Fifty four students from 20 school districts were recognized in the company of family members, friends, WSWHE BOCES and SUNY Adirondack staff and faculty, BOCES Board of Education members and honored award presenters.
This was the ninth class to complete this unique program that provides students with focused studies in the fields of Advanced Manufacturing, Business and Entrepreneurship, Information Technology / Computer Networking and New Media. Students in the programs are exposed to the latest technologies used in these industries, earn industry-recognized certifications, and participate in work-based learning activities that include job shadowing, mentoring by industry experts and real-world industry challenge projects. In addition to acquiring job skills and industry knowledge, students also earn college credits toward an Associate Degree in Applied Science, while still in high school.
Twelve students from the ECCA group were part of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) program. This unique, six-year program gives high school students the experiences, practical skills, qualifications and credentials they need to secure rewarding careers in technology-based industries.The PTECH students start the program in middle school and continue through high school.
Industry partner speakers were Nicholas Molik, Director of Sales and Marketing at INOC Data Centers as well as Tara McCaughey, Workforce Development Lead at GlobalFoundries. Both companies are great supporters of the students and the program.
Tara McCaughey’s number one piece of advice is to never stop learning. She discussed how challenges in life can make people stronger and that continuous learning is so important.
Nick Molik talked about being passionate about work. “Passion is the fuel that will drive you to greatness. Hold onto that passion. When you get up each day and thoroughly love what you do, success will follow you. Be fearless when it comes to failure; step outside your comfort zone, allow yourself to seize every opportunity. You may fail but that is a stepping stone to success.” said Molik.
Several students plan to continue their education at SUNY Adirondack. Others will enter the workforce or technical training. A majority will continue their studies at the following colleges; American University, Bentley University, Castleton University, Clarkson University, College of Saint Rose, Hudson Valley Community College, Lynne University, RIT, Siena College, SUNY Adirondack, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Polytechnic, University of Connecticut, Vermont Technical College, Virginia State University.
Awards were presented to several students for Citizenship, Leadership and a SkillsUSA Scholarship.
District Superintendent of Schools for WSWHE BOCES, Dr. Turina Parker, spoke to the graduates stating, “you are celebrating the next chapter of your lives. Each one of you has a story. Your stories are defined by exceptional dedication and drive throughout your time in this unique program and that is truly something to be proud of. [Also know that] the most important factor in your accomplishments is you!”
Four Maureen VanBuren Memorial Scholarships were also awarded. The scholarship is named after the late Maureen VanBuren, who was the Special Projects administrator for ECCA. Each year, the VanBuren family travels to the completion ceremony to deliver the scholarships. Awardees were, Robert Brisbin (Advanced Manufacturing), Zachary Smith (Business & Entrepreneurship), Corey Hyde (Information Technology) and Jaelyn Cutright (New Media). Each received a $1,000 scholarship for the “passion they have demonstrated to their field of study and their plan to further their education through college or technical school.”
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