While most students have to wait until their junior or senior year in college to get real world experience, seven Huntsville High School students are getting an internship before ever stepping foot in a college classroom.

Throughout the course of the spring semester, the students will spend two hours each day at one of 15 criminal justice-related departments in Huntsville and Walker County, such as the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, Huntsville Fire Department and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office.

Stacy Godby, criminal justice teacher at Huntsville High School, said when the students are at the different departments, they will observe how things run to get a feel of what a career in criminal justice would be like.

“A lot of it’s going to be observation, but they will have an opportunity to ride along with the sheriff’s office, the Huntsville Police Department, they’ll go to the jail and they’re going to be with EMS and the fire department, so they might have an opportunity to go out on calls with them,” Godby said.

The students will be heading out to their respective assignments Jan. 23, and all of them are ready to get their feet wet in the real world.

“Ever since I learned about the class in eighth grade from the handbook for high school courses, I saw this and I knew that it’s exactly what I want to do,” Heather Williams said.

Others have a good idea of what they want to do for a career and are hoping the internship will help determine whether or not to get serious about criminal justice.

“It gives us a better look into the criminal justice program and the criminal justice world,” Sydney Hollingsworth said.

They may be only seven strong, but those seven are passionate about what they are doing. Matt Garrow is looking forward to a career in criminal justice because he feels it’s an area where he can have an impact.

“I like the fact that you’re actually making a difference in the world, because this affects everyone’s lives,” Matt Garrow said. “Everyone may not see it, but in a way, it does.”

After getting to know her students and seeing what they are capable of, Godby said she believes the local agencies will be impressed with the Hornets who will soon be in their offices.

“I think it’s a fantastic group,” Godby said. “I think the agencies are going to enjoy having them.”

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