For six years, Mercy has proudly partnered with Animas High School (AHS) to support the school’s LINK (Learning Internships for New Knowledge) internship program. According to the AHS website, the LINK program “exemplifies our belief in the value of student-centered, personalized instruction that connects learning to the adult world.”
During their junior year, AHS students are paired with area professionals for a three-week period during which students are exposed to real world experience in their chosen fields. The internships take place in the spring when students spend 30 to 40 hours a week gaining experience.
Janae Hunderman, AHS Career Counselor and Internship Coordinator, supports students in finding internships that allow them to dive into their passions, interests and potential career paths. “I present the students with the different internships available in the community,” Janae explained, “then the students connect with potential mentors that appeal to them.”
“During their internships some students may find their career path and go on to pursue it following high school graduation. While others may decide it isn’t for them, which is good because they aren’t spending time pursuing training or education for a career that isn’t right for them,” Janae added.
AHS seniors have the option to continue participating in the LINK program. They can gain credit by spending at least 4 hours a week or 60 hours a semester with a mentor. This allows AHS seniors to deepen their professional experience.
“I want to extend a huge thank you to Mercy and all the local businesses for providing amazing opportunities for our students to explore their interests,” Janae said. “I’m so grateful for the number of professionals in our community who are willing to take our Ospreys under their wings.”
Since 2013, Mercy has hosted 20 AHS student interns. Thank you to Dr. Kane Anderson, Amy Tichy-Smith, Susie Tipton, Amber DeHererra, Dr. Douglas Orndorff, Dr. Kim Priebe, Jennifer Townsend, Dr. Michael McCallum, Rebecca Martinez, Christy Schuman, Jennifer Cioppa, Raena Douglas and Clay Lowder for your willingness to mentor local students. A special thanks to Susie Tipton, RN, Education Coordinator, and Kristina Joseph, Education Business Support, who work with AHS to help match interested students with Mercy professionals.
For more information about the AHS LINK program, visit or email [email protected].