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SCSD High School Students Enjoy Impressive Summer Internships

High school students across the Syracuse City School District enjoyed some unique summer internships and programs, exposing them to opportunities in STEM, leadership, architecture, community volunteering, healthcare and more.
Nottingham senior Nghi Thai participated in the Kode with Klossy coding camp, where she spent two weeks learning to code and build apps. “I was intimidated by the program at first since I have no prior experience with coding,” she said. “Throughout the two week program, however, I was able to gain skills in computer science while also recognizing the huge gender gap that is present in STEM career fields today. This program allowed me to network with women working with Google, Amazon, as well as entrepreneurs. I built connections with girls and non-binary friends across the country through computer science.”
Several Corcoran and Henninger students interested in working in healthcare enjoyed participating in the University at Buffalo Pharmacy Summer Institute. The three-day program explored the career pathway opportunities in the professions of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, allowing students to receive virtual tours of UB facilities, research opportunities, mentoring and academic advisement, take part in activities to help them learn about pharmacy skills and techniques and more.
"At the Buffalo Pharmacy Summer Institute, I learned about what pharmacists do, and the process behind how to become one,” Henninger junior Brian Huynh said. “It was interesting to see the different tasks they have to perform as well as the different types of pharmacists. During the program, I was able to talk with actual pharmacists and college students in pre-pharmacy, too. Overall, it was an enriching experience and I was able to learn about the various aspects of the industry in depth."
“The program was very educational and it was inspiring to be able to hear and learn from professionals about how they reached their goals in the medical field,” junior Chadani Timsina shared. “I had the opportunity to learn about various aspects of leadership roles and how I can use them to bring change in my community. We were able to create a plan for us to execute in the near future for the betterment of our community. This program has given me knowledge that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.”
“The Buffalo Pharmacy Summer Institute taught me the amount of discipline, patience, and precision Pharmacists need in order to be successful in their careers,” Henninger senior Jariel Melendez added. “This program split pharmacology into distinct groups and helped me narrow my options so I could learn what will best fit me and my personality."
Corcoran senior Parmila Dhimal was one of about 400 students selected from across the nation to participate in the Bank of America Student Leader program, which partnered her with the MOST for a paid summer internship to help her develop leadership skills.
"The program gave me the opportunity to not just be a leader, but also a team player and a good listener,” Parmila said. “I got to work with another market leader from Utica and we created a story bank for the MOST by interviewing past participants and learning what the MOST has meant to them. Besides working on the MOST project, interviewing people, and presenting our work, we were fortunate to learn about issues relating to food insecurity and racial inequity in America and to participate in conversations about college access for folks who are incarcerated, healthcare, and economic issues. The program gave me a better sense of how to help and spread awareness in my community. Through the Young Democracy at Home component, I was able to see and hear from other students who had different experiences and perspectives from me. They were very eye-opening discussions about political, social, and economic problems our country is facing. I was also very glad it was a safe space to present our thoughts and ideas." 
Nottingham senior Hibatullah Shaalan worked along college students as a Synergy Intern with InterFaith Works. The program, through MercyWorks, offered her a paid 10 week internship to help build her professional skills and work ethic. “As the only high school intern working with over 40 college students, I was motivated to work incredibly hard, contribute positively to InterFaith Works, and always impress everyone I worked with,” Hibatullah shared. “I networked with many professionals from different work fields, experiences and backgrounds. I was also able to help my community by volunteering with others."
Along with her classmate Hawa Ahmed, Hibatullah also participated in the Narratio Fellows Program – a four week storytelling and leadership program intended to help refugee youth share their stories on a large scale.
"My involvement with the Narration Fellowship Program began last year,” Hawa explained. “This year we showed our stories through film. My own personal film narrates how dance has helped me throughout my whole childhood and how it still impacts my life today."
Hao Nguyen, a Nottingham senior, had the unique experience of working on a project with global influence: the Mount Everest Biogas Project. The project aims to help preserve the environment around Mount Everest, eliminating human waste and lessening the impact that humans have on the natural environment.
“As part of the internship, I have been working on creating a 1:50 scale model that will be used in Nepal for reference during building and construction,” Hao said. “The project will allow the sherpas to transport unwanted waste off the mountain and compost it into natural gas for cooking or fertilizer for the land. This internship has taught me many skills from learning how to use 3D modeling software to model building. But most importantly, this internship taught me that architecture is more than the aesthetics of the building; architecture can change the lives of many."
We’re so proud of these students and the many others who took the initiative to expand their knowledge and participate in educational experiences over the summer! Thank you to our partners in the Le Moyne College Upward Bound program for assisting the students mentioned in this story in securing these and other summer internship, fellowship and work experiences.
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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