Chamber chooses internship program finalists

Ten La Cañada High School students have been chosen as finalists for the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural summer internship program, Chamber Board Chairman Joel Peterson announced Sunday during Fiesta Days celebrations at Memorial Park.

The program aims to match exceptionally motivated LCHS sophomores and juniors with six-week internships at some of the town’s most prestigious employers, including Allen Lund Co., Sport Chalet, Verdugo Hills Hospital, YMCA of the Foothills and La Canada Flintridge City Hall.

The ten finalists are: junior Stephen Costello, junior Eric Cho, sophomore Sonja Cwik, sophomore Jason Fujikuni, junior Thomas Han, junior Shannon Lee, sophomore Audrey Lunde, junior Bradley Mattix, sophomore Jessica Son and sophomore Joseph Song.

Following a round of interviews with their potential employers, five of the finalists will be employed from June 27 to Aug. 6, gaining valuable work experience in addition to independent study credits, $1,250 college scholarships and college application bragging rights.

“I applied for this because it goes past the regular high school curriculum to include real work experiences,” said Song, who along with Cwik, Lee and Fujikuni joined Peterson during the announcement.

“I think this is something that will help me later in life — applying for jobs, doing interviews and having the anticipation of waiting to see if you got it,” added Lee.

Darleen Schuster, an associate dean at Claremont Graduate University and volunteer manager of the Chamber’s internship program, said prior work and volunteer experience held the most sway over the program’s selection panel.

“We were looking for people who really took initiative,” she said.

Peterson, also a member of the La Cañada school board, said the chamber hopes to expand the program in future years to include more students and employers.

“The chamber represents the business community as well as the community at large, and this is a way to help our schools and our businesses. We want this to be a good experience for our employers as well as our students, who will receive valuable experience, scholarships and course credits,” he said.

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