Teens all over Hall County participate in the Honors Mentorship Program, a program that allows students to get school credit for completing internships in a field they plan to study in college or go into after high school.
Several students participate in very out-of-the-box internships, doing jobs that other teens only dream of doing. One of these kids is Chase Nicholson.
Nicholson is a junior at Chestatee High School who interns at the Lanier Flight Center. Here, he conducts maintenance and inspections of aircrafts for the flight school as well as customers.
Compared to many HMP students who spend their internships sitting behind a desk, Nicholson’s internship is unique.
“I get to get my hands dirty and work with the aircrafts,” Nicholson said.
He is required to spend eight hours per week at his mentorship, so he gets a lot of hands-on experience.
Nicholson is also a member of the Gainesville Civil AIr Patrol.
“It’s an auxiliary branch of the air force. We do SAR (search and rescue) missions for missing planes as well as aid in natural disaster recovery efforts,” Nicholson said.
While he doesn’t get to fly planes as part of his internship, he does fly planes and gliders in his free time.
“I get to fly with (the civil air patrol). The thing I like best thing about flying is that you feel like you're away from everything else, and the height doesn't even cross your mind,” Nicholson said.
Most students who participate in HMP choose to do so in order to get a jump start on real life, and this is most definitely the case for Nicholson.
“I chose HMP because it offered me an opportunity to get hands-on experience in a field and be able to see whether or not it it is something I want to do in the future. My dream job is to be able to fly and engineer aircraft, and I plan to go into the field of aerospace engineering and go into the military and fly,” Nicholson said.