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TEEN SCENE: The Co-op Program

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Paving the way into the adult world

Ellen Robbins sits at her computer at The Guardian. The P.E.I. student is completing her co-op placement at The Guardian this month.
Ellen Robbins sits at her computer at The Guardian. The P.E.I. student is completing her co-op placement at The Guardian this month.

Imagine a high school student having the chance to leave the classroom every day to experience what it’s like in the working world.

With the co-op program, it’s possible. The course is worth two credits for students. For high school students it’s an opportunity to work on a real jobsite (if the supervisor will take them, of course).

It’s a wonderful experience if you’re wanting to get out of the classroom for a while and get a sense of what it’s like working on your possible career.

Many benefits come from being in this program, especially the involvement in the working world. If you think you’re set on the career path you want to take, co-op is the best way to decide if it’s truly the right fit for you. If it turns out to be a confirmed choice, it’ll give you secured contacts who know just how well you fit in the workspace. It’s not just a benefit to the student, but to the employer too. Employers receive an extra helping hand from a volunteer who shows up ready to work on whatever task gets assigned to them.

I’ve been completing my co-op program here, at The Guardian, for months now and I’m in nearing my last day. Over the course of my time here, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to be able to write a number of articles for the Teen Scene section that’s included in the paper.

I’ve even gained the knowledge of what the average day-to-day life of a journalist is like.

Journalism has always been in my mind as a career path I’d like to go down, but I was never set on it. With my time spent here, it came more into focus that this might just be the fit for me.

There are many different aspects to it, like there are for most careers, and I’ve been so lucky to discover them. These past couple of months have been fascinating to say the least.

I’m beyond grateful for the experience gained over the course of my time here.

Co-op gave me, and many other students, the work place experience that you can’t gain from sitting in a classroom. It even adds valuable volunteer hours to your resume. Overall, I highly suggest if you’re thinking of going into the co-op program you should. My time spent here has been nothing but memorable, and I’ve enjoyed every part of it.

Ellen Robbins is a Grade 11 student at Charlottetown Rural High School who is completing her co-op program at The Guardian.

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