Since late March, 12 students have been participating in a Trekkers’ pilot program called Success through Employment and Educational Development.

SEED is a program developed by Trekkers to help 11th and 12th-grade students name, know and nourish their future aspirations. These students have been participating in a series of professional development workshops along with several adult mentors. Together, these students and adults have been exploring the relationship between success, passion and what it means to be professional.

In early May, SEED students began working in various paid internships in Midcoast businesses and organizations. These paid internships will help participating students connect their developing interests and passions to real-world employment experiences. The following organizations/businesses are hosting interns during the months of May and June: Pen Bay Medical Center, Pen Bay YMCA, Rockland City Hall, The Island Institute, Phi Home Designs, Youthlinks, Coppola and Labree Eye Care, The Hospitality House, Continuum Physical Therapy, and Margo Moore Interiors.

Eleventh-grade Trekker Jana Talbot is one of the SEED participants working as an intern in a local business. She is interning with Margo Moore Interiors — a local interior design firm and retail store. After a busy day at school, Talbot spends time at Margo Moore learning specific tools for a successful career in the design world. She has been able to tour homes that are in progress, visit workrooms and furniture manufacturers as well as learn about retail sales while interning at Margo Moore.

Providing students such as Talbot with these relevant professional experiences not only helps to build their resumes, but also provides a context for reflection about their future aspirations.

“The truth is that many students go off to college or enter the workforce after high school having little or no idea about what they really want to do for the rest of their lives. This lack of clarity and conviction can be a real challenge to a student’s success in achieving future goals,” said Executive Director Don Carpenter in a news release.

The SEED internships will give students a chance to imagine themselves in a particular profession before they make a commitment to pursue it. With the cost of living and education on the rise, there is increasing pressure on youth to make informed decisions about their path after high school. It is Trekkers’ intention that the SEED project, made possible by a gift from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, Inc., will help students be better informed when choosing a college major or following a particular professional path in the workplace.

For more information about Trekkers or the SEED program, contact the Trekkers office at 594-5095.