DCSD celebrating first Harbor Freight fellow and latest intern signing class

Raven Newsome (left), a DCSD graduate, recently became the district’s first ever Harbor Freight Fellow. She is pictured here with DCSD Business Engagement Coordinator Shannon Flowers (at right). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Raven Newsome, a recent graduate of Hartsville High School, became Darlington County School District’s (DCSD) first Harbor Freight Fellow after completing nearly 200 hours of work through an auto mechanic business.

Newsome’s success shines a light on the continuing success of DCSD’s Key to Career program, which saw 49 students sign intent letters in January to complete paid internships with local businesses and industries. 

Shannon Flowers, DCSD’s business engagement coordinator, praised Newsome’s hard work and determination to gain as much experience as she could while still in school.

“Raven is a wonderful young person with a heightened focus on not only her future but also the future of other women in CTE,” Flowers said. “It is my honor to be associated with her, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for her.” 

The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative is a partnership between Big Picture Learning and the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program to elevate the respect and resources accorded youth and their teachers, according to the partnership’s website.

“We support youth for whom the trades are the appropriate and chosen post-secondary path to a fulfilling life as a professional and community member–especially those who have been historically marginalized in the trades through race, ethnicity, or gender bias,” the site says. 

Newsome’s honor as a Harbor Freight Fellow highlights another successful class of paid interns through DCSD’s Key to Career program. With 30 business partners on board this spring, 49 DCSD students from every high school in the district signed on earlier this semester to gain real-world job experience across the county.  

Flowers explained how the Key to Career program is working to bolster students’ preparation for success after high school and the local workforce. 

“The internship period will run through May 11, and our interns are paid an average of $10 per hour while working an average of 90 hours per semester,” she said. “Prior to this semester, students in the Key to Career program had earned over $248,000. Our program is one of the only paid high school internship programs in the state with 54 percent of our interns remaining employed with the internship host in some capacity after program completion.

“We are thankful to have partners that have supported us from the beginning like Hogge Precision, Fiber Industries, and North Industrial Machine, but now we have expanded to internships outside of manufacturing as well.”

Those job experiences include health care, pharmacy, childcare, cosmetology, and small business management.

“This program has been successful in supporting economic and workforce development initiatives that help our students explore their career options post-graduation,” Flowers said. “The greatest successes of this program, though, are in the ways that student’s lives are changed for the better, offering some of them hope for the future that they did not see before.”

DCSD is currently seeking summer internship partners. If you are interested in offering an internship with your organization or would like to know other ways you can support student interns, reach out to Shannon Flowers at shannon.flowers@darlington.k12.sc.us.

Author: Stephan Drew

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Posts Remaining