DDHS senior lands paid internship for landscape design work

DeLara_Landscape_Design

Lucas DeLara and teacher Marty Speth (bottom thumbnail image) video chat with DeLara’s client, Leesa (midde), and CTeLearning.com’s Steve Waddell (top) about the Landscape Design Internship DeLara has. He will be redesigning the landscaping for Leesa’s Kansas City house.  

DELAVAN — Delavan-Darien High School senior Lucas DeLara now has a paid design gig after studying in Marty Speth’s Sustainable Landscape Design course.

With the help of technology and CTeLearning.com, Speth was able to help find DeLara a paid internship where he’ll be designing backyards for a client who lives not even near his own back yard.

DeLara’s client, Leesa, lives in Kansas City, about 500 miles away from Delavan.

As it worked out, there was an opportunity for a sustainable landscape design project in Kansas City and CTeLearning connected DeLara with his potential client.

Lucas DeLara

Lucas DeLara

DeLara had to “sell his skills” to the client to try and land the job, which he did. During a videoconference, Leesa (the homeowner with work needing to be done) took DeLara on a walking tour of her property and shared her family’s thoughts and wishes for the re-design.

During the tour, the two discussed how the family used the space, sustainability concerns, drainage issues and her family’s excitement for an up to date design.

He was hired and CTeLearning has arranged to provide DeLara with further images, measurements, and videos to allow him the ability to review every square foot of the property so he can begin his landscape design work.

“What is incredible about this whole experience is that Lucas is still in High School,” said Steve Waddell, founder of CTeLearning. “He gets to show the world that he has already learned real-world skills and is putting them to use for a real client.”

Speth could not be prouder of his senior design student.

“It is so rare to see students get real internships, let alone get a paid internship while still in high school,” Speth said. “This is work with a customer; a paying client. This is as real as it gets.

“I have a great supportive administration and terrific students here at Delavan-Darien. Since the word has gotten out that Lucas was able to get an internship, I have had some local interest in additional internships for some of my students. I expect to see our Sustainable Landscape program here continue to grow.”

Speth said the program is on the cutting edge of high school education for career preparation in the field.

“All of my students are getting a real taste of a $60 Billion a year industry. How great is that?” he said.

For CTeLearning, it’s the company’s first year organizing paid internships with client school district.

“This year we have helped facilitate internships in Coding, Game Design, App Design, Web Design and now our first in Sustainable Landscape.” Waddell said. “There is no cost to the school for this. We are creating real internship opportunities. The homeowner was very impressed with Lucas and I expect the family will be blown away with the quality of design Lucas will present to them in a couple of weeks. This is incredibly exciting for everyone involved.”

Speth adopted CTeLearning.com’s Sustainable Landscape Design Course for Delavan-Darien High School some years ago after meeting the founder of CTeLearning.com at a Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators WAAE summer conference meeting.

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