Whether through an internship at a local business or pursuing an independent project, Senior Internship Program gives students the opportunity to focus on an area of interest outside the walls of Wilton High School. This experience can help students prepare for their intended field of study in college or explore a passion that doesn\u2019t fit into a traditional classroom setting. The program has been in place since 2009, and has been coordinated by physics teacher Scott Durkee since 2011. Here\u2019s a look at what four Wilton High School seniors are doing for their internship. ALS Therapy Development Institute Amanda and Elizabeth Craven chose to intern at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) in Massachusetts because of their respective passions in medicine and business. \u201cWe first traveled to Boston for a week to work at the ALS TDI headquarters,\u201d the twins told The Bulletin. \u201cWhile there, we were able to meet and speak with many dedicated researchers and fundraisers. We stuffed and mailed envelopes, formatted website pages, and even helped a bit in the lab.\u201d The Cravens first became involved with the ALS Therapy Development Institute their freshman year, when their father was diagnosed with the nervous system disease ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Throughout their high school careers, Amanda and Elizabeth helped raise money for the institute and wished to continue learning more through their senior internship. Amanda, who will be attending Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., to pursue a career in medicine, focused her internship on research. She shadowed a scientist in the lab to learn how cells are used to find a cure and was able to see how experiments were conducted. She also participated in meetings about the results and the steps that will be taken in the future. Elizabeth, who will be attending the Questrom School of Business at Boston University in Boston, focused her internship on the business side of a non-profit organization. She shadowed workers around the office and helped raise money through online campaigns, websites, and making thank you calls. As part of their internship, the twins also created a fundraising page for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, which they will be running in October. The money they raise will go directly towards the ALS Therapy Development Institute and their research. Amanda and Elizabeth have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences they\u2019ve had and connections they\u2019ve made through their internship. \u201cWorking at ALS TDI has provided an opportunity to get outside our comfort zones and do things we never would have had the chance to do within the confines of a classroom,\u201d the twins said. Earthplace Jeromy DiGiacomo adores animals and has always wanted a pet, so working in the animal hall at Earthplace in Westport was the perfect opportunity to get hands-on experience with critters of all shapes and sizes. \u201cI also really love science, and I thought it be cool for me to intern at Earthplace in a path towards a future career,\u201d said Jeromy, who will be attending Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., to study biology. Jeromy became involved with Earthplace last year through volunteer work. Since the start of his internship, he has taken up additional responsibilities, including cleaning and sanitizing tanks and cages, feeding the animals, and powerwashing outdoor exhibits. He has also been to the five on-site classrooms, where he reads stories to the preschool students and educates them about the animals at Earthplace. Jeromy said encourages the children to be curious and become informed about the importance of preserving these animals\u2019 lives. So far, Jeromy said, he has enjoyed learning about habitat preservation and endangered species. Throughout the duration of his internship, Jeromy said he would like to have the opportunity to hold and handle one of Earthplace\u2019s many large birds, which include eagles, hawks, and owls. \u201cI would like a majestic bird in my hand,\u201d he said jokingly. There are always surprises around the corner at Earthplace. \u201cEvery day we get a new task sheet with things we\u2019re doing,\u201d said Jeromy. \u201cI\u2019m always looking forward to the next day to see what we\u2019ll be up to.\u201d Jeromy said he thinks interning is important because it provides students with experiences they wouldn\u2019t be able to have in the classroom. \u201cIt gets you outside \u2018the bubble\u2019 and puts you into the real world, which can be hard to fathom,\u201d he said. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot that we aren\u2019t exposed to, so it\u2019s important to get out there and learn before college.\u201d Middlebrook School Grace Kelleher, who is considering becoming a teacher, returned to Middlebrook to work with her eighth grade reading writing Workshop teacher Alison Rubin for her senior internship. \u201cThis internship could serve as a stepping stone to my area of study,\u201d said Grace. \u201cIt\u2019s interesting to see an application of a career I could pursue with my intended major.\u201d In the fall, Grace will be attending Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., to study English literature. Grace said she loves working with children and felt interning in a classroom setting would be a good fit for both her interests and skills. Whether through organizing the classroom or adding to Rubin\u2019s discussions, Grace said she has gotten a full experience of what life as an educator is like. She has also had the opportunity to answer many of the middle schoolers\u2019 budding inquiries about attending Wilton High School. \u201cWe\u2019ve recently had a lot of clubs from the high school come in to talk to the students,\u201d she said, \u201cso I\u2019ve been there to answer any residual questions.\u201d For the duration of her internship, Grace said she is looking forward to seeing the eighth grade yellow team students complete their Capstone projects, which they\u2019ve been working on since the beginning of the year. Grace said she has enjoyed watching the middle schoolers explore their topics and put the finishing touches on their presentations. Grace said she likes that interning allows for a relaxing change of scenery for tired seniors following such a busy year. \u201cIt allows seniors a chance to feel mature and get out of the high school, doing something that matters,\u201d Grace said. \u201cEveryone\u2019s doing something different that means something to him or her. It allows the education we\u2019ve built over four years of high school to culminate in something we care about.\u201d Wilton High School\u2019s internship program will culminate on Tuesday, June 14, with a symposium in the high school cafeteria, from 5 to 6 p.m., during which parents, teachers and community members will have the opportunity to talk with students about their internships and projects.