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West // West Oahu News
MidWeek Staff

High Schoolers Gain New Skills At HECO Summer Internship

Last month, four area high school students were given the opportunity to participate in a two-week internship with Hawaiian Electric Company.

Carl Eslava and Brianna Ramos of Campbell High, Hunter Marino from Kapolei High and Franklin Galiza from Waianae High gained first-hand experience working alongside HECO’s employees. The four students, who will be high school seniors in the fall, worked 40 hours a week from June 17 to 28.

“The high school summer internship program is something special for both our interns and our employees,” stated Cybil Rawlins of HECO’s education and consumer affairs department. “The students walk away with a unique learning experience.

“They gain new skills and clearer pictures about their career paths. Our employees also enjoy working with these students and teaching them new things.”

Each student experienced different facets of the company, though all were given the opportunity to take a turn climbing a utility pole.

Eslava and Marino interned in the Construction and Maintenance Department alongside HECO employee Kanai Kauhane and his team. This required them to visit different work sites across the island and shadow line crews.

Marino plans on joining the military so that he may attend college and eventually work at HECO as an engineer. Eslava also hopes to work in the electric, telecommunications or cable industries.

“For this particular field – for (Construction and Maintenance), if you like very hands-on work and if you’re into that electrical field, this (internship) would be good for you because there is plenty of that,” Eslava said.

Galiza joined the electrical, body, fender and welding team, working with Glenn Gomes amongst others.

Ramos completed her internship with the security department, working with Roger Kort. In addition to learning about the various facilities Kort and his team secure on a daily basis, she also discovered the health benefits of the position.

“I feel so healthy,” she said. “I did a lot of walking.

“I’d let future interns know that you’ll be confused a lot of the time,” Ramos added. “But if you ask a lot of questions, you learn a lot. I feel like an insider now.”

Ramos also enjoyed learning about the technological aspects of the company.

“I don’t think half of them (my classmates) know what it takes to make energy. When it doesn’t go on – they think someone didn’t pay their bill,” she said. “It’s more than that. I had no idea there could be this many people in the company and they all do different things.”

HECO’s summer internship program has been offered annually since 1995, and is in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education. Participating students are ensured necessary work and safety equipment, and also receive a $500 stipend.

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