The final year of high school has not always been infused with a huge surge in engagement and scholarship. Now, internships and projects facilitated by the Senior Experience at Greeley provide an exciting alternative for the final five weeks of the year.
The idea for this concept arose from the results of a survey conducted among the faculty. Answers to the first question demonstrated that teachers were in favor of instituting a program which would maximize learning opportunities at the end of the year. Over 30% of the respondents said they would volunteer to work on the idea. Co-leader and Assistant Principal Andrew Corsilia noted that there was significant enthusiasm in the move to “operationalize the impulse to change.” A pilot program was held in the spring of 2011. 27 students elected to participate in 2012 and 43 have applied for 2013.
An outstanding array of opportunities are available. In 2011, Adam Ehrlich indicated that he was interested in a career in law enforcement. A call to Youth Officer Corrado revealed the existence of the perfect program: The Westchester Youth Academy. Ehrlich participated in physical training and took courses in criminal justice.
Independent projects are another component of the Senior Experience. Corsilia said that these are a viable option for “very responsible” students who demonstrate “a passion and expertise.” In the class of 2012, Emma Pile expressed her interest in becoming a writer. In preparation for composing her short story, she conducted extensive research, speaking with an expert in the field and visiting a school for children with autism. An editor at the “New Yorker” suggested techniques for polishing the story.
Bruna Paranhos chose an internship at WSP Sells, a transportation engineering firm. In her studies at Greeley, Paranhos recalled being intrigued by “the practical aspects of math and science.” She found her stint at WSP Sells to be invaluable. “It helped me to confirm my desire to be an engineer,” she said.
With an eye toward the future, Corisilia mentioned plans to expand the program. “Ideally, we’d love to have 80% or more of the senior class doing it,” he said. Corsilia also encouraged community members to offer internships to contribute to the education of students in the district.