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Tucson-area high school students jump starting college degree through internships

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Some Tucson high school students are getting a head start on for their college degree by interning at Tucson-area businesses.  

But instead of working for free likes most interns, the program helps them pay for their education.

The jobs are part of a work-study program, pairing students with businesses to help them earn almost 40 percent of their tuition at San Miguel High School.

Once a week, sophomores Seewalinda Buelna and Sarai Lopez exchange their book bags for a pair of slacks, as part of their 10-month work-study internship at Vantage West Credit Union. The job also comes with a cubicle and plenty of data to enter and paper to file.

An opportunity Seewalinda said her family has always wanted for her.

In addition to their internships, both girls take a full college prep course at their high school.

They say thanks to the real life work experience, they feel more prepared than ever for college.

For Sarai, it's a chance to get a head start on what she ultimately will decide to major in at college.

“I wanted medical field, I always wanted it, but now that I'm here, I kind of like all the business and financial aid and stuff and it's making me think of a new idea a new career."

Seewalinda wants to be an attorney and Sarai said she is still undecided between being a doctor, or doing something in business.

They both said the great thing is they still have two years to decide what they plan on majoring in.

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