An introduction to the community

Meeting highlights partnerships, success of WBL

The first Work-Based Learning Advisory Board meeting held on Nov. 18 served to introduce community partners to the Center for Career Services and its programs. Over breakfast, guests heard from students and alumni, highlighting the special relationships the Center has with the community at large.

“It’s an honor to have you here,” Work-Based Learning Coordinator Garrett Jennings said in his welcome address.

The Center, guests learned, has 638 students in its morning and afternoon programs from 32 districts throughout Southern Westchester County. They are engaged in as many as 20 vocational offerings.

“A huge part of what we do here is prepare students for employment and job placement,” Mr. Jennings said.

Sal Paparella, Class of ’21, was present to attest to the preparation and job readiness provided by the Center. Mr. Paparella is currently studying automotive technology at Rockland Community College.

“I loved it,” Mr. Paparella said of his experience at SWBOCES. “There were a lot of nice people and friends. It was a nice foundation in automotive and now helps me with my current classes. It was a really great experience coming here.”

While a student at BOCES, Mr. Paparella interned at Scarsdale Ford and is now an employee there.

Yusuf Rimawa, Mr. Paparella’s Automotive Technology professor at RCC, spoke about the program his college offers.

It can take 10-15 years to become a Master Technician, however with the course offerings at RCC it can take half the time while also working your way through school, Mr. Rimawa said.

“If you graduate from this program, you are going to do really, really well,” he said of SWBOCES. “I can’t wait to see Sal become a great technician.”

Current EMS students Dillon McGee and John Wallace, both seniors, also discussed their experiences.

Dillon said he joined the EMS program because he has a passion for helping people.

“We help people in crisis,” he said. “In EMS we learn pharmaceuticals, about NARCAN, bleed control, trauma and more.”

“We see people on their worst days,” John said. “We all love it,” he said about his classmates.

Principal Evangelo Michas thanked those in attendance for their support.

“We value our industry partners,” he said. “You provide input into our programs and offer internships, feedback for our tools and equipment.”

Mr. Michas also introduced guests to the opportunity’s students have to join clubs on campus like the National Technical Honor Society, SkillsUSA and HOSA. He said these organizations help students learn leadership skills, network with those in various industries and form partnerships with community organizations.