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Senior Internship Co-op Experience Yields Great Results in First Year

students with awards (June 14, 2022) Cheltenham High School launched a senior internship / co-op experience this year and the program is already yielding great results for students and partner organizations. Almost 20 students completed a work-based, learning-related paid work experience related to career development this year. Of those, 14 were offered employment beyond graduation, 15 will attend a two- or four-year school and two will enroll in a skilled training program.

This year's co-op partners include UPS in Horsham, ShopRite in Cheltenham, Wawa in Wyncote and Northeast Philadelphia, Tashman Tech Group, Walgreens in Melrose Park, Walmart, Play & Learn Abington and Fort Washington, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sussman Kia Service Center, Fresh Grocer in Cheltenham, and HomeSense.

“We are grateful to the local businesses and training supervisors who were committed to supporting the inaugural year of the senior co-op program,” said cooperative education coordinator Brittney McKenna. “Our students now have the relevance of academics in relation to what it takes to be successful in the workplace and in a chosen career pathway. We look forward to building the program and offering more career-connected learning opportunities to more students in the upcoming years.”

Two students received recognition from their employer. Anahjie Harlem worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Willow Grove and earned “MVP of the Month'' in May 2022 for his professionalism, responsibility and initiative. Harlem learned tasks related to merchandising and responsibilities associated with the position of supervisor of a retail store. Harlem was offered continued employment at Dick’s as he plans to transition to college this fall. 

Another student, Jayla Lewis, worked at HomeSense in North Wales and was recognized as associate of the quarter for being a dependable and valued member of the team. Lewis engaged in various tasks, such as managerial responsibilities including record-keeping for sales, inventory and requisitions, in addition to customer service. She plans to attend a four-year college in the fall and was offered the opportunity to continue working at HomeSense beyond graduation. 

Students enrolled in the co-op program also received training through the high school. Twenty-three students completed OSHA’s 10-hour general industry program, which provides training for entry-level workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in general industry. Nine students earned the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) workforce competency credential, in addition to earning the equivalent of three college credits through the NOCTI College Credit program.

Senior co-op students also participated in the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program, a multi-session workshop that helps young people develop communication and leadership skills through practical experience. In the workshop, led by Cheltenham resident Bob Lankin, students learned and practiced valuable skills like evaluating their own speaking ability; preparing and giving speeches; giving impromptu talks; controlling their voice, vocabulary and gestures; and giving constructive feedback.


For future co-op partnership or internship opportunities, please email Brittney McKenna at bmckenna@cheltenham.org.