EAST PROVIDENCE — St. Mary Academy-Bay View held the sixth annual School to Career Recognition Breakfast on May 20 to honor over 100 local companies and business leaders who participated in an internship program this year.
The 10-week program placed 143 students in internships to help them gain experience in the workplace. The students were placed in career fields including education, engineering, health care, law, the arts, Web design, and veterinary medicine.
“For over 30 years, the business community has partnered with Bay View students to provide remarkable opportunities for our young women,” said Mercy Sister Elizabeth McAuliffe, President of St. Mary-Bay View. “The benefits are reciprocal.”
Senior Katherine Clair interned with Superior Court Judge Daniel Proccacini, and explained that she will continue the internship throughout the summer.
“It was our first taste of the job world,” said Clair, describing her School to Career experience. “It was exactly what I was looking for, even if it did not resemble ‘Law and Order.’”
During the event, John Howell of Beacon Communications received the Sister Mary Bernard McCann Award and explained how the program benefits the students.
“The practical experience that you can get in a intern program is valuable at making career decisions down the road,” said Howell. “This isn’t a single exercise for a grade. It’s introducing the student to the workplace. The greatest reward has been watching the young girls participate in the program and go on to do wonderful things. I look forward to having our next intern.”
School to Career Coordinator Barbara Banchand said that immersing the Bay View seniors in the internships is an effective way to introduce them to the fields they are interested in studying as they move on to college.
“The students have witnessed compassion, enthusiasm, and the frustrations of the business world,” said Banchand.
Interested in the field of nursing, senior Bryanna Sands, had her internship in the nursing department of Kent Hospital, Warwick.
“It was really fun,” said Sands. “They teach you how to do everything and all the things you need to know about nursing. My mentor was so helpful and answered all of my questions.”
Classmate Giana Giarrusso said that through her internship, she enjoyed many opportunities to get a glimpse of the busy working world in the Governor’s Office of Community Relations.
“We went to the business expo, worked on projects like Bay Day, and one particular project called ‘Turn Grease into Fuel,’” said Giarrusso. “I learned how to multi-task very well.”
Sue Stenhouse, Director of Community Relations for Governor Carcieri has been a mentor for Bay View interns for the past five years.
“From a professional point of view, the St. Mary-Bay View program is a great template for public schools,” said Stenhouse. “My whole point of having a Bay View student is to try to expose them to different activities so they can get a good experience. Giana not only helped me at work; she also brought it back to the classroom. So many ladies I have had intern have had that same work ethic.”
Donald P. Wolfe, Executive Director of McAuley Ministries, was the keynote speaker at this year’s event and encouraged the students to have a successful future.
“Think big, be bold about your decisions, aim high, set goals and plan to accomplish them,” said Wolfe.
Sister McAuliffe expressed her gratitude for the leadership provided by Banchand,?the work done by the students and the participation of all the businesses that make the program a reality for the Bay View students.
“This is one of my favorite events because it is an opportunity to thank you, the business community,” Sister McAuliffe said. “There are not enough words to thank you on the impact you have made on the students.”