Linganore student opens door to new government internships for highschool students


Jessica Fitzwater

Zack Davis meeting the county council at the Covid-19 memorial

by Gabe Erb and Daniel Gelhard

There are new opportunities opening up for high schoolers who want to get involved in government work. The positions once dominated by college students are now available to high school students, giving them first-hand experience in the work of county executives.

Zachary Davis, a junior at Linganore, approached Jamie Hendi, Linganore government teacher, for help when he first became interested in internship opportunities with the Frederick County government.

“We emailed county officials and got really lucky since Jan Gardner, the county executive, responded,” said Hendi. “Most executives didn’t want to take high schoolers, but Gardner took Zack in and gave him an opportunity.”

Davis explained his multiple reasons for pursuing an internship in Frederick County government: he was always interested in government and wanted to help the community.

“I’ve always developed an interest in government, and I wanted to take my opportunity to excel in it,” said Davis. He added that he also enjoyed the internship opportunity because he got paid fifteen dollars per hour and the hours were very flexible.


Zack Davis meeting with the county council and Senator Chris Van Hollen at the Covid memorial.  (Jessica Fitzwater)

Davis’s internship entailed helping different people in the county government. For instance, he assisted Jan Gardener with her daily scheduling and event planning. As part of his position, Davis planned a COVID-19 memorial in Baker park near Hood College.


Davis’s opportunities extended beyond meeting and working with Gardner. He also worked with other executives and attended meetings with Senator Ben Cardin, who is involved with Maryland health care and environment. This allowed Davis to obtain first-hand experience in what Cardin did on the job.

Davis was not just there to observe; he wrote summaries of all the meetings he attended and spoke with the officials.

“I really learned how the county government works and [about] its municipalities. I learned skills like organizing, planning and writing speeches,” said Davis.

Davis highly recommends interning with local government to other high school students. He believes it offers the opportunity to really broaden one’s horizons and would be a great investment for a future career in government.