My Turn: An internship for every student

  • Brian Kapitulik, left, talks with Zane Provost about continuing his education with the new adventure education associate program during Greenfield Community College’s enrollment day on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Published: 1/15/2020 9:09:32 AM
Modified: 1/15/2020 9:08:42 AM

Last year, with the generosity of several individual and business donors, Greenfield Community College launched an effort to expand its paid internship program for matriculating students. With the persuasive voices of former President Bob Pura and Board of Trustees Chair, Robbie Cohn, the College raised a sizable initial amount to launch the initiative. The student participants worked in the fields of agriculture, marketing, geology, computer information system, history, social work, and business, to name a few. The students were beyond grateful for the experience.

Seeing the early success of this initiative with modest seed funding, we are going all in. Our aspiration is to provide every matriculating student a paid internship experience, if they want it. Why? Most of GCC’s student population consists of students who are the first in their families to go to college. They are brilliant and ambitious, and are carving a path with no footsteps to follow. Many have no father, mother, uncle, or grandparent to lean on for professional career advice. Some don’t even know the full range of careers available to them! We value pairing them with students who do have those privileges because that is what makes learning rich at GCC. Our classrooms mirror the real world.

Whether they are from the Valley or live in our most rural hill towns, we want our students to be ready for the world of work that awaits them. Their professional success will translate into the ability to fully engage in civic life in our community.

Whether you are a caring member of this community, an alum, or a business that sees your future employees in our graduates, we invite you to own that goal of providing every GCC student with a paid internship. Together, we can open doors and create opportunities for all to succeed. To learn more, email us at PioneeringGCC@gcc.mass.edu

Cohn is chair of the Board of Trustees at Greenfield Community College and the 2019 recipient of The Recorder’s Citizen of the Year award. Salomon-Fernández is president of Greenfield Community College.




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