"Students Can Learn While They Earn"
For more information about the ASPIRE Winston-Salem internship program, go to Greater Winston-Salem
For more pictures, go to Your Permanent Record.
JUNE 8, 2021 – Lenore Williams is a rising senior at Parkland High. She envisions becoming a family physician or psychiatrist one day. So she is delighted to have the opportunity to learn more about the medical field by participating in a paid internship with Novant Health this summer.
Natalia Diaz is a rising senior at Carver High. She, too, is excited about starting an internship, in part because she wants to get a better feel for work life in the wider world and to meet and to get to know more people while doing that.
She plans on becoming a clinical psychologist. Her internship will be with Forsyth County Government.
Philip Lovalas-Scales, who is a rising senior at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy, wants to become an engineer. He hopes that his experiences during his internship will help prepare him for college. He will be working at Goodwill Industries.
On Tuesday June 8, the three students attended in a press conference announcing the paid internship program for high school students Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County that Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. is launching with the financial support of the Truist Charitable Foundation.
According to a press release, “ASPIRE Winston-Salem (WS) is a comprehensive initiative that formally brings together local employers, students, and education partners to collaborate on work-based learning opportunities for students in WS/FC schools.”
For now, juniors and seniors attending five high schools – Parkland, Carver, John F. Kennedy, North Forsyth and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy – are eligible to participate in the program, and three organizations are offering internships – Novant Health, Forsyth County Government, Goodwill Industries.
The press conference was held at Forsyth Technical Community College, which is also supporting the program. Superintendent Tricia McManus joined four principals and one assistant principal from the five high schools – Spencer Hardy of Parkland, Carol Montague-Davis of Carver, Keisha Gabriel of Winston-Salem Prep, Melita Wise of North Forsyth, Kim Ashby of John F. Kennedy.
“This is wonderful,” Montague-Davis said. “I am so excited for our students to have this opportunity.”
“This offers them the opportunity to explore careers,” Hardy said.
“It gives the kids real-world experience in a structured environment,” Gabriel said.
This summer, 11 interns will participate in internships. They have already participated in one-day “Employability Workshop” at Forsyth Tech that focused on developing such skills as writing a resume and doing well in a job interview.
The internships and workshop offer excellent opportunities, said Cailie Hildreth, the NAF Coordinator at North Forsyth, “for a student to practice their professional skills to get an edge up on what it takes to get a job.”
“I really like that they are teaching them a lot of the soft skills,” Gabriel said. “These are skills they will need.”
Diaz said, “It was a great experience.”
Plans call for expanding ASPIRE WS to include students attending other WS/FC high schools in the coming months and increasing the number of organizations offering internships.
Mark Owens, the President & CEO of Greater Winston-Salem, said that, by the end of the year, they hope that 100 students will have participated in internships.
Originally, the program was scheduled to debut in 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic meant that it had to be delayed.
Also on hand were Mayor Allen Joines; Brent Waddell, Senior Vice President & Market President of Truist; Dr. Janet Spriggs, the President of Forsyth Tech; and Alesia Hilton, a retired WS/FCS principal who now serves as Director of Internship Program for Greater Winston-Salem.
When Owens opened the press conference, he made a point to praise the principals for all they have done to make sure that students have had a productive year despite the trying circumstance created by the pandemic.
“Your leadership through this year has been incredible,” he said.
When McManus spoke, she thanked Greater Winston-Salem and Truist.
“We are deeply grateful,” McManus said. “It is something that is going to be so beneficial for our students and their future.”
“They are going to be the leaders of the future. That experience can make the biggest difference for students in the path they want to take after high school. This is going to provide them with more opportunity.”
The students participating in the internships this summer are:
Lenore Williams, Parkland, Novant Health
Jordan Beedoe, Carver, Novant Health
Carly Whitlock, John F. Kennedy, Goodwill Industries
Carley Vawter, John F. Kennedy, Goodwill Industries
Jalissa White, John F. Kennedy, Goodwill Industries
Ija Mumford, Parkland, Goodwill Industries
Mikael Cuthrell, Carver, Goodwill Industries
Phillip Lavalais-Scales, Winston Salem Prep, Goodwill Industries
Dallia Lindell, Parkland, Forsyth County Government
Natalia Alfaro Diaz, Carver, Forsyth County Government
Ruby Powers, Parkland, Forsyth County Government
Forsyth Tech led the one-day Employability Workshop held on May 20.
“They were able to gain knowledge on such topics as Professionalism in the Workplace, Financial Management, and How to Get Hired,” Hilton said.
“Students also received 1:1 support with their personal resumes to support them during their virtual interviews with host companies which took place on June 2.”
“All students received a certificate for completing the workshop along with a $50 gift card from Goodwill Industries and a $100 gift card from Belk to help support with dress attire during their internships. Greater Winston-Salem Inc. helped to support the students by meeting them at Belk to shop for proper dress attire.”
“We thank other sponsors who also supported the students during the employability workshop with gift cards such as Publix Super Markets, Sheetz, and AMF Bowling Lane.”
At the press conference, others on hand from Greater Winston-Salem included Terri Cummings, the Vice President of Talent and Workforce, and Ethanie Good, the Director of Marketing & Communications. Jayda Bailey, who just graduated from East Forsyth High is working there this summer as an intern before she heads off to Duke University to major in biology.
The press release states: “Greater Winston-Salem will manage the student application process and employer participation and facilitate matches between students and employers. Greater Winston-Salem, Inc will work with Forsyth Tech to offer employability workshops for all participating students, teaching resume writing, interviewing, and workplace success skills.”
“Greater Winston-Salem, Inc has received a $1.2 million grant from the Truist Charitable Foundation which will allow ASPIRE WS to offer paid internships. Students will receive at least $10 per hour and will complete 80 to 135 hours per internship.”
“At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities,” said Brent Waddell, Winston-Salem Market President for Truist. “Our investment in economic mobility in Winston-Salem and across our footprint is crucial to us fulfilling our commitment to the communities we serve.”