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Hillsboro’s Homegrown Talent: Kelsey Ornelas, Library Intern

Post Date:01/02/2018 10:06 AM
Kelsey OrnelasKelsey Ornelas, a senior at Hillsboro High School, was an intern at the Brookwood Library last summer. By the end of the experience, she was envisioning her future self working in jobs she didn't know existed.

City of Hillsboro Public Library staff assigned Kelsey tasks that fit her interests, including photography and graphic design. She worked on marketing projects like the electronic screens that display in-library promotions. Outreach programs capitalized on her photography knowledge as she took pictures of kids’ activities for newsletters. She also helped to build the highly successful and in-demand Library of Things.

Kelsey was thrilled that the staff helped carve out an internship that exposed her to a variety of roles. Gaining work experience through an internship can help “cut out the uncertainty of going into college without knowing what you want to do,” Kelsey said. “You can try on different careers, test different things.”

In Kelsey’s case, her experience at the library showed her careers that align with her interests. Previously, she didn’t see a connection between her love of science and her passion for photography and design. Now, she wants to pursue a career in science journalism.

Tackling an internship isn’t Kelsey’s only public service activity. She is also a member of the City’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and is the YAC representative on the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council. Kelsey said both councils give her a “clearer understanding of Hillsboro’s values” and getting involved in public service gave her a different outlook on Hillsboro.

“You don’t need to come into it knowing everything. You’ll learn about aspects [of government] you didn’t know you had an interest in,” she said. “It’s less scary because you know people in government and can ask questions.”

At the same time, she emphasized that it’s up to students to take initiative.

“Go out and join things that will connect you to opportunities, or go seek the opportunities yourself,” Kelsey said. “You might not need to leave the state or leave the city to find and be able to do what you love.”
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