“Honestly, it was a great experience. This was my first time working in an office and it taught me a lot about organization. I think I can put this experience to good use.”

That’s how recent Columbia River High School graduate Austin Graves describes his time spent as a summer intern at ESD 112, where for the past few weeks he’s been working alongside Peggy Sandberg and the Insurance Services team.

Austin’s internship was made possible through the SummerWorks program, a Workforce Southwest Washington initiative that provides students with 40 hours of professional development training and a 90-hour paid internship with a local business.

Peggy Sandberg, Director of of Insurance Programs with intern Austin Graves

“Austin has been a pleasure to work with,” said Peggy, director of Insurance Programs. “We asked him to scan a bunch of documents for us and he’s managed to scan eight full boxes of files. He has been a huge help.”

An aspiring writer who dreams of one day publishing a series of fantasy novels, Austin said that completing the SummerWorks program means he can finally add real-world professional experience to his resume.

“I would call that a win-win – no, a win-win-win,” added Peggy. “This program is great for students, it’s been great for us in Insurance Services, and I think it can really benefit all of ESD.”