By Camey Crossley
One of the most exciting parts of being a teenager is deciding what you want to do after high school. But, it can also be really nerve-racking! There are so many different jobs and opportunities in the world, and it’s hard to know where to start. Thanks to a new class at Liberty and Liberty North High School, that challenge has become a little bit easier to navigate. Network 53 is a program that allows students to intern and work with professionals in multiple amazing career fields around the Kansas City area. The program helps students get a better understanding of certain jobs, create relationships with people already in those areas of work, and get real-world experiences in a professional work environment. The Network 53 program is available to juniors and seniors and takes up 2 scheduled class hours. Students in the program can intern on any professional vertical they decide. Currently, the Network 53 program has local students in everything from entertainment marketing to physical therapy. I decided to interview two of my fellow peers on their experiences in the program.
Jake Anderson-Jones is a senior at Liberty North and is interning at the Kansas City Sports Commission through the Network 53 program. As part of his internship, Jake attends lots of meetings and helps host events such as the Garmin KC Marathon, Women’s Sports Awards, BIG12 basketball tournament, and just about any big sporting event coming to Kansas City. Jake doesn’t just attend event planning meetings but he has the opportunity to work the very sporting events he has assisted with. “I love getting to experience the whole process from start to finish”, says Jake, “and to get to see the behind the scenes aspect that most people don’t see.”
In the future, Jake would love a sports-related job and says, he’s glad he has the opportunity with the Network 53 program to create good professional relationships with people in the industry and get a better understanding of his preferred career field.
As an intern at Liberty Public Schools Early Childhood Center, Liberty North High School junior Abby Hedges, gets to work with different preschool-aged kids doing crafts and different activities as well as helping with other teachers when needed. While Abby isn’t sure what her future career is going to be, her internship has increased her interest in speech-language pathology. Abby says her Network 53 project manager has been a great help by informing her about multiple career and job opportunities if she continues after high school to go into early childhood education. Her intern experience has also exposed her to what it’s truly like working with children, a real hands-on experience. “All the kids have a lot of energy so they can be a lot of fun, but definitely can be stressful and I’m glad that I have the help of professionals in the field that I can learn from,” Abby explains.
My current internship is at Gary Crossley Ford and it is through the Network 53 project. In fact, I’m writing this article as a project assigned to me as a marketing intern. It has been a wonderful educational experience for me. I’ve been able to get invaluable experience in and out of the classroom.
If you are a high school student or know a high school student looking for guidance for life after high school, I absolutely encourage my peers to talk to their high school counselors about the Network 53 project.