Career Services campus already bustling with new and returning students

2023-24 school year kicks off with first CTE student arrivals

two students with bus in backgroundJunior class students Juliet Cosgrove and Gabby Capone hopped off the bus from Eastchester Wednesday morning and approached a row of tables staffed by Careers Campus educators ready to check in the first returning students of the school year. 

In minutes the pair were on their way to their classes and the start of their Career and Technical Education journey at Southern Westchester BOCES 

“I’m definitely interested in learning more about what my options are for the future,” said Juliet, a Cosmetology student. 

“I want to be a veterinarian,” added Gabby, “so it will be good to see what opportunities there are for me.”

A resurgence of summer weather presented the opportunity to move the check-in process outdoors. Buses rolled in from a handful of districts, a few feet from the alphabetized stations where their paperwork was confirmed and directions across the Valhalla campus were relayed. Over subsequent days, more students will arrive, and the CTE campus will be in full swing following the summer pause.

 students line up to check in at campus “We are thrilled to be back and to see so many new and returning students eager to settle into their programs,” said Director of Career Services Dahlia Jackson. “Their presence is proof that the word is out in our region about the value of the vocational programs we offer.”

Counselor Kevin McAllister said he was excited to see a new crop of students experience what BOCES and CTE are all about.. “Students are getting to experience SWBOCES for the first time and to see the value of CTE programs and their role in their futures,” he said. 

Lucio DiGiacomo and Ethan Golarza, both from Woodlands High School, talked about their respective programs on the way to their first classes.

“I am into programming and computers,” Lucio said of the CISCO Academy technology program. “My parents and I realized it would be better to get this training and the credits I’ll need now than to pay more later (in college).”

“I wanted to try something new,” Ethan said of studying Security, Law & Policing. “I think coming here will be helpful, especially this class, for whatever field I go into. I’m thinking about health care or law enforcement.” 

 teacher talks to students He’ll study under newly arrived teacher Erik Marvin, a retired police officer with experience in New York City and communities here in Westchester.

Emergency Medical Services teacher Robert Del Greco’s class is at capacity, which is a nice reflection on the popularity of the program and of CTE offerings in general. 

“It definitely shows that there’s a bigger interest in CTE and in emergency response in particular,” Mr. Del Greco said. 

He’s excited for the return of students. Those new to his program are eager, he said, and represent a range of potential career ambitions, from firefighters to healthcare professionals

One of those students, J.J. Hetzer of Pelham, eyes a career in psychiatric medicine. “I really think this program will help me with what I want to do,” she said