BULLHEAD CITY — Ten.

That is the target number of interns Dr. Waheed Zehri said he hoped to place for this summer, through a new program.

Zehri, founder and CEO of Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership, said local employers took on 35 interns.

“The program has been very successful,” Zehri said Wednesday.

Twenty-eight young people completed their internships and will be honored at a July 25 graduation ceremony at Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse.

The interns worked in fields that included home construction, plumbing, masonry and several medical fields.

Each earned a paycheck, and Zehri said those in high school received career and technical education credit.

Bree Lipinski, who graduated from Mohave High School this spring, spent her six-week internship with Radiologic Associates of Northwest Arizona.

“She did great,” said Dr. Warren Mays, describing how Lipinski learned about diagnosing multiple common illnesses seen in the community.

Lipinski said she has decided on a career in health care and thought the internship program would be a way of getting her foot in the door.

“They taught me the ins and outs of medicine,” she said. 

She said her experiences included learning about the different types of scans and why a radiologist might choose one over another.

“It was really fun,” said Lipinski, now heading to nursing school at Northern Arizona University. “A good way of spending the summer. It gave me a really good introduction to the healthcare field.”

She said that the internships are having a positive impact.

“I see it with everyone in the program,” Lipinski said. “It’s not just me.”

At the start of the program, Zehri said, its goals included teaching young people job skills, along with lessons on leadership, work ethic and interviewing skills.

Other interns’ schools included Mohave Accelerated Learning Center and Needles High School; some interns were home-schooled. 

Zehri said feedback from the employers paints a picture of a very smart group of young people.

Zehri said the employers combined to pay almost $50,000 in wages to the interns. Some have extended job offers, and retained those workers beyond the internships’ July 15 end date.

“I really appreciate all the businesses and community people for supporting me in this,” he said.

Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership will be taking applications for its 2020 internships in March. Zehri said he’s hoping to include new fields next year. The program is open to any student aged 16 to 25 at any local high school (including Needles and Laughlin) or at Mohave Community College.

This year’s graduation ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. July 25. State Rep. Regina Cobb will be the guest speaker.

The interns, mentors, community leaders and high-school principals and counselors are invited.

Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership is seeking associate members. Anyone interested may contact Zehri at 928-234-3422.

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