Students gear up for summer internships


Isabella Lau

Sophomores Celeste Paapanen, left, and Kimi Shirai are among the Cal High students who landed internships this summer. Paapanen will be interning for Supervisor Wilma Chan at Alameda County District 3, while Shirai is part of UCSB’s Research Mentorship Program.

Emmy Burrus, Co Editor-in-Chief

The two and a half months of summer that are approaching give students the perfect opportunity to get an internship. 

This is exactly what many Cal High students have already begun doing.

Sophomore Kimi Shirai has landed herself an internship at the UC Santa Barbara Research Mentorship Program. The highly competitive program receives hundreds of applications each year but only 75 are fortunate enough to be accepted. Shirai was among these few.

“I knew I wanted to do something involving research and anthropology and this was one of the only programs that offered that area of research,” Shirai said.

Through this program Shirai will be able to conduct research alongside a mentor from June 23 to Aug. 3 while staying in the UCSB dorms. Shirai will conduct her own research project within the field of anthropology while earning eight units of college credit.

“I [am] most excited for learning more about whatever I get to research at UCSB and being able to expand my knowledge about the different cultures around the world,” Shirai said.

Since August of last year, sophomore Thomas Files has been interning with the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO) Youth Advisory Council.

The APILO is a nonprofit law firm that works mainly with people of color in regards to immigration, housing and domestic violence cases.

Files said he and other members of the group travel to Oakland and San Francisco to help educate young people in low income and minority communities about teen dating violence and domestic violence. 

“I love how I have direct contact with the community that I’m trying to help out and make a change in, helping me see a perspective that’s so different from my view, even though we’re in a part of the same Bay Area,” Files said.

The program reaches out to the community through conferences, presentations, workshops and events, such as the APILO’s “That’s Not Love” annual talent show and “Upcoming Art Pop” to showcase Bay Area youth of color and to spread awareness of teen dating violence.

This summer, Files will be entering his second year interning with the program and hopes to continue to stay with them throughout his high school career.

“My experience has already helped me realize the way words can include people in the community and also realize the role intersectionality plays in society and institutions,” Files said. “It’s a humbling experience that makes me appreciative for what I have.”

Sophomore Madden Windham will be interning this summer at Camp Cardiac from June 24-28.

“[We will be] learning about the structure and function of the heart, surgical things, about how to keep it healthy and how to get into medical school,” Windham said.

The camp is a nationwide program run by medical students and doctors. Windham will be attending the camp at UCSF Medical Center.

Windham is in Principles of Biomedical Science and hopes the camp will further her knowledge in the field of medical science.

“I hope to learn more about potential careers in healthcare and to learn if this field is one I’m truly passionate about,” Windham said.

Sophomore Celeste Paapanen has earned an internship at Alameda County District 3 for Supervisor Wilma Chan.

The program she applied for is called the CAPA-CEF internship program, which pairs accepted applicants with an elected official.

“I like the programs that [Chan] runs and the issues that she works on are issues that I am passionate about, so I think that it is a good fit,” Paapanen said, whose interest in politics inspired her to seek the internship.

Paapanen will be going to Chan’s office three times a week from early June to August 9. There she  will answer calls and help Chan with projects.

“[I’m also looking forward] to get involved with the community more,” Paapanen said.