Senior Internships

Students gain critical real-world experience while fulfilling a program requirement

The Fountain Hills Unified School District and the Senior Intern Program offers graduating seniors the opportunity to fulfill one of four program requirements: Unpaid Internship, EVIT, Alternative Research Project, or Qualifying Job/Employment. This program is targeted to prepare students for their future, allowing them to gain valuable, real-world experience.

The Coalition is thrilled to be a partner in the Senior Internship Program. This internship aimed to give interns the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills related to youth substance abuse prevention, community outreach, and program development. By hosting interns, the Coalition was able to increase its capacity to address the needs of the community as they can bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and energy to ongoing projects and initiatives while helping to expand our impact. Through collaboration and networking, interns can help foster partnerships and connections by assisting in raising public awareness about our mission, programs, and events. Interns will be participating in all of the above while learning valuable, real-world, hands-on, experiences. Overall, hosting an intern serves as a way to invest in the development of aspiring professionals while simultaneously advancing the goals and mission of the Fountain Hills Protect Our Youth Coalition.

The end of the internship culminated in a required final presentation by interns paralleling their learning with the 6 skills of FHUSD’s Portrait of a Graduate. This demonstrates a thoughtful approach to assessing their growth and development throughout the program. Interns facilitated our March sector meeting from beginning to end and it was a significant achievement that highlighted their ability to collaborate, communicate, advocate, and innovate effectively.

“When I came up with the idea for senior internships, this is exactly what I had envisioned for our students.”​
Dr. J

Red Ribbon Week Educational Health Fair

Interns took a proactive role in the involvement of Red Ribbon Week at Fountain Hills Middle School. Their engagement in educating students about the risks of vaping, oral health and how it relates to tobacco products, as well as promoting drug-free prevention was commendable. Their collaboration with the principal and others to dismantle the setup demonstrates a commitment to supporting the school community beyond educational activities.

Poster Contest

Coalition interns received comprehensive training on both prevention messaging and the essential elements of graphic design and marketing. Collaborating with Fourth Element Marketing to delve into branding, logo design, color palette, typography, and other key aspects provided valuable insights. Empowering interns to develop the tag line, color palette, and preliminary design for the Coalition’s “Above the Influence” middle school poster contest demonstrated a hands-on approach to applying their newly acquired skills. This was an excellent opportunity for interns to contribute creatively to the success of the campaign.

VIVE18 Prevention Conference

Early into the intern’s program, the POY Coalition sponsored all 6 students’ attendance to the all-day VIVE18 Southwestern Prevention Conference. Here, interns learned skills like public speaking, leadership, event planning and influence while creating content positive for social media, a pitch for community partners and planned an event to influence their peers.

Vape Prevention Curriculum

Senior Interns participated in the administering of the 7th grade CATCH My Breath Vape Prevention Curriculum in various ways. Sharing their own experiences helped to make the content more relatable to the 7th graders. Interns also worked one on one with students creating social media campaigns, working on curriculum activities, and handed out student completion certificates at the end of the 4-day program.

Community Outreach and Representation

Setting up informational tables/displays at various community events (Flea Market, Community Center Wreath Display, Fountain Hills Health Fair, Teen Takeover, Volunteer Expo) poses a valuable opportunity to engage with community members and raise awareness about the Coalition’s mission of substance use prevention. Additionally, promoting things like the community survey and raising funds to support Coalition programming demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing substance abuse issues at the grassroots level. This form of outreach and awareness is crucial for fostering a supportive and informed community environment as well as capacity building.

Final Prep and Presentation Sector Meeting

Here, the interns showcased their learning and paralleled it with the district’s portrait of a graduate skill set. Presenting their knowledge and facilitating the March sector meeting demonstrated their growth and competence throughout the 4-month program. Being awarded completion certificates by the Coalition is a well-deserved recognition of their efforts and contributions to the community’s substance abuse prevention initiatives. This experience likely provided valuable skills and insights that will benefit them in their future endeavors.