In August, Fort Smith Public Schools rolled out a new internship program to give students “real world” experience in professional fields of their interest.
Students must apply and be accepted to the program. They each earn 180 hours of work experience each semester. They are evaluated at the end of the semester by the employer.
We want to introduce you to some of these bright young students:
Hannah Mae and Hannah Marie Lluvido, 18-year-old seniors at Northside High School, may look alike, but they are two sides of the coin when it comes to personality.
Marie considers herself fairly laid back and a homebody who likes to watch movies, listen to music and she runs for the love of it.
“Marie is pretty quiet around most people,” Mae said. “But she can be loud too. She really just likes to be at home or with just a couple of people.”
Mae on the other hand, likes being on her own and playing basketball when she can.
“She is very outgoing,” Marie said. “She can be sarcastic and loud, and she gets along with lots of people.”
For all their differences, the twin sisters share a love of working with children. They enjoy learning about physical and occupational therapy and are very excited about the internship program.
“It’s a great experience,” said Mae, who, along with her sister, is working as an intern at Kids Unlimited. “We really get to experience something in our field, something we want to do.”
“It’s very helpful to get to know what therapy is best for different people, and to see if I can handle that,” Marie added.
Though both girls are leaning more toward a career in occupational therapy, they enjoy all aspects of work at the center. Kids Unlimited provides early childhood and special education instruction, ancillary medical services and physical, occupational and speech-language therapies to children.
The girls job shadow the occupational, physical and speech therapists and work in classrooms with the children.
“I think getting to interact with the kids has really led me to want to pursue a career as a pediatric occupational therapist,” Marie said, a thought her sister agrees with wholeheartedly.
“We are getting more experience, learning how to handle when someone is having an off day,” Mae said. “This is good education for the field we both want (to pursue.)”