PVRHSD’s Recognized Intern of the Month

PVRHSD’s Recognized Intern of the Month: Jace Perez

Over the past nine years district leadership has committed to expanding opportunities beyond the four walls of the classroom. Learning starts in the classroom, with students exposed to professional skills (soft and hard), but truly flourishes outside of school. There’s no better example of this than our district’s internship program. Despite the ongoing pandemic, students from Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley have been able to expand their career horizons beyond the typical classroom in a real world environment.

As part of the nationally recognized Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), our program allows students the opportunity to explore various career strands including healthcare, business, trades, service, and teaching. Students attend school for the morning hours and report to their career site in the afternoon. This unique program allows students to gain valuable experience in the field of their choice for over nine months. The district is aligned with mentor partners at over 220 sites throughout the Pascack Valley and beyond. No other high school district has such a comprehensive program in Bergen County.

This month, the district would like to highlight the internship experience of Jace Perez, who is a student at Pascack Hills. Jace’s internship falls under the Automotive/Trade Strand. Since the beginning of the year, Jace has interned at Motor Works West, which is located in Wyckoff, NJ. Motor Works West stands out as Northern New Jersey’s only Independent Maintenance and Repair Facility that specializes in servicing BMW’s. Jace’s mentor, Steve Smith, is the company’s president and is in his second year with the PVRHSD Internship Program.

Jace with Mentor and Car

In considering his experience with Jace and the program, Steve relays, “Jace has soul for the industry, he comes in every day very enthusiastic to talk about the field. He is more enthusiastic than some of my employees who work here. I wish I had this program when I was in high school, as it teaches you if you truly have a love for the industry and want to pursue it or move on to another field.”

Jace with mentor

As an intern, Jace shares: “Being an intern at Motor Works West has been a blessing; being able to see how a real business operates and functions on a day-to-day basis is something that I wouldn’t have been able to experience if not for the internship program. Every day they welcome me as another employee coming in for a workday, which is truly an awesome experience because it is preparing me for the future. I couldn’t have asked for a better high school experience, and am happy to say that I am better prepared for my future.”

Jace in front of sign with mentor

Jace’s parents also share their feelings about the experience: “We are thoroughly pleased with the exposure and experience Jace has gained through the internship. Jace has a keen understanding of mechanics that began with a passion for dirt bikes and progressed to cars and ATVs. The internship at Motor Works West has strengthened that passion and reinforced Jace’s desire to pursue an education in Business Management and Mechanical Engineering.” The entire internship team, along with district administration, is extremely proud of Jace for his commitment to this unique senior high school experience.  For more information about the program, how to become a mentor site, or general questions about opportunities beyond internship, please reach out to the following:

Mr. Joe Orlak, District Supervisor of Professional Studies jorlak@pascack.org

Ms. Laura McSpirit, PV Program Coordinator lmcspirit@pascack.org

Mr. Paul Henry, PH Program Coordinator phenry@pascack.org

Mrs. Jen Errity, District Community Facilitator jerrity@pascack.org

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