Linking Their Learning: Media, architecture, law students explore careers

Senior Jessica Jauregui gets advice from her supervisor during an ECCCO internship at Rock Scissors Paper Collective in downtown Oakland last summer. She was one of 32 Fremont students to complete an ECCCO internship.

Jasmene Miranda

Senior Jessica Jauregui gets advice from her supervisor during an ECCCO internship at Rock Scissors Paper Collective in downtown Oakland last summer. She was one of 32 Fremont students to complete an ECCCO internship.

Juniors have five more days to apply for summer internships that will teach them job skills, give them up to 10 high school elective credits and pay them $800.

The summer internships are a part of the ECCCO program, now in its fourth year at Fremont. ECCCO stands for Exploring College, Career and Community Options. The program includes college and career lessons in 10th and 11th grade, visits to colleges and businesses and the summer internships.

Last year 32 Fremont students interned at more than a dozen work sites. One of them was Jessica Jauregui-Lopez, now a senior in the Architecture Academy, who completed her internship at Rock Paper Scissors Collective in downtown Oakland.

“The internship taught me how to make clothing and to communicate better with my supervisor,” said Jauregui-Lopez. Other Fremont students worked for Oakland Unified School District’s legal department, Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s office, KDOL television station and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“KDOL offered me my very first job experience in something I might work towards as a career,” said Media Academy senior Richard Vu.

The internships last for five weeks and students go four days to their employer and one day to school to work on their job skills. If they complete the five weeks and do their final presentation, most students will earn 10 credits along with $800. Students also have the option of receiving a $1,000 scholarship that they will receive when they show they’ve been accepted into a two-year or four-year college.

One reason some students cannot do an ECCCO internship is that they are too far behind in credits and need to take summer school classes. However, students are allowed to get a part-time internship if they are in summer school. They must complete 75 hours instead of 150. They are eligible for a $400 stipend and five high school credits.

Media Academy teacher Jasmene Miranda, who supervised the ECCCO class last summer for most of the interns from Fremont, said that some students realized too late that they should have done an internship.

“When students found out that you receive credit and get paid for five weeks, then, yes, they felt bad they missed out on this,” she said.

The Linked Learning Office for the school district has set a goal of increasing interns at each school site by 20 percent. To reach that goal, Fremont will need to place a total of 38 interns this summer.

“We’re hoping to double our interns this year,” said Media Academy director Lisa Shafer. “I can’t think of a better experience for students in the summer. Internships can change students’ lives.”

To find out more about the ECCCO summer internship program, see Shafer, Miranda or one of the academy directors. The deadlines to submit an internship application this year is March 23.