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Student Stories

We are fortunate to have a number of outstanding organizations partnering with Next to provide this year’s 14 Capstone students with robust, hands-on learning experiences in distinct career areas that meet their interests. These opportunities in the areas of finance, technology, healthcare, education, the arts, communication, and the trades are particularly compelling as these soon-to-be high school graduates consider their options for post-secondary learning and work experiences. Here are their stories.


Kevin is fortunate to be interning with JSI Capital Advisors in Manchester, a company that provides strategic and financial advisory services to the telecommunications, information technologies, software, and digital media industries. Kevin says, “This invaluable experience is showing me what it is really like to work in a corporate office. I am learning a great deal about the nature of accounting and finance as well as the skills necessary to compete in the field. My internship is acting as an introductory course in finance, and I hope to take what I am learning and utilize it in the future by pursuing a career in this field.”

Devony has so many interests driving her learning that she has chosen to explore two different career pathways through Capstone. Devony had an amazing experience in July and August 2016 interning at Analog Devices, Inc. in Wilmington, Massachusetts, a company that provides cutting-edge technological solutions for a large variety of industries worldwide. Devony describes her work at ADI this way, “I worked at Analog Devices this summer, a tech company that designs and produces sensors for everything from your car to your tomato garden.  My job was to work with the other interns to make instructional videos and documents on some of the components they donate to FIRST.” This winter, Devony sought an opportunity to explore a very different experience, educating young people by interning at the The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua, an organization committed to providing enriching educational and social programming to children ages 5-18.  Devony says after her first week, “I just started my job at the Boys and Girls Club of Nashua, working with middle school age kids.  It’s a lot of exhausting fun, and I am working on figuring out what type of workshops I want to set up and run by myself.  So far I have helped kids make circuits and sensors with Arduino Unos, and led a game of ‘Who Stole My Chicken?’ outside.  It looks like I will have a good time there.”

Tyler spends part of most school days working with the Technology Department for the Derry Cooperative School District, providing all levels of equipment, training, and tech support for the Derry school facilities. Tyler came to this internship with some personal experience rebuilding computers and computer components. He says it is fun being able to use this knowledge to repurpose older or spare components to again be useful. Tyler’s mentor says of Tyler, “He seems to like learning new things and has a passion for what he is doing.”

Dyllan spent September through November of this school year interning in a Grade 6 Social Studies classroom at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry. At his Capstone Defense presentation in January, Dyllan shared takeaways from his experience. Dyllan recognized that teachers need to be knowledgeable in their subject area, well-prepared each day, able to think on their feet, and skilled at managing groups. Dyllan says his experience in the teaching-side of the classroom helped him to become comfortable speaking in front of groups and communicating with adults.

Callista experienced what it means to be part of team of professional high school English Language Arts educators while interning this fall at Alvirne High School in Hudson. At her Capstone Defense in February, Callista identified this personal takeaway to her audience, “There are no bad kids, it all depends on how you work with them.” Callista believes her experience helped her to see that all students are unique and as a teacher you need to be prepared to adjust to different learning styles to help all students be successful learners.

Isobel has been interning since February 2016 at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, an entertainment venue that hosts nationally acclaimed musical talent in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. Isobel says, “Interning at The Tupelo Music Hall has been the most amazing opportunity. Being able to work with different people every time I am there and being exposed to awesome music is something I want to do after high school. Working at a music venue and even owning my own venue one day would be a dream come true. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Last summer, David developed an internship opportunity for himself at American Pride Woodworking in Derry, a shop devoted to delivering custom woodwork, custom finishing, antique furniture repair and restoration, and wood carving for individuals and businesses. Since August 2016, David spends time weekly at the shop supporting the craftsmen in making quality pieces for their clients, as well as creating a few pieces to donate to organizations that serve youths in the community. David says this experience has motivated him to want to own his own woodworking shop some day.

Jaiden has been interning since October at Single Digits in Bedford, a company that provides high speed internet access globally to the hospitality industry. At a recent site progress meeting with his mentor and Capstone advisor, Jaiden commented on how this experience is unique from being in school. At Single Digits, Jaiden feels that the work he is doing in tech support is helping other people in the company do their jobs effectively, and this sense of purpose and contribution to the organization is very satisfying.

Josh is a comics enthusiast, and an individual who highly values being part of a community. For these reasons, interning at Midgard Comics and Games in Derry is a perfect Capstone experience for Josh. Midgard sells premier comics, board games, and collectible trading cards, as well as provides a welcoming environment for casual and competitive players to regularly meet and play. Josh is learning what it takes to start and run a small niche business. Josh says, “This opportunity to learn something new outside of school is so important. To make the most of Capstone, you need to never be afraid to ask questions or for help, and be sure to keep your other school work moving forward so you can spend as much time in your site as possible.”

Thomas has always had a natural interest in vehicle mechanics. During this school year, Thomas has spent over four hundred hours at Joe & Kim Auto in Derry, a full-service garage that provides repairs and maintenance service on all types of cars. Thomas loves being at the shop, and the guys say no matter what the weather, and even on school vacations, Thomas always shows up at his scheduled time, eager to observe and assist on any job.

Phil is a very industrious person who thrives on working and getting things done. Phil has been utilizing this personal drive as an intern with Michael Carpenito Construction in Windham, a full-service home remodeling company that specializes in home additions, and bath, kitchen, and basement remodeling. Phil’s goal is to start his own construction business, and working with Mike has taught Phil that being organized, attentive to the customer, and working smart allows for an efficient and lucrative business model.

Linda began her Capstone experience by completing an LNA course over the summer. She is using those skills working for Right At Home In-Home Care and Assistance, in Londonderry, a company that caters to the elder community by providing individualize in-home care to clients in Southern NH. Linda says, “The thing I value the most about my internship with Right at Home is that I get hands on experience. I also value the one-on-one client relationship and bond that is made.”

Jonny has had the unique experience of interning for two organizations partnering to serve our Derry community–Derry Community Television, providing relevant local government and community programing and the Community Alliance for Teen Safety (CATS), a non-profit organization dedicated to communicating and promoting safe teen habits. Jonny’s says of the Capstone experience, “As long as you commit and are professional, everyone will be on your side.”

From a very young age, Erin has been fascinated with paramedicine. Erin designed her Capstone program to include her participation in ambulance ride alongs, thus far with Windham, Salem, and Amesbury fire departments. She currently has an invitation to participate in similar ride alongs in Derry. Erin also completed the first eight weeks of the New England EMS Institute Basic EMT Training, in Manchester, an entry-level and rigorous training program designed to prepare individuals to sit for the National Registry of EMT Examination required for eligibility for state licensure. Erin had this to say when asked why she is drawn to EMT work: “I like helping people, and the adrenaline rush from responding to unsecured scenes. This type of work makes me feel important.”