School system, Carteret Health Care partners to provide internships for 18 students

CITY MORE HEAD The county’s two largest employers have joined forces to create internships for 19 high school students that can lead to future careers with Carteret Health Care.

Officials from the Carteret County public school system and hospital Thursday gathered with students and families at Carteret Health Care to watch the interns sign the agreements.

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Croatian high school students, from left, Lucas Somogy, Chelsea Zheng, Fabrizio Fonseca and Eli Doyle sign internship agreements Thursday with Carteret Health Care in Morehead City as part of the school systems’ Careers and Partnerships in Education program. (photo Cheryl Burke)

High school students from Croatan, East Carteret and West Carteret have signed up with Carteret Health Care to work in paid internship positions through a new public school system program called Careers and Partnerships in Education (CAPE).

Our hospital recognizes the immense potential and talent that resides in Carteret County’s youth, said Kyle Marek, CEO and interim president of Carteret Health Care, in a news release about the partnership. We aim to empower and inspire the next generation of healthcare leaders and are committed to offering internships to help bridge classroom learning and real-world experience. In addition to clinical care, students have the opportunity to work in many other departments within the organisation, including information services, facility services, food services and housekeeping. We are excited to partner with Carteret County Schools to create a partnership that will contribute to the growth and development of our community.

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Croatan High School students, from left, Abigail Miranda-Jimenez, Skyler Hudson and Brooklyn King sign internship agreements Thursday with Carteret Health Care in Morehead City as part of the school systems Careers and Partnerships in Education program. (photo Cheryl Burke)

Carteret County Schools Superintendent Richie Paylor agreed that the program presented a great opportunity for students and future job opportunities.

The school system and Carteret Health Care are two of the largest employers in Carteret County, so this is an exciting partnership that makes a lot of sense, she said. The opportunity will provide students with career discovery and on-the-job training while ensuring a purposeful and well-developed future workforce for Carteret County.

With a tagline of Find Your Future at CAPE, the CAPE program is an extension of the Career, Technical Education, and Career Development programs at Carteret County Public Schools (CCPS). The CAPE program began in January 2023 as a concerted effort to partner with businesses in the community with multiple benefits for both students and organizations.

The program:

  • It is a collaborative effort between the school system and local businesses.

  • Match students to professional areas of interest.

  • Provides on-the-job training and skills development for students.

  • Provides a source of income for students along with class credit.

  • Provides workforce development for businesses.

The district piloted the program earlier this year by hosting its own interns within its operations department, where students this semester work and learn maintenance, plumbing, HVAC, and other skills while getting paid and simultaneously earning class credits. .

The program was then presented at Carteret Health Care and more than 75 students responded to a video of interest and a job survey. From there, interviews took place and 19 students were chosen for several areas of interest at the hospital, including information and technology services, food services, maintenance, certified nursing care (CNA), and housekeeping.

The students chosen for CAPE are: Croatan High School, Lucas Samogy, Chelsea Zheng, Fabrizio Fonseca, Eli Doyle, Abigail Maranda-Jimenez, Skyler Hudson, Brooklyn King, Courtney Hewlett, Ana Martinez and Olivia Caulder; East Carteret High School, Kimberly Geronimo, KRyah Reels and Ethan Rose; and West Carteret High School, Alaya Gethers, Nehemiah Scriven, Javier De La Cruz, Savanna Evans, Gabriel Torres-Curet and Saylor Gray.

The students who signed on Thursday said they saw it as a great opportunity.

Fabrizio Fonseca, a Croatan High School student who will be an information systems technology intern, said: “I have already taken all I can take in computer science at my school. I just need hands-on experience in the field and I’ve seen this to be a great way.

Fabrizio added that he is interested in becoming a software developer.

East Carteret High School sophomore Kimberly Geronimo will intern as a CNA.

I’m excited and just grateful for this opportunity, she said. I thought it was a great opportunity and a way to open many doors. This will give me many opportunities. I am interested in working here and I really like the maternity and birth center.

West Carteret sophomore Alaya Gethers, who is signed with the food services area, said, “I want to be a culinary chef, so this is an amazing opportunity.”

Career and Technical Education Coordinator Allison Dees said students will begin their internships June 12 and work through the summer.

One benefit of the program is that it allows students to see if this is a career they want to pursue, she said. It’s best to find out when you’re young if this is the right job for you.

The CCPS Career Development Team will assist in supervising students and monitoring the success of the program in partnership with the hospital. Students who complete the program as high school seniors have the potential to be hired by their interns in full-time positions upon graduation. The district hopes to expand the CAPE program to other businesses and organizations in the future.

Companies interested in providing internships can contact Dees at 252-728-4583.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow @cherylccnt on Twitter.

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