DECO Program Celebrates Student Success

June 13, 2018

By gaining workplace knowledge through internships and acing college-level courses, students in the Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) program at Danbury High School are making the most of their experiences.

On June 13th, DECO held its Internship Exposition and Celebration at DHS. Several students from the program's first cohort, now in their third year, shared their internship projects. Other students received awards for their exceptional academic performance in the program.

DHS junior Maria DeSouza interned this semester with Dream House Realty, handling its monthly mailings.

"I learned business etiquette through DECO and how to apply that in a work setting," Maria said. "I'm glad that I gained this experience -- it opened doors to opportunities I would not have had."

Britta Pedersen, owner of Dream House Realty in Danbury, said Maria surpassed her expectations during her internship.

"Maria really stepped up to the plate," Pedersen said. "She went above her tasks understanding the business beyond busywork. Maria brought a different attitude. Her expectation was to learn and find out what the business was about."

Sebastian Arreola, also a junior, got firsthand experience in customer service at Ingersoll Auto in Danbury.

"I got to see how they work and how to communicate," Sebastian said. "I learned how to approach someone and how to do a good job on what you're working on. Without this, I would just try to get the work done. It makes me focus instead of rushing."

Jerfrey Martinez interned for AcquireWeb in Newtown and will continue working there over the summer, creating ads and marketing campaigns.

"I look forward to continuing this," Jerfrey said. "I learned a lot about the workplace that has helped me."

Jenna Coladarci, a junior, worked in the marketing department at United Way of Western Connecticut for an hour a week from February through May making a promotional video.

"I learned that I want to go into marketing or communication," Jenna said. "DECO gave me exposure to companies and taking college courses. It'll help me in the future."

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