My son is a junior at Animas High School, where he has been for all of his high school career. AHS has been a great path for him to choose. The school has not only given him the skills and education to go to college and succeed, it has also given him the confidence to advocate for himself and be able to navigate in the adult world.
There is no better example of what life skills my son has learned at AHS than the three-week LINK internship program that is required of all the juniors in their second semester. The LINK program is where students go out into the working world in a field or career they might be interested in as adults. They have to write a résumé, contact the businesses they are interested in and do an interview, just like in the real world.
My son is interested in mechanical and computer engineering as a career. His internship was at StoneAge Inc. here in Durango. StoneAge designs and builds high pressure water jet tools for commercial use. Their customers use the tools to clean city sewer systems, for example. Their products are sold and exported worldwide.
My son very much enjoyed this internship. The staff and his direct mentor Rick Doornbos were kind, helpful and did a great job of making him feel welcome and appreciated. He got to observe most of the aspects of a business in motion. He was able to participate and perform CAD design, quality control, shipping and receiving, manufacturing, invention and small/large assembly.
My student was also given an opportunity to work independently on a project of his own. This project was to figure out how to correct a design flaw to make a feeder hose flow more smoothly. He got to make, test and design his own components to try to solve the problem. As a parent, it was so rewarding to see him excited to go to work every day and be independent and responsible for himself. He learned what life with a job may be like and that not every aspect may be exciting and new. He now understands some parts of jobs are repetitive and tedious. This is important to realize as a young adult. He gained valuable experience and reiterated that he is choosing a career path he is interested in. StoneAge was a great experience for him and they were very supportive.
I believe that this opportunity provided an excellent experience for my son. I appreciate AHS providing the opportunity for their students to do this; it is a very valuable learning experience.