Accelerated Academy students explore careers with internship program

e-Connections Post Sacramento Accelerated Academy

Governor Jerry Brown has a reputation for being frugal and a bit of a curmudgeon. But during his internship in the Governor’s office this year, Sacramento Accelerated Academy student Austin Kropp says he saw another side to the state’s highest ranking elected official.

“He’s a really nice guy,” Kropp says of the Governor. “And the people I worked for paid for all my lunches and threw me a going-away party.”

Through a unique partnership with Big Picture Learning, nine students at Sacramento Accelerated Academy — a school that offers online learning for high school students – participated in a career exploration program this year that placed them in internships.

Teacher Sarah Taylor says the program is giving teens with limited exposure to the world of work a peak at interesting career fields.

“We often ask students ‘What career do you want?’ when we should be asking them ’What are your interests? What are your passions?’,” she says. “Once they think about what they like to do, they can explore which jobs may fit them.”

Kropp says he was among very few high school students to intern in Governor Brown’s office. He worked in planning and research where he analyzed Environmental Impact Reports for levels of vehicle emissions.

While it was a great experience, Kropp says he learned that he isn’t suited for office work: He’s joining the Army after graduation.

Jasmine Peoples worked at Alice Birney Public Waldorf K-8 School where she helped evaluate students’ physical and cognitive development. “It was cool,” she says. Mostly, she enjoyed helping out and wants to be a social worker, she says. 

Bailey Croly, a cancer survivor, job shadowed an anesthesiologist and interned at a fire fighting camp. “It helped me get the feel of the medical field,” he says. He hopes to pursue a career as an EMT.

Taylor says 55 students applied for the career exploration program. Fifteen were accepted and nine completed their internships.

Lars Anisovets and Sophia Kingston-Cruz interned at the Sacramento Children’s Museum. “Our job was to have fun with kids,” says Kingston-Cruz.

The program culminated with presentations to the community. Taylor hopes to expand the program next fall.

“I love the idea,” she says. “And the kids loved it too.”