COMMUNITY INTERNSHIP & APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
The Community Internship and Apprenticeship Program provides real-world experiences for learners as they look to local community members and organizations for expertise and wisdom. Healthy adolescent development requires that learners engage in experiences outside of school walls by working with their community to explore their gifts, challenge themselves, and be of service.
Each learner spends at least one day a week interning with a local organization to gain hands-on experience
in a workplace. Learners design internship projects that contribute something of value to partner
organizations while learning new skills and working on Springhouse competencies. As a result
of connecting learners to community problems and initiatives, learners experience an
increased sense of social responsibility and are better prepared for the lives they lead
89 percent of companies surveyed [in a recent study] said high school students with internship experience have a competitive advantage when applying for college-level internships and full-time jobs.
Benefits for Learners
A school-based community internship and apprenticeship program:
Increases academic rigor by providing immersive learning experiences over a long period
Leads to greater equity among learners by reducing the experience gap through providing
professional development opportunities often unavailable to learners of lower socio-economic standing
Bolsters learner engagement as learners are exploring their passions and actively pursuing their interests
Builds community awareness and an increased sense of social responsibility by connecting learners to community problems and initiatives
Exposes teens to diversity and multiculturalism
Improves communication and critical thinking skills by exposing learners to “real-life” problems
We are looking for local organizations who are excited about hosting a Springhouse intern. If you are an organization that is interested in supporting young people as they grow, and are able to provide appropriate support, you are a good fit for this program!
Springhouse staff will be communicating with partner organizations regularly to ensure a positive learning experience for all. Young people are an invaluable resource in the community with their curiosity, creativity, and willingness to learn new things. Hosting a Springhouse learner is a great way to serve the youth in the Floyd!
Organizations generally host an intern for at least one trimester which lasts around 10 weeks. Internships occur on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 10:30am - 3:00pm. Springhouse provides transportation to and from the internship placement.
Please contact Director of Sustainability and Community Programs, Sarah Merfeld, at for more information
Hosting an Intern
Partner Organization Testimonials
We fully enjoyed working with our Springhouse Intern and were impressed with her eagerness to learn. Citizens welcomes the opportunity to mentor students and give them the opportunity to use their skills in real-world applications, and working with Springhouse to mentor the young people in our community was a great experience.
Citizens Telephone Cooperative
Having a Springhouse intern has been a valuable experience for Red Rooster Coffee. This is our first intern, so we've essentially all been learning together. After getting to know our intern a little better, we've been able to tap into his skills and create projects that are mutually beneficial to our brands and also to his development. There are multiple companies under the Red Rooster umbrella, each with their own unique identity. This diversity allows our intern to push himself creatively and work with brand elements and styles that would normally be out of his comfort zone.
Red Rooster Coffee
Thank You to Our Partner Organizations
To date, we have had interns placed with the following individuals and local organizations:
St. Pierre Woodworking
Copper Hill Child Care
Ridgewind Suffolk Farm
Johnson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Skyline Nursing Home
Citizens Telephone Cooperative
Red Rooster Coffee
Blue Mountain School
Melody’s Horse Sense
The National Park Service
Apple Ridge Farm
Floyd Parks and Recreation
Local Luthiers: Mac Traynham & Ian Stabler
Tabitha Burgess, LLC
OmniBuild General Contractors
New River Valley Montessori
I-Tal Acres Herbals
Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at Radford University
Ayla Mullen Ceramics
Floyd Chamber of Commerce
Plenty! Farm & Food Bank
The Floyd Press
Christiansburg Aquatic Center
Bridge Kaldro Music
Pharm House Hometown Pharmacy
Internship Project Highlights
All learners must complete projects associated with their internships and apprenticeships. This ensures that learners are immediately applying the skills they learn, making the internships as relevant as possible.
Jack (12th grade) interned with the National Parks Service at Rocky Knob. Jack worked on their trail cam project involving motion-activated cameras tracking animal behavior. Jack has a love for writing, which met the park’s need to get the word out about the trail cam project to recruit volunteers. For his project, Jack wrote blog posts for the Park Service, as well as an academic article about the project that was published by the Floyd Press. Jack received weekly writing support from Katie Burke, a local PhD and scientific journalist. He also presented on the trail cam project to Blue Mountain School, a local elementary school.
Jarrah (7th grade) interned for one trimester at St. Pierre Woodworking and Sawmill. For his project, he designed and built a stool from scratch. He chose the wood, fed it through a planer, used the CNC machine, sanded and oiled the stool, etc. He built the stool without using any metal screws; it is held together with wooden joinery and glue. Jarrah then created a “how-to guide” for building wooden stools. For his final presentation, Jarrah taught his classmates a lesson on calculating surface area, a mathematical concept he used while creating the stool.