SYRACUSE — Wawasee High School’s Work-Based Learning program is a college and career readiness course designed to provide opportunities for students to explore and experience careers that require additional degrees or certifications following high school.
The emphasis of the experience is on applying skills developed through instruction and on learning new career competencies at the internship site. This paid or unpaid internship is tailored to the unique needs and interests of the student and is considered a high school capstone experience toward graduation and the fulfillment of the student’s meaningful future plan.
There are 60-80 juniors and seniors in the WBL program. Pathways Cooperative Student of the Month for November is Aaliyah Iden.
Following are comments from Aric Mast, sewing supervisor at Polywood Inc.:
“Aaliyah Iden is a very bright and intuitive young lady. She always comes to work with a great attitude, and is always willing to do whatever is needed to help the department succeed.
“Aaliyah has worked in four different positions I can recall. Probably even more. Some of her duties have included running a sewing machine to make welt for cushions, cutting welt to specific lengths, making buttons, and installing grommets. She has also helped on the line to fill and finish deep seating cushions for patio furniture.
“Aaliyah learned to run a Pathfinder CNC machine to cut fiber for pool lounge cushions. She has currently been installing side straps and back bows for poolside lounge chairs that use sling material. After installing these, she uses one of two hydraulic presses to stretch the bows, before tightening the bolts connecting the bows and straps, using an impact driver screw gun to finish the process. After this is done she seals the parts in plastic and records the production on a cell schedule system.
“Not only is Aaliyah a great worker, she has a very fun and joking demeanor. This helps to make work fun for those around her. My opinion is she will always have a spot available as long as she wants one. That being said, it is very obvious her ambitions are set much higher than this, and will move on to be a success in whatever she decides.
“Just like her, her future is very bright! Aaliyah has been a true asset to Polywood.”