The students posing with their internship providers and Internship Director Abby Reifsnyder.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Twelve Drury High School students enrolled in the E3 intern program were recognized for completing the course on Thursday morning at Conte Middle School.
Program Coordinator Chris Barbarotta explained that E3 — which stands for effort, employability and essential skills and knowledge — motivates students who are ready to give up on school to refocus in a nontraditional classroom setting and participate in internships. After completing E3 the students are eligible to graduate in the upcoming month.
"It didn't just give them a place to be, it gave them the motivation to succeed," Barbarotta said.
Internship Director Abby Reifsnyder said the students met every morning of the school year and worked on arithmetic, writing and social skills needed in the real world, and then applied those skills towards their internships, which ranged from working in Mark's Auto Repair to designing costumes at Williams College to volunteering at Village Ambulance.
Superintendent James Montepare thanked the participating businesses and the students for paving the way for this new program, which stemmed from the former Community Transition Program that ended last year.
"This student group this year has reshaped our alternative learning program," Montepare said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of all of you folks. You've really knocked this out of the park."
The employers were just as thankful for their help and The Spoke owner Paul Rinehart said his intern Damien Peters had the skills and motivation to survive in the world.
"I've had my store for nearly 30 years, 29 years next month and I've trained maybe a 150 different employees and I wish I had more Damiens," Rinehart said.
Barbarbotta explained that the program works in a cycle with overlapping groups of students, with some of the students who finished in February unable to attend the celebration.
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