In Aurora Public Schools, our first strategic goal is to ensure every student has a plan for his or her future. Through our Executive Internship Program, high school seniors enjoy unique opportunities to work alongside professionals in their fields of interest. This head start in exploring and developing their passions helps each student clarify their goals.
The program boasts partnerships with top-notch agencies from across the city whose experts share their valuable time and insider knowledge with students. Upon completion of the internships, our seniors have a better understanding of the skills, mindsets and behind-the-scenes work necessary to be successful in their hopeful careers.
When Rangeview High School Senior Kandace Wilkins decided to make a positive impact on the world as a future school counselor, she wasted no time setting herself up for success. Fueled by her family encouraging her to follow her dreams, Wilkins enrolled in the APS Executive Internship Program.
Paired with Arkansas Elementary School Counselor Lindsey Dzurko, Wilkins gained first-hand experience in a classroom. She helped develop lesson plans that aimed to build confidence, empathy and friendships.
“School counselors don’t just sit and listen to students,” Wilkins said. “They also ensure students develop effective social skills, are successful in school and feel safe and happy.”
Wilkins also had the pleasure of leading her own fourth-grade girls group. The young ladies met regularly to engage with one another through a variety of activities she planned, including reading books, creating arts and crafts, participating in confidence-building exercises and discussing how to become their own superheroes.
What better source of inspiration for the girls than Wilkins herself who tapped into her superpowers to stay one step ahead of her peers? In spring 2019, she will graduate with a high school diploma in one hand and an associate degree in psychology from the Community College of Aurora in the other!
“Never underestimate what you can accomplish,” Wilkins advises. “My father, mother and older brother inspired me to follow my dreams and do my best. With their constant support, I know I can do and achieve anything.”
After celebrating this accomplishment in California or Puerto Rico, Wilkins looks forward to laying down her Rangeview Raiders cape to become a University of Colorado Buffalo or Regis University Ranger. This will make her the first in her family to attend a four-year institution.
We are proud of Wilkins for dedicating her life toward making students feel supported and safe and wish her the best in all of her endeavors.
To learn more about the APS Executive Internship Program, visit pickenstech.org/programs/executive-internship.