As it is back-to-school week, I am writing about a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School incoming senior, Keissila Cecilio, and her internship with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
Tell us a bit about what you did this past summer with the M.V. Commission.
I started to intern for the M.V. Commission in June. My work is concentrated on septic tanks and septic leaching fields, most specifically the septic tank, to see if MVC should buy the property to allow the leaching field to be unharmed since they are such a vital part of the ecosystem.
What have you learned that you didn’t know before your internship?
The importance of leaching fields. They are responsible for removing impurities from septic tank waste.
What is one thing you would like to share with the community that they should be aware of?
They should learn how to keep them clean and maintain them so that salt marshes aren’t affected by them drastically.
What are your plans for this upcoming school year?
I just got my certified nursing assistant license and plan on working at the hospital. I will continue with the MVC internship throughout the school year, and I hope it’s a good and normal year. It’s been challenging to get back to normal with COVID and all of the changes, but hopefully, this year goes well.
As for the MV Commission experience with the internship, Elizabeth Durkee (Liz) said:
Keissila is wonderful. The internship was difficult because we were working remotely. If we had been working together in an office setting, I could have been a better mentor, and she would have gained more hands-on experience. It was very unfortunate. She did some very important work (boring, perhaps, but important) gathering information from town boards of health for a salt marsh migration study. She also translated into Portuguese and surveyed one of the town’s master plans. Keissila has agreed to continue working with us into the fall to help with our Climate Action Plan community engagement, specifically working with high school and charter school teachers and students on climate change activities.