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Student Stories

We are fortunate to have a number of outstanding organizations partnering with Next to provide this year’s Capstone students with robust, hands-on learning experiences in distinct career areas that meet their interests. Here are their stories.


Santino recognizes that baseline knowledge of computers, electronics, and communication technologies will be invaluable to him as he constructs his pathway in the tech field. At Staples in Londonderry, both at the front end of the store and in the Tech Support Department, Santino has developed a Capstone experience in which he can learn about the devices and technologies people rely on everyday in their personal and professional lives.


To feed her passion for marine biology, and help her begin to network in this field of study, Mary-Kate is currently interning with NH Sea Grant and the UNH Cooperative Extension. Mary-Kate’s activities focus on field activities relating to coastal research and habitat restoration and communicating on these endeavors to stakeholders and volunteers in the community. Mary-Kate says “I hope that through my internship, I can gain a better understanding of how marine research is done, and what kinds of jobs people have working with marine life.” You can read about Mary-Kate’s first week here. Mary-Kate is also exploring her interests in horticulture with an internship at Shady Hill Greenhouses, a small, family-run greenhouse and nursery providing quality plants, shrubs, and trees since 1998. On her first day, Mary-Kate rolled up her sleeves to help with plantings that will result in spring annuals and perennials.”


Molly’s deep interest in politics and social issues inspired her to seek out a Fall internship with Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s staff at her New Hampshire office in Manchester. This internship exposes Molly to the legislative, administrative, and communications activities of the Senator’s office. Through her work answering calls from constituents, drafting correspondence to local organizations, and interacting with the Senator’s staff, Molly hopes to develop skills that will support her interest in pursuing further study and potential career paths in political science.”


Janai loves art and she is fascinated by psychology. These two interests are driving her goal of becoming an art therapist. To support her exploration of this field, Janai has an internship in Mrs. McMaster’s art classroom at Grinnell Elementary School in Derry.


Amy is so fortunate this year to be working with the Technology Department for the Derry Cooperative School District, learning how to provide all levels of equipment, training, and tech support for the Derry school facilities. This experience is perfectly tailored to Amy, as she considers her post-secondary learning options for Computer Science. One of Amy’s goals is to develop strong problem-solving skills as she learns how an IT professional supports computer systems and users.


JP enjoys cooking, and wants to become a chef someday. This past summer he enrolled in a cooking class at The Culinary Playground, which prepared him very well for his internship in the kitchens at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.  JP says “The school kitchen is a friendly environment where I can learn how to cook fast, and cook multiple foods at the same time. While here, I will serve up a good sense a humor, strong focus on the task at hand, and a friendly attitude towards others.”


Holly loves birds and has several of her own, so a natural place for her to explore this passion is in the Bird Department of Woof Meow. Ornithology, the study for birds, is a unique branch of the zoological sciences. Holly is enjoying this hands-on experience learning about the general care and feeding appropriate for a variety of birds, as well as providing information and support to customers.


Emily is enjoying her experiences interning at Ages & Stages Child Development Center in Hampstead. Emily is observing and supporting a qualified staff of early childhood educators as they provide programs and curriculum to nurture children from infant through pre-Kindergarten.”


Nathan is a thinker, a tinkerer, and a maker. He also loves to ski and longboard. For these reasons, Nathan is so at home interning at Gnarbear. Gnarbear is a small company that designs and builds completely custom, high-quality snowboarding, skateboarding and BMX features on and off-site using a variety of metal, plastics, and wood. The Gnarbear team can conceptualize and create everything from your standard flat boxes & rails to “totally killer” custom setups.


Joe is passionate about music, so it is quite fitting that he is interning at Smash Music in Derry. Smash provides everything from lessons, instruments, repair services, and shared space for musicians to practice and perform. Joe’s focus at Smash is in learning about instruments, repair, and planning and supporting the events hosted at Smash.


Logan enjoys animals and working with animals. Logan’s internship at Blue Seal Feed and Needs is giving him the opportunity to learn about the needs and care requirements for all types animals in this small, thoughtful community business. In addition, Logan is acquiring invaluable experience working with a team that is committed to Impeccable customer service and sound retail business practices.


These days Kenny is spending his weekday afternoons and Saturdays interning at Midgard Comics and Games in Derry. 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. Kenny is learning the skills and habits that make for successful and rewarding employment, in a place that connects him to a community of people with similar passions and interests to his own.


Felix believes in teaching children different ways to express themselves is. As a talented artist himself, he loves art and helping his peers with their artwork so they can learn to improve. At West Running Brook Middle School in Derry, Felix is interning with art teacher Kellen Rattigan. Felix says “Having an art teacher as a mentor is really beneficial to me as he guides me to share my love of knowledge and art with the students.”