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Robins Air Force Base internship puts students on career fast-track

The goal is to create a pipeline for graduates to come back and work on base.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Imagine graduating from college on a Friday and starting work Monday morning. Project Synergy's internship allows students to do just that.

The internship is a partnership between the Department of Defense and Bibb and Houston County's Board of Education. It's paid and lasts for four years. In an intern's third year, they're placed with a squadron at Robins. The goal is to create a pipeline for graduates to come back and work on base. 

Maxwell Joyner recently graduated from Warner Robins High School, and in a few weeks, he'll move into his freshman dorm at Alabama A&M University. "I'm very excited. I always wanted to go to an HBCU and I was able to get the choice to go there with a full ride. That was my goal, so I've been blessed," Joyner said. 

Joyner is one of 50 interns at Project Synergy. This summer, he's working on an app to help determine whether or not airplane can take off at Robins.

"Based on the runway and based on how long the runway is, the temperature and how it is outside that day, and how much stuff or cargo on it. Will it be able to fly or will it not?" Joyner said.

Another group worked on parachutes to prevent an egg from breaking when it's dropped off of the roof. Some interns created a robotic car that knows which color ball to knock out of a boundary.

Sarah Martin, the Program Director for the internship, said, "I hope that they just get used to working together. They learn a lot of different programming languages and they also learn a lot of soft skills. That's really important as well that they learn soft skills they can take with them to college, their career -- hopefully back to the base."

Project Synergy says 90 percent of their interns come to work on the base after graduation. Students who are interested in the program can meet with their guidance counselor to help guide them through the application process.

"I say for anybody that wants to do it just go ahead and at least attempt. Even if you don't get the internship, you'll learn from this process," Joyner said. 

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