FORT FISHER -- Each year, the state accepts applications from North Carolina college students competing for paid summer internships with state agencies. Hundreds applied and 98 placements were awarded. One young woman got a position at Fort Fisher that starts daily at dawn. Katie Bradshaw, 21, is one of the few students lucky enough to get an internship with her home state. Her job as an intern is to research and preserve sea turtles at Fort Fisher. Bradshaw said, "I usually get up at five o'clock leave my apt at 5:30 or six. Then I get to come out on the beach and look for turtle nests... With the sea turtles being endangered and threatened it was a really good opportunity to make a difference for me." First Katie begins to dig in the nest and search for the eggs. "It's pretty exciting because numbers are down across the state so we're pretty lucky to have one here this morning," Bradshaw said. Once she confirms that the eggs are there she has to cover them back up immediately so they don't dry out. Bradshaw said, "The cage we just place over the nest and over up the edges and that's to prevent foxes from coming and digging up the nests." "The sign just says that this is a sea turtle nest and that they are endanger and that it shouldn't be tampered with." For Katie, all the hard work that she put into getting the internship is worth it every time she has the chance to save a sea turtle. Bradshaw said, "It's really been a great experience, it's really been a great time." Bradshaw is a junior at Cornell University studying science of earth systems. The eggs she found should hatch in 60 days and under the scrutiny of members of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the sea turtles will make their way safely to the water. For more information on state internships, call the youth advocacy and involvement office at (919) 789-5880.
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