Danbury High School internship program helps students define their future

Feb 27, 2024 | Featured, Schools | 0 comments

Danbury High School senior, Jacob Hild, left, is learning the varied duties of ministry from his father, Church of Truth Ministries Pastor Brian Hild. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Danbury High School senior Jacob Hild has known since he was young that he wanted to go into the ministry, and this year, the school’s internship program gave him a jumpstart on his career. Hild spends part of most school days interning under the mentorship of his father, Brian Hild, pastor of Church of Truth Ministries.

Jacob is among 30 of the school’s 36 seniors who are participating in the internship program.

“We’re getting the kids out of the building to get real-world experience,” said Danbury College and Career Readiness Coordinator, Koree Hodgkinson. “The placement is diverse. We have students working in healthcare, with the ODNR, and at Back to the Wild.”

Jacob’s internship at Truth Ministries is giving him the opportunity to experience the varied duties of a pastor. He’s helped in the church’s food pantry and preached a sermon to the congregation.

Danbury College and Career Readiness Coordinator, Koree Hodgkinson, is helping students mold their futures through internship experiences. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“He’s shadowed me at funerals and in minor counseling sessions, and he’s learned building maintenance and plowed snow,” Brian said. “It’s been an absolute blessing. I’ve had ten hours a week to teach him.”

Now that he has practical experience, Jacob can pursue a career in ministry with more confidence.

“I’ve always had the idea of going into the ministry,” he said. “When they told me about the program, I didn’t have to think about it. It was a no-brainer, really.”

The internship program falls under Danbury’s philosophy of directing each student to one of the Three Es: enroll in college, employment right after high school, or enlist in the military.

“I know this is a major decision, and I want them to be more confident in that decision,” Hodgkinson said.

Senior Spencer Singer wants to pursue a career in wildlife conservation and biology, so he is interning at Back to the Wild, where his duties include everything from cleaning cages to enrichment and training.

“I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, and this helped reinforce my plan,” Singer said.

Going into her senior year, Michaela Harris knew she wanted to study criminal justice, but her experience as an intern with the Danbury Township Police Department opened her eyes to the realities of police work.

Pastor Brian Hild, left, said the Danbury High School internship program has given him ten hours a week to mentor his son, Jacob Hild. The program helps students make educated decisions about their futures. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“I learned what they do on the daily,” she said.

Harris has been on ride-alongs with officers, visited the courthouse, and talked with judges.

“I’ve made a lot of connections,” she said.

Alera Masters didn’t know what she wanted to do after graduation until she became an intern with Keller Williams Realty. She had considered a career as a realtor, but her internship experience cemented her plan.

“It raised the bar on the profession. It’s way better than I thought it would be, and I definitely want to do it,” Masters said. “I like the flexibility and getting to meet so many people, and I’ll get to help people.”

Last fall, Masters didn’t have a clear future. Now, she is enrolled in real estate classes so she can take her real estate exam at age 18 and jump right into a promising career that will impact the rest of her life.

“I absolutely love what I do,” Hodgkinson said. “It allows me to be a mentor and help students find the next step to their future.”

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