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Surry-Yadkin Works Plans Virtual Kickoff Event March 9


Surry-Yadkin Works, the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina covering a two-county region, is hosting a virtual kickoff on Tuesday, March 9, at 11 a.m. for anyone who would like to learn more about this innovative business and education initiative.

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

Surry-Yadkin Works Interns North Surry High School
Left to right, top to bottom: First row, North Surry High School: Chris Parker, Luke Wagoner, Megan Angel, Leah Cain, (second row) Emma Crouse, Cainan Dollyhigh, Caleb Doss, Azeneth Espinosa, (third row) Emily Johnson, Eryn O’Neal, Annsley Puckett, Weatherly Reeves, and (fourth row) Mackenzie Yoder.

Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, will give an overview of the program followed by student presentations: Katie Kellam, Elkin High School, Certified Nursing Assistant at North 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, HR Manager at Unifi and Chris Lumsden, President and Chief Executive Officer at Northern Regional Hospital. Cecilia Holden, President and CEO, of myFutureNC, a statewide nonprofit organization focused on educational attainment, will also be a featured speaker.

Surry-Yadkin Works has hit the ground running with 50 students being placed in internships for the Spring 2021 semester. The program is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create a unique approach to a regional internship program.

Surry-Yadkin Works Interns Elkin, Mount Airy, East Surry
Left to right, top to bottom: First row, Elkin High School: Katie Kellam. Mount Airy High School: Jenny Cortes, Natalie Evans, Raydan Hawks, and (second row) Carlos Salmeron. East Surry High School: Ripley Cottrell, Hailey Flynn, Victor Hall, (third row) Cassidy Hewitt, Chloe Hunter, Tynlee Jones, Julie Marshall, an (fourth row) Brianna Whitaker.

The funding is also a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County Commissioners and the Yadkin County Commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially began on January 1, 2021.

The first youth apprentice program for registered nurses in North Carolina started with 13 Surry-Yadkin Works interns who began working as employees of Northern Regional Hospital in January. Twelve of the students were hired as certified nursing assistants, and one is employed as a patient care technician.

The students are: Laney Cave, Carrie McKeaver, and Ashley Sewell of 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.

Surry-Yadkin Works Interns Surry Central High School, Surry Early College
Left to right, top to bottom: First row, Surry Central High School: Laney Cave, Morgan Dawson, Carter Jones, Carrier McKeaver, (second row) Tiffany Payne, Peggy Prevette, and Ashley Sewell. Surry Early College: Estefania Camacho, (third row) Matthew Gillespie, Jesus Nava, Leslie Nguyen, Anahi Nunez, (fourth row) Emily Orellana, and Leshawn Phillips.

This special opportunity is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program and the state’s ApprenticeshipNC program through the N.C. Community College System Office that combines a paid work-based learning experience with classroom academics leading to a national certification. These students have the opportunity to earn free tuition for the Associate Degree Nursing program through Surry Community College that allows students to become registered nurses.

An additional 37 Surry-Yadkin Works interns are working in businesses and organizations throughout Surry and Yadkin counties. These students along with their high schools, workplaces, 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, Yard Crew Member.

Surry-Yadkin Works Interns Yadkin County
Left to right, top to bottom: First row, Forbush High School: Kaitlyn Burton, Ameshia Long, Bethany Vestal, and Reagan Wooten. Second row, Starmount High School: Gabriela Gomez, Jesica Mireles, Trevor Moxley, Justin Najera-Jimenez, and (third row) Anna Serrano. Yadkin Early College: Olivia Pizzuti.

North Surry High School: Luke Wagoner, Cedar Ridge Elementary, Custodial Intern; Chris Parker, Vega Construction Company, Project Management Intern; Emma Crouse and Emily Johnson, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA Interns; Weatherly Reeves, Interlam Design, Social Media Marketing Intern; Megan Angel and Cainan Dollyhigh, Johnson Granite AutoCAD Operators; Caleb Doss, Johnson Granite, Fabricator 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, Custodial 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, Custodian Intern.

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

Surry Early College High School: Anahi Nunez, Altec, Office Intern; Estefania Camacho, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA Intern; Matthew Gillespie, Interlam Design, CNC Programmer; Leslie Nguygen, REF Properties, Accounting/Office Assistant; Jesus Nava, Tampco, Machine Intern; and Leshawn Phillips, Workforce Unlimited, IT Intern.

Forbush High School: Kaitlyn Burton, Ameshia Long, and Bethany Vestal, Yadkin County Schools, CNA Interns.

Starmount High School: Gabriela Gomez, Chatham Nursing & Rehabilitation, CNA Intern; Trevor Moxley, Unifi, Maintenance Intern; Jesica Mireles and Justin Najera-Jimenez, Yadkin County Schools, CNA Interns.

Yadkin Early College High School: Olivia Pizzuti, Surry-Yadkin Works, Social Media Marketing Intern.

The students began their internships on January 11, and they will work through May 14. They will receive high school or college credit for their employment along with a stipend each month for travel expenses.

For more information about the program or the virtual kickoff event, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director, at (336) 401-7820 or or visit You can also follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

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