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City of Perris


Perris Offers Interns a Chance to Learn Valuable Real World Skills

Mt. San Jacinto College students Karina Espinoza, Dillon Johnson and Christy Fang are working as interns in the City of Perris, assisting in various IT and public information duties.

The City of Perris has welcomed three college students into its public outreach team and the trio has already proven they have the stuff to do great things.

“Our three interns have hit the ground running, are taking on major responsibilities and have displayed the talent to get their assigned tasks completed quickly and professionally,” said Chief Information Officer Arturo Cervantes, who is supervising the Mt. San Jacinto College students. “It’s a pleasure to work with such young people who are willing to learn and work and most importantly, get the job done.”

Karina Espinoza, Christy Fang and Dillon Johnson joined the City about a month ago.

Espinoza, 21, is majoring in communications and journalism. Johnson, 19, is studying computer information systems. Fang, 26, is still deciding whether to concentrate on programming or software or hardware related fields.

Espinoza and Johnson, barely a week into their internships, took front and center during the City’s annual Health Fair, one of Perris’ premier events. Espinoza did a live stand-up shot at the start of the event while Johnson strapped on a GoPro camera to capture live footage as he took part in the 5-K Fun Run that kicked off the day’s proceedings.

Espinoza said she hopes to make her living as a television or radio journalist. Other duties she’s learning in the City include conducting interviews, writing press releases and posting social media updates. She is fluent in Spanish.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted the chance to be able to inform people,” she said. “I want to give back to the community through communications skills. I’m happy to be given this opportunity and I’m excited about all the things I know I’ll learn while working for the City. I’m grateful to Perris for this internship. It’s going to give me a lot of priceless knowledge.”

Johnson has been programming computers in the Perris Senior Center among other duties with the City. He’s also installed printers, learned video-editing techniques and served as a camera-operator at special events like the Fun Run. He admits that after completing the course, his feet started going numb. But the discomfort was worth it.

“It was pretty cool video,” Johnson said.

He too is grateful for the chance provided to him by the City.

“I need work experience and I really appreciate this opportunity,” he said. “Everybody is welcoming and friendly and easy to get to know.”

Fang’s parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cambodia and settled in Texas before relocating to Southern California. Since joining the Perris team, Fang has kept busy with various tasks in the information technology department, including programming computers, installing printers and setting up networking accounts.

“I like computers,” Fang said. “I like how they talk to one another and how they are connected.”

Fang remains uncertain about which IT specialty—hardware, software, programming or something else—she’ll ultimately make her career. That’s the point of her internship.

“That’s what I’m still trying to figure out,” she said. “I appreciate this internship because it’s leading me one step closer to where I want to be.”