cause.”

They were instrumental in getting many of the donors and sponsors signed on, an important aspect of the fundraiser. They thanked everyone in the Wilton community who helped make the tournament a success.

The tournament’s lead sponsors were:  Apella Capital, Bankwell, Blue Buffalo, Cindy Moser and Dave Heiden, Fairfield County Bank, Orem’s Diner, Realty Seven, South Wilton Chiropractic, True Value Wilton Hardware, and Wilton Physical Therapy.

In addition, they thanked other sponsors, donors and supporters:   Ackerly & Ward, Angelo Lopiano at Studio Golf, Anthony Passaniti, B-Chic, BE3 Marketing Group, Bill Gerundo, Blazon Food Corp, Blue Star Bazaar, Buffalo Industrial Fabrics, Campus Jeweler, Canine Company, Carvel, Coco Nails; Craig, Kathryn, and Arthur Ferrero; Jory Higgins, Doctors’ Pediatric, Dr. Michael Connor, Dr. Kevin J. Smith, Dr. Greg Sanford, Elevation Spin, Fitness Works, Gerry Nolan Engineering Management Group Inc., Good Morning Nail and Spa, GOOD Morning Wilton, Gregory & Adams, Jerry Courville Jr., John’s Best, JoyRide Wilton, KMG Landscaping, Lang’s Pharmacy, Linus Cooke, Max Dental, Mills & Mills Insurance, Mint Nail and Spa, Molly’s Deli, Nod Hill Soap, Open House, Palace Oriental Rugs of Wilton, Paul Albert Garavel Subaru, Peter and Theresa Westerholm, Philip Salon, Pinocchio Pizza, Paul’s Prosperous Printing, Ray Moskow, The Real McCoy Rum, Redding Country Club, Renaissance Beauty, River Road Gallery, Riverbrook Regional Family YMCA, Shorehaven Golf Club, Signature Style, Silver Spring Golf Course, Smile Art Orthodontics, Susan Moran, The Course at Yale, Thomas J. McManus, Tulips Nail and Spa, Tusk and Cup, Uncle Leo’s Not Just Coffee & Donuts, Uniquities LLC Barry Judelson, Warrior Walkers, Wilton Auto and Tire, Wilton Dental Associates, Wilton PBA, Wilton Sports Shop, and lastly, Wilton Woodworking.

Political Bedfellows

Alexander Rappaport was the first high school student selected to intern for the Wilton Democratic Town Committee. As part of his work, Rappaport had the opportunity to attend the Connecticut Democratic Progress Dinner, which is the Party’s largest annual event, bringing together elected officials, party leaders, and grassroots activists from across the state.

Rappaport had the privilege of meeting with CT Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Representatives Jim Himes and Rosa DeLauro, Governor Dannel Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, State Treasurer Danise Nappier, as well as NJ Senator Cory Booker.

As a senior intern, he assisted Deborah McFadden, the WDTC chairperson, with daily operations as well as special events. The job of the WDTC is to find and support qualified individuals to participate in the running of the town of Wilton through its many appointed and elected boards and commissions.

The internship has given Rappaport first-hand experience in working to support local Democratic political endeavors.

In the fall, Alexander will be attending Temple University, where he plans to study Political Science.