The Holy Cross Intern Program at Saint Francis High School gives alumni who are recent college graduates an opportunity to determine if education is the right career field for them.
This year’s interns, Ben Hadrovic ’12 and Khalid Johnson ’13 – the program’s first class – returned to their alma mater with a strong desire to help shape young people. Mr. Johnson aspires to counsel high school students, while his fellow intern is open to teaching or counseling. Both agree that they have benefited tremendously from ongoing mentorship by faculty members and from hands-on experience of working regularly with students.
“The valuable part is that I get to create relationships with students, and that’s a big part of what a counselor does – relationships where kids trust you, listen to you and take any and all guidance that you give,” said Mr. Johnson.
Among the many ways they interact with current students, these interns assist in the Learning Resources Lab and with the Holy Cross Achievers program as tutors, and they also coach or moderate activities. Mr. Johnson, who served as the captain of the men’s basketball team at Sonoma State University, is the assistant coach for the boys varsity basketball team, and Mr. Hadrovic, who graduated from UC Berkeley, heads up the Lancer Live Broadcasting Club.
“This has been a great experience to teach the students professionalism and how to interact in a work environment,” he said.
Mr. Hadrovic’s motivation in coming back to Saint Francis as an intern stems from his college experience of providing activities at summer camps for disabled and disadvantaged children. He remembered how rewarding it was to support campers in such meaningful ways as helping them to discover their talents or form their own opinions. The internship at Saint Francis allows him to consider other approaches with which he can impact young people.
“To be a voice of reason or to provide advice, even if it’s just one or two kids during the semester, that’s a cool thing,” he said.
For Mr. Johnson, it’s his grandfather who played an influential role in his desire to be a high school counselor. He continues to see how many people in his community view his grandfather as a father figure.
“He gave them so much, from basketball skills to life skills,” Mr. Johnson said. “The way he’s helped kids inspired me to want to give back and guide kids as well.”