SFCC Snapshot: Ya’el Chaikind

“By the end of the spring semester, 100 interns went through the PILAS Internship Program (Programa de Internos, Los Alamos), a paid, three-credit course that combines hands-on learning with academics. The program is named after Los Alamos National Labs, which funds it. PILAS means batteries in Spanish: the internship connects a student’s studies with real workplace activities, providing the spark for students to finish their degree and find employment. There are over 80 internship opportunities for students across 21 academic areas, all in Santa Fe. Half of them are remote right now because of covid. When we found out that the school was closing right after spring break, students were only halfway through their internships. I contacted every employer to inquire how they could have the interns work remotely. If that wasn’t possible, faculty advisors created research projects that offered productive work for students that assists the mentoring organization. Through these efforts, 99% of the internships continued. The students, mentors, and faculty were so willing to stop and go in a completely different direction. Kudos to everyone for being agile, creative problem solvers and willing to find solutions in this crazy situation. For the Fall semester we have 42 more interns! SFCC is definitely contributing to the well-being of the Santa Fe community and our students are benefiting in return!”
~ Ya’el Chaikind, PILAS Internship Coordinator

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