Where Presentation Meets Opportunity

Where Presentation Meets Opportunity

Kozi Knights (left) presenting her math portfolio, which explored
surface area and how it relates to efficient use of space.

CDI and our partner school City-As-School (CAS), a New York City public transfer high school, are working together to prepare our students for life after high school with hands-on experiences. CAS serves older, under-credited students who spend half their week in the classroom and the other half in internships across the city.

In order to graduate, students must complete portfolio papers and defend their work to a panel of educators. They must also complete a Post-secondary plan with the help of CDI’s college and career advisors, thinking through and writing out a comprehensive plan for life after high school. Through this approach, CAS aims to challenge students to think critically, plan for the future and learn how to write a strong paper and articulate its ideas in a professional setting.

Kozi’s presentation addressed the geometric concept of “inefficient cylinders” – a common term in the packaging industry that seeks to determine the most cost-efficient use of space when packaging materials. Students are graded not only on the quality of their papers, but their level of preparedness and how well they’re able to present. Kozi, who recently spoke at our Youth Perspectives forum to a room full of educational leaders, is used to speaking publicly and was well prepared.

The preparation that goes into these comprehensive final projects helps to ready students for what comes after high school – whether that’s college or entering the workforce.

The Wide World of Nursing

Patient interaction was a big reason cited for why this panel of nurses chose their profession.

“Nursing school is intense. You’re in the library every weekend for four years. It’s not going to be easy, but you’re going to come out of it with a high paying job and so many options. Nurses are calling the shots in the ICU and saving people’s lives,” Engel Monsanto, a Cardiothorasics Nurse told a group of students at The High School for Health Professions and Human Services (HPHS) during Career Exploration Week.

CDI is dedicated to exposing our students to expanded options for life after high school, and last week our staff hosted a nursing career panel at HPHS. Registered nurses from NYU Langone and The National Association of Hispanic Nurses spoke to students about nursing school, their experiences in the field and the many opportunities available in the vast field of nursing.

“In college, I was studying psychology before I decided to switch over to nursing school,” Samantha Hernandez, a 2009 HPHS alumni said. She spoke about the multitude of options that students have when becoming a registered nurse – from nurse practitioner, to clinical nurse and even nurse researcher. “The field is always growing,” said Carolina Taormina, an ER nurse. “Nurses are starting to become researchers because we’re working so directly with the human body and seeing problems. Now we’re figuring out what the solutions are.”

Panelists also talked with students about the educational aspect. Mr. Monsanto advised students interested in pursuing nursing to take advantage of the programs available to them now so they can get a head start in the field. Monsanto, 23, who last year graduated from NYU School of Nursing, shared his story about coming from a poor upbringing where he never envisioned he’d go to NYU, let alone for nursing. “Because of my financial situation, I ended up getting a full scholarship and graduated from NYU debt free.”

Students were engaged, asking questions ranging from finding the right profession to day-to-day life in college and the workload that comes with it. The three panelists couldn’t stress enough the importance of studying hard! “Nursing can be so many different things – you make it what you want it to be. You make the nurse.”

Spelling Bee 2019 – Save the Date!

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