Brittany Thomas and Shelby Dudley loved Nashoba Tech so much, they decided to come back as interns.
The graduates are fulfilling internship hours for their respective college majors at their high-school alma mater — and they’re enjoying every minute of it.
Dudley is working in the Culinary Arts program with Chef-Instructors Carley Capraro, Jeremy Bussiere and Paul Wilson. She received her bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and is pursuing her master’s in public health from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
She graduated from Nashoba Tech in 2016, where she earned the Merit Achievement Award in Culinary Arts and was a favorite student of Capraro, who started at the school the same year Dudley did.
“She’s an inspiration,” Capraro said of Dudley. “I can only hope to find students as invested as Shelby was. I feel like I made an impact on a kid’s life.”
Dudley said that because of the hands-on experience she received at Nashoba Tech, she was able to test out of several of the required classes at Johnson & Wales and graduate with her associate’s degree early.
She jumped at the chance to fulfill one of her internships at Nashoba Tech.
“I like the idea of teaching, and I wanted to work with ‘Chef’ again,” she said referring to Capraro. “I’ve thought about becoming a teacher, and I wanted to keep my culinary roots.”
At Nashoba Tech, Dudley is helping to teach students about basic nutrition and food science.
Dudley grew up in Pepperell and Townsend and now lives in Nashua, N.H., where she interned over the summer with the city’s Women, Infants and Children program. While a student at Nashoba Tech, she regularly achieved high honors and was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society.
Thomas graduated from the Health Assisting program at Nashoba Tech in 2014, then went on to pursue a nursing degree at Fitchburg State University. Instead, she shifted gears, receiving her bachelor’s degree in human services with a minor in psychology. She is pursuing her master’s from Liberty University and hopes to become a guidance counselor.
Toward that end, she is interning with Jessica Lamond, the senior guidance counselor at Nashoba Tech, while working in the children’s unit at TaraVista Behavioral Health Center at Devens.
She interned at Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, her hometown, before moving on to a high-school setting at her alma mater.
“I’d love to come to work at Nashoba Tech,” Thomas said. “My mom always said I’d end up back in a school system. It’s been challenging, especially because of COVID. There have been a lot of changes since I was a student, but everyone has been welcoming and understanding and helpful.”
Lamond has been impressed with Thomas, who graduated the same year Lamond started working at Nashoba Tech.
“She’s going to be awesome,” Lamond said. “She knows a lot more than she thinks she does, more than I knew at that point. She just needs to find her confidence.”
Thomas was an honor-roll student at Nashoba Tech and was inducted into both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society.