DOBSON – Surry-Yadkin Works, the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina spanning a two-county region, is hosting a virtual kickoff on Tuesday, March 9 at 11 a.m. for anyone interested in learning more about this business and education initiative.

To join the virtual meeting, type in your web browser to join the video conference. You might need to do a quick download of the Microsoft Teams app before joining the meeting.

Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, will provide an overview of the program followed by presentations by students from Katie Kellam, Elkin High School, Certified Nursing Assistant at the Northern Regional Hospital; Trevor Moxley, Starmount High School, maintenance intern at Unifi; Chloe Hunter, East Surry High School, e-Commerce intern at Leonard USA; and Carlos Salmeron, Mount Airy High School, construction intern at Smith-Rowe LLC.

Business partners will share their experience with Surry-Yadkin Works, including Smith “Smitty” Williams, director of human resources at Unifi and Chris Lumsden, president and CEO of the Northern Regional Hospital. Cecilia Holden, President and CEO of myFutureNC, a statewide nonprofit organization focused on education, will also be a featured speaker.

Surry-Yadkin Works started with 50 students placed on internships for the spring semester of 2021. The program is a collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties, including schools in Elkin City, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, and the Internship Program.

The funding is also a joint effort with pledges from Surry County Commissioners and Yadkin County Commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $ 100,000 following a presentation of the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin’s work officially began on January 1.

The first youth apprenticeship program for registered nurses in North Carolina began with 13 interns from Surry-Yadkin Works who began working as employees at the Northern Regional Hospital in January. Twelve of the students have been hired as certified practical nurses, and one is employed as a patient care technician.

The students are: Laney Cave, Carrie McKeaver and Ashley Sewell from Surry Central High School; Jenny Cortes and Natalie Evans of Mount Airy High School; Tynlee Jones and Julie Marshall of East Surry High School; Katie Kellam of Elkin High School; Eryn O’Neal and Annsley Puckett of North Surry High School; Emily Santiago Orellana of Surry Early College High School; Anna Serrano of Starmount High School; and Reagan Wooten of Forbush High School.

This opportunity is part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Program and the state’s ApprenticeshipNC program through the NC Community College System Office, which combines a paid on-the-job learning experience with academics leading to national certification. . These students have the opportunity to earn free tuition for the Associate of Nursing program through Surry Community College, which allows students to become registered nurses.

37 additional Surry-Yadkin Works interns are working in companies and organizations in Surry and Yadkin counties. These students along with their high schools, work locations and job titles are as follows:

Mount Airy High School: Raydan Hawks, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Intern and Carlos Salmeron, Smith-Rowe LLC, Triage Team Member.

North Surry High School: Luke Wagoner, Cedar Ridge Elementary, Custody Intern; Chris Parker, Vega Construction Company, project management intern; Emma Crouse and Emily Johnson, Chatham Nurses and Rehabilitation, CNA interns; Weatherly Reeves, Interlam Design, Social Media Marketing Intern; Megan Angel and Cainan Dollyhigh, Johnson Granite AutoCAD operators; Caleb Doss, Johnson Granite, Manufacturing Intern; Mackenzie Yoder, Leonard USA, installation intern; and Leah Cain and Azeneth Espinosa, Surry County Schools, CNA interns.

East Surry High School: Ripley Cottrell, Shoals Elementary School, Detention Intern; Chloe Hunter and Brianna Whitaker, Leonard USA, e-commerce interns; Hailey Flynn and Cassidy Hewitt, Surry County Schools, CNA Interns; and Victor Hall, Dobson Elementary, guardian intern.

Surry Central High School: Morgan Dawson, Chatham Nurse and Rehabilitation, CNA Intern; Peggy Prevette, Shepherd’s House, Education Intern; Carter Jones, Surry Communications, Supply and Storage intern; and Tiffany Payne, Surry County Schools, CNA Intern;

Surry Early College High School: Anahi Nunez, Altec, office intern; Estefania Camacho, nurse and rehabilitation from Chatham, CNA intern; Matthew Gillespie, Interlam Design, CNC programmer; Leslie Nguygen, REF Properties, accounting / office assistant; Jesus Nava, Tampco, machine trainee; and Leshawn Phillips, Workforce Unlimited, IT intern.

In addition, other students from Forbush and Starmount High Schools and Yadkin Early College High School are participating.

Students started their internships on January 11 and will work until May 14. They will receive high school or college credit for their employment as well as a monthly allowance for travel expenses.

For more information on the virtual launch program or event, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks at 336-401-7820 or or visit can follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

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