Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Intern Excel’s in Work at MIRA Trash Museum


Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Intern Excel's in Work at MIRA Trash Museum

Paraprofessional, Rob Tebecio (left) with his student, Trash Museum Intern, Vashaun Harrison (right) at MIRA's Trash Museum.
Following a school field trip a few years back, an idea was born that led us to having student interns from Hartford Public High School's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology (HPHS/AEGT), at the MIRA Trash Museum, 211 Murphy Road, Hartford. We have just completed our third consecutive school year of a mutually beneficial relationship, where students learn to make valuable contributions through their labor, and both "sides" are reciprocated.
Beginning in school year 2012-13, there was one student intern working with a HPHS staff member at the museum. School year 2013-14, there were three students with one HPHS staff member, and then this past year, we were back to one student intern.  The museum provides creative and hands-on learning opportunities for students about recycling and trash management.
What truly makes this a mutually beneficial working relationship is that museum staff are freed up from trying to accomplish the many essential tasks the student(s) care for. The students contribution of labor provides a tremendous help to the museum and the students are receiving valuable experiences to assist them in refining work skills. Also, they receive the gratitude and positive reinforcement from the museum and school staff.
Examples of tasks the young men took on were:
*"powering up" building, meaning walking around and turning on all lights and t.v. screens, then the opposite at the end of day on Tuesdays (powering down).
* preparing countless arts and crafts materials, cutting, sorting by size etc.
* moving tables and chairs, sometimes covering/re-covering tables
* re-organizing and tidying up the arts and crafts area
* planting/up-keep of flowers and other plants
* checking glue sticks and discarding old ones
* sharpening pencils and/or checking markers to ensure still working properly
* removing white paper backing from silver/gold material used for crafts
* assisting museum staff with anything they may help with
* taking out/bring in large green recycling bins
This past year, Vashaun Harrison completed his second year as an intern. Over the past two school years Vashaun contributed 501 hours of labor. His work and dedication were invaluable. He is a sweet young man who really enjoys helping others, so this was a "win-win" for all. Again, the tasks he achieved made it more possible for museum staff to take on other duties. His positive attitude and smiling face will be greatly missed.
At  an informal "graduation" party for Vashaun at the museum, left to right are AoEGT Dean of Students Dennis Wehrly, two members of MIRA, Vashaun's mom Lashawn Harrison, Vashaun, Para Rob Tebecio, and Case Manager Janet Muldoon-Ellsworth.
Submitted by Rob Tebecio
Rob is a Paraprofessional, now in his 12th year with Hartford Public Schools, primarily working in Special Education.

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