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Packer Weekly: Diede gets head start on future

By Claire DeJong

Junior Alecia Diede has always been interested in science and the medical field, but she didn’t know she wanted to pursue that love until she was recommended for the Governor’s School program at North Dakota State University.

Diede attended the science program within the Governor’s School program and had been told she would be a good fit for the company Aldevron. Due to the work she had done and the reports she had written, she was offered a full-time internship after just six weeks.

At the company’s lab, the workers receive DNA samples from different companies and grow it so the companies can then do gene therapy with it.

“The biggest projects that we do are that we take it in and we grow more of the DNA for them so they can do different projects on it to test vaccines and the cleanliness of vaccines,” Diede said.

Diede’s mother, Kim Diede, sees the benefits of having this unconventional job.

“It’s good because she’s getting a chance to try something to see if it’s something she’s interested to study in college for a career,” Kim said. “She gets a taste of it. It’s good because it gives her that experience and it isn’t the traditional work at retail or a fast-food place.”

Alecia also experiences the benefits of this job. It has opened her eyes to a job she did not know.

“The whole science research interests me, and I want to be able to help people,” Alecia said. “Not necessarily in a direct way, but more of an indirect way. It will affect more people than just one on one.”

Alecia was interested in the medical field but did not know how much she would enjoy DNA processing until this internship.

“It’s more her own thing,” Kim said. “She had never really known that that might be an option before.”

Getting a head start on something Alecia may be interested in studying in college is one of the biggest benefits to this internship, according to Kim, who says that it is smart to experience different things before you get into college to try to get a sense of what kind of field you want to study.

“It’s smart, because college is so expensive,” Kim said. “It’s nice because sometimes you go two to three years to college, but maybe you don’t like the field you’ve started in. This way, you can get a chance to experience before you commit too much time in college.”

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information, visit