Marshfield, Mo. -- A Marshfield program connects high schools students with businesses to create internships.
The GRO Marshfield Internship Program is expanding to reach more students and businesses.
It's a goal to keep graduates working in the community.
"I feel pretty special because not everybody gets to do this," Marshfield high school senior Kaylah Cottengim said.
During the first two hours of the day, Marshfield high school senior Kaylah Cottengim works at this attorney's office.
"When I come here, I come sit at my desk and I see if they've left any papers for me and then if it's a court day, I'll go with the attorneys to court," Cottengim said.
What started out as a non-accredited internship program, available to only a select few high school students in Marshfield is now growing.
"It's become accredited, which brings the opportunity for more students and so right now we're trying to build an inventory of businesses who've agreed to take on interns and develop relationships with them and it's really started with we were kind of hand picking the students who would fit into this program, so now it's opening up to where students can say 'hey I'm interested in doing this' and now it's a bigger opportunity," Chuck Replogle, Attorney at Replogle, Tyrrell & Robertson said.
The opportunity for Kaylah Cottengim to get this experience changed her future career goals.
"I would have never thought about being in the law field but I have loved it and it's something that I might pursue later," Cottengim said.
Gro Marshfield studies show graduating high school students are currently leaving Marshfield and not coming back.
Businesses hope by mentoring future generations, like Kaylah, it will make students think about returning home.
"We wanted to have students maybe get a connection with a local business so that when they leave and they go get their education or training that they might think about coming back to Marshfield to start a career," Replogle said.
The internship program is changing lives for students like Kaylah for the better and it's an investment business believe in.
"It's not like this internship program is just law, it has all kinds of different places you can go and branch out to," Cottengim said. "So I think it does get the community all in and makes you want to stay more."
"Marshfield has been a good community to invest in us and we feel like it's a good way to invest back in the community," Replogle said.
Right now only 12th graders are eligible.
Students can take the internship program during the school day for .5 credit for each hour. Students can also do it outside of school hours for no credit.
Most high school seniors fit the internship into their schedule during the last period of the day.
The school and Gro Marshfield organizers are looking to get more organizations and businesses interested in hosting interns.
If you're interested you can email Amanda Badgett at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also call Marshfield High School (417) 859-2120