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CTE Students Gain Employment Experience at Syracuse University

When Ana Lia Pizzimenti Barreto arrived at work this summer, she spent a few minutes greeting her colleagues in the Barnes Health Center. Then, it was time to welcome the first patient of the day. Ana Lia escorted the patient to a treatment room, where she took the patient’s vitals and asked them to detail what brought them in.
“I love taking patients’ blood pressure,” Ana Lia shared. “I’m just learning, but I love it. It feels really great to be helping real patients.”
Ana Lia is a senior in the Henninger Health Information Technology program. This summer, she was selected for a paid internship at Syracuse University – along with about two dozen other Career and Technical Education (CTE) students from SCSD high schools. She said the experience has helped her feel more prepared for the school year ahead – and her future.
“After each patient, we clean the room up and get it set up for the next patient,” Ana Lia added. “I’ve also worked in the lab, running COVID and strep tests. It is really a great opportunity… I’m getting paid to learn! This internship will look good on my resume for college and anything I do in the future. I hope to work in the medical field one day, so this will definitely give me a head start. I don’t have to wait to see and do things later on… I’m doing them now! I’m loving it. I love the experience, how the staff are treating me, and how they let me do hands-on things. I love how everything is turning out.”
 This is a photo of a SCSD student standing in an empty Syracuse University dining hall, holding a salad.
This partnership, now in its second year, offered CTE students the opportunity to intern in campus food service, facilities, media, IT and more. For six weeks, in partnership with CNY Works, the students were invited to work shifts on campus from 8:30 am – 3 pm Monday through Thursday with meals and transportation provided.
Their internships directly related to the students’ CTE program of study, allowing the students to put their classroom learning to practice in a real work environment.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to expand out of their training into the career cluster that exits within that program,” CTE Summer Internship Coordinator Scott Lane said. “Last year, the feedback was just wonderful. The students had a great time, they learned a lot, and they were able to apply the skills and strategies they had learned in the classroom on the job, while enhancing those skills.”
Students studying Culinary Arts worked in Food Service, including Schine Student Center, Drumlins, and a bakery; a Geospatial Technology student worked at Falk College in IT; Mechanical Technology students worked in Grounds/Athletic Field maintenance; the list goes on!
Mahamad Abubeker is an ITC senior studying Automotive Technology. He hopes to continue his studies in college and ultimately find a job in the auto industry. This summer, he interned in the Syracuse University Auto Garage, where he was able to shadow employees and observe repairs he doesn’t usually get to see in his courses at ITC.
“I’ve gotten to help with little jobs here and there, like lifting the cars, taking off the tires, and going around campus on trips to figure out different things,” Mahamad shared. “I like working on cars and seeing the differences between newer cars and older ones… it interests me. At school, we can’t put as much time into certain projects… when class ends, we have to go. We do a lot of work on computers instead of on real cars. At the Auto Garage, I’ve been able to learn so much. I’ve gotten to see how they do inspections and do more hands-on work. I feel like it’s given me a good boost for down the road. I’ll be entering my senior year with more knowledge than I had when the last school year ended. It’s been a lot of fun, too, working here and being part of the shop!”
ITC senior Destinyi Fernandez, who is part of her school’s Media Communications CTE program, agreed that her internship with SU’s Media Relations team helped her expand her knowledge beyond what she had learned in the classroom.
“I want to work in the media one day, so I wanted to get a sense of what that looks like day to day,” she explained, noting that her interests are primarily in photography and film. “I wanted to learn how they pitch stories to the media, what they focus on, and how they report events.”
Through her internship, Destinyi was tasked with creating a photo essay that showed her fellow SCSD interns’ experiences working at the University for the summer. She photographed them, interviewed them, and brainstormed with her colleagues about how to align the photos she took with the story she was trying to tell.
This is a photo of a girl sitting at a microphone, wearing headphones, in a recording studio at Syracuse University.

“I already know about how to use a camera and how to get the best angles and all of that,” she said. “But this internship taught me how to use equipment differently for different purposes. It helped me come out of my shell and communicate with people more. It helped me develop stronger writing skills, better accuracy, and a better understanding of fact checking. Ultimately, this internship allowed me to gain skills that can help me no matter what type of media career I pursue. It’s important for high school students to have opportunities like this. Regardless of the career path they take, it’s experiences like this that help give us a push and allow us to build the skills that we’ll need and see what the real world is like!”
For ITC senior Nablia Tayeh, who is enrolled in her school’s Culinary Arts program, she said her internship in Culinary Arts at SU’s Schine Student Center has helped provide her with some practical skills – regardless of what career path she may choose to pursue.
“From the time I was about 11 years old, I’ve been helping my mom cook at home,” Nablia said. “I don’t know what I want to do after graduation just yet, so I think Culinary Arts is more of a hobby right now. It’s a path that I enjoy, so I’m following it. Through this internship, I’ve learned how to make sauces from scratch. I didn’t know that you could do that before this experience! Even if I don’t work in the Culinary field, this experience helped me. If I’m ever cooking and don’t have time to run to the store for an ingredient, now I know how to put other things together to make something of my own. If I don’t have a recipe, I know which measurements to use for things. Every day is something different, and I enjoyed having the chance to do a lot of hands-on things!”
In addition to the internships at Syracuse University, SCSD students were also connected with paid internships at Upstate, the Regional Airport Authority, the 174th Airwing, Nascentia Health and more. Students who were not able to secure an internship through these channels were recommended to CNY Works to help them find gainful summer employment.
We’re so proud of all of our hardworking students who spend their summer building their resume and putting their skills to use in a professional setting!
Photos for this story were provided courtesy of ITC student Destinyi Fernandez.
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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