At Telstar High School, Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Coordinator Carrie Lynch helps students engage in authentic, self-directed educational experiences that support their career aspirations. Her work in the ELO program also supports the curriculum development and implementation of 7Peaks, Telstar’s Career Education program along with classroom-based group experiences that can help shape deeper interest in particular subject areas.
“By meeting one-on-one with students, as well as with small groups, the goal is to connect students with local employment or internship opportunities that support their post-secondary goals,” said Lynch.
So far, the program has had some great successes with students. During the course of this year, Lynch has helped place six seniors in internships ranging from working with the District Attorney’s Office in Norway, to Field Electric in Fryeburg, to the National Wildlife Refuge at Lake Umbagog. This fall, she took a small group of 12th graders to York County Community College (YCCC). After touring the campus, one student, in particular, became so excited about the YCCC’s Vet Tech program that she applied to the school the next day. Also, two other students on that trip have now matriculated at YCCC for the fall of 2023.
“Taking visits to colleges is both beneficial and helpful to my post-secondary planning,” said one of the students on the trip. “I get to see where I could possibly be living for the next few years, or cross one off the list!”
Lynch says Telstar’s ELO program has also organized trips in support of science and history classes and career development programs in conjunction with the River Fund and Sunday River. Additionally, all 11th graders have participated in 20-hour job shadows in the community and will start 1-1 meetings to customize schedules and plans for next year.
“The best part of my day is working with students,” said Lynch. “Whether taking a group of students to visit a never-before-seen work site or college to guiding a student in developing a local internship, helping students realize–and become excited about–their post-secondary options is what this program is all about. In the future, I hope that an internship experience will become the norm for most of our students.”
Lynch and Telstar High School would like to extend a big thank you to Rural Aspirations for all they have done to support the work of their ELO program.