District Spotlight Hub
Senior Gaining Real World Experience through CHS Co-Op Program
(January 31, 2023) - Cheltenham High School senior co-op student Urian Bell recently participated in the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at Nothing Bundt Cakes in Abington. Representatives from the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Abington Hospital, and state Representative Benjamin Sanchez all attended the ceremony.
This past November, Bell started an entry-level position as a guest service representative through the Diversified Occupations program. With a career goal of enlisting in the military after graduation and eventually owning a small business, Urian will learn the responsibilities of business management and ownership as business owner Rick Fitzgerald mentors him.
“The co-op program has been a blessing,” said Bell. “This has shown me different aspects of how to make genuine connections with people and how to run a business through real-time, on-the-job experience. I can only hope that others can experience the co-op program to gain experience in the field that they want.”
This year is the second for Cheltenham High School’s internship experience co-op program wherein career-driven seniors explore career pathways and learn technical and employability skills. The program enables seniors to earn credit toward graduation while completing paid, work-based learning experiences that align with post-secondary career goals.
Program coordinator Brittney McKenna identifies, develops and manages interdependent relationships among the school, employer and student, in addition to providing job coach support. Students receive mentors who provide support and supervision. The area of training may be in any career and technical education area where there are needs for trained persons and must relate to the student’s career objective.
“CHS is grateful for businesses like Nothing Bundt Cakes for providing opportunities for students like Urian to participate in personalized career education and development in a way that is mutually beneficial to student and employer,” said McKenna. “Career-oriented partnerships between the school, businesses, and surrounding communities allow a diverse range of stakeholders to help strengthen our future workforce and reinforce employability skills needed to be successful in any career field.”
Businesses interested in developing partnerships with Cheltenham High School such as hiring motivated seniors for paid, career-oriented work experience are encouraged to contact the co-op coordinator Brittney McKenna at email@example.com for more information.