KANNAPOLIS — A.L. Brown High School senior Jorge Barrios was awarded Intern of the Year at an award ceremony held at the school Tuesday. He was recognized for his fall 2013 internship at the David H. Murdock Research Institute at the N.C. Research Campus.
Barrios scanned accounting documents and entered them into a new software system archiving thousands of pages for the institute. To some that type of assignment might sound tedious, but to Barrios, who is interested in computers, the internship was a valuable experience.
“The time at DHMRI was interesting,” Barrios said, “and I had a lot of fun interacting with the coworkers. They taught me a lot of things that I really appreciate. They helped me gain job experience, and helped me improve my organization skills so I could get the job done.”
Barrios qualified for the Career and Technical Education internship because of the related courses he took. He worked an average of two hours a day up to five days a week for class credit.
“He was wonderful, thorough and accurate as a worker,” said Stacie Thompson, Research Institute procurement manager, who supervised Barrios. “As a person, he is sweet, dependable and a smart person with a great attitude. He is definitely going places.”
The greatest testament to Barrios’ effectiveness is that Thompson had to bring two high school interns on board to replace him.
The Research Institute was one of the first organizations to partner with A.L. Brown to provide Career and Technical Education internship opportunities. The institute has hosted high school interns since 2009. The interns primarily work in the office assisting with procurement, accounting and operations. Participating high schools include A.L. Brown, South Rowan and Cannon School.
“The internship program is a way to reach out to the community and include them in the NCRC,” said Dede Dunn, Research Institute operations assistant, who coordinates the internship program. “The kids really grow through it. They love the hands-on experience, and we try to teach them about business, the importance of the work and the cause and effect of what they are doing.”
Barrios was not only recognized for his success as an intern at the A.L. Brown awards ceremony, he won the AP calculus medal as well. After high school, he plans on pursuing computer science either through the military or community college.