Last week, six juniors representing each high school that has been designated a City of Philadelphia community school were selected for the Surveying Technology (Survey Tech) Internship Program with the Philadelphia Streets Department. The students are:

  • Nathan Garcia, Kensington Health Sciences Academy
  • Zerrick Nathanial, Kensington Health Sciences Academy
  • Alayshia Bridges, South Philadelphia High School
  • Alyssa Russello, South Philadelphia High School
  • James Burtin, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School
  • Jaye Dillard, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School

The Survey Tech Internship Program is a full-time, paid opportunity with a rigorous application process, which includes a mandatory teacher recommendation, attendance at an information session and group interview, and essay-style questions. The selected interns will build their skills over two summers in 20 total weeks. They will earn $10.88 an hour while receiving on-the-job work experience.

Nathan Garcia and Zerrick Nathanial from Kensington Health Sciences Academy

Upon completion of the internship program and graduation from high school, each student is eligible to take the civil service exam to become an Engineering Aide 2 with the City of Philadelphia.

Frank Morelli, Survey Bureau Manager and originator of this opportunity, worked with the Mayor’s Office of Education to develop the application for the internship. Morelli felt that “the caliber of students who applied was excellent” and hopes he can grow the program in the future to provide more opportunities for the city’s youth.

So what exactly is surveying technology? According to Nathan Garcia, one of the selected students from Kensington Health Sciences Academy (KHSA), surveying is when you “measure the area of a piece of land where a development is going up to make sure everything is within property lines.”

It’s complicated work that includes boundary surveys, topographic mapping and construction staking, but Nathan is looking forward to growing his skills. “I’m excited about learning trigonometry and getting to apply what I learned to all the places I get to go to and help survey,” he said.

In survey district work sites across the city, the interns will be valuable assets, providing much needed assistance to field crews in the summer months when the demand peaks for surveying services. Morelli says that these entry-level positions are difficult to fill, and that “the internship program is the best way to build a pipeline of talented young people.”

Alayshia Bridges and Alyssa Russello from South Philadelphia High School

For these students, this pipeline is likely to lead directly to a fulfilling career. Jaye Dillard from Dobbins was thrilled to be selected as one of the lucky six. “What I like about this is that I get a chance to work with the City of Philadelphia. It’s a great opportunity,” Jaye commented.

Alayshia Bridges from South Philadelphia High School says she is looking forward to working on big projects, and doing what she loves – math and being outside. In addition, Alayshia says that she’s most excited to make a lasting impact on her city. “To know that I am working on something that could be a landmark is really cool.”

Zerrick Nathanial, KHSA, echoed Alayshia’s excitement and added, “I want to say thank you again for this opportunity that the Mayor’s Office of Education and the Philadelphia Streets Department have given us. I am looking forward to taking this career, good or bad, and learning from it, learning from others, and learning about myself.”

Learn more about recent community schools accomplishments.