On each sunny day of the summer since early childhood, second-year archaeology student Gabrielle Rapine has taken to her backyard in historic Londontowne with her father and four siblings, metal detectors in hand.
“We would find coins dated throughout the 1900s and little things like bottle caps,” Rapine recalled.
Those backyard treasure hunts turned into real-life archaeological digs after Rapine got a three-credit AACC internship with the Anne Arundel County Archaeology Lab in Edgewater, five minutes from home.
Rapine processes, washes, categorizes and collects artifacts, like ceramics from the 1800s and ancient animal bones she finds at historical sites across Maryland. She determines the age of the relics and collects other data about them.
The Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, a nonprofit that gives awards to those who work to preserve the county’s history, granted Rapine the Westy Award for intern excellence in October, through which she earned a $200 grant toward her AACC classes.
“It was for an archaeological student who shows dedication and excellence,” Rapine said.
Her boss also recognized this work ethic and promoted her to a paid position for six months as an independent contractor.
Now, Rapine earns $15 an hour, working 14 hours a week to sift through artifacts from archaeological digs and find out information on what era they are from, and what this could reveal about the history of Maryland.
“She’s really self sufficient and reliable,” Her boss Zac Singer said. “She’s our star intern.”
AACC students seeking internships for class credit can visit Careers Room 314 to find an opening.