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Photos courtesy of the Virginia Air Air & Space Science Center


Bethel High School Start on Success students intern at the Virginia Air & Space Science Center

Eight students from Bethel High School’s Start on Success Program for high school seniors are getting first-hand experience while interning at the Virginia Air & Space Science Center (VASSC).

Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) afforded our young people the opportunity to train under Dr. Bellows and Julie Young with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium to learn all of the technical and STEM skills prior to starting the internship. They also attended a 16-week communication course with PEERS RVA, and will conclude the year by working with SMART Transitions to create professional portfolios.

In addition, Virginia Commonwealth University is paying for the interns to gain this experience. Hampton City Schools and the Start on Success Program is a part of a study on the positive effects of paid employment on student post-secondary outcomes. 

Through this partnership and internship, students are receiving an opportunity to get valuable work experience and possible future employment. Students work as a part of their regular school day with their instructor Miguel Incorminius accompanying them.

“The growth I have already seen in these young adults is truly remarkable and speaks volumes about the impact of the Virginia Air and Space Science Center on their development,” said Sherry Hildebrandt, Hampton City Schools transition specialist. “It's clear that they are well on their way to becoming standout professionals.”

In addition, Hildebrandt said, “These students are working so hard. All of this work is being done in addition to their CTE coursework aligned to the internship to ensure they are work-ready. More than half of the students plan to go on to college and others will go directly into the workforce after graduation.”

Dr. Jeffery Smith, executive director/CEO of VASSC said, “We are so happy to have these students with us. They are a wonderful group of young people and our visitors really enjoy interacting with them.”

VASSC says they hope to expand their partnership with Hampton City Schools by providing future internships for students from the various Academies of Hampton.