Nov 07 2013
When Students Are the Teachers
Two years ago, the members of NYIT’s Zeta Lambda chapter of Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society established a relationship with the High School of Arts and Technology of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus. The students of XAE have visited this school every semester for the past 2 years to speak to students and answer their questions about college. This semester, members of XAE invited other student leaders from the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) to share their knowledge and experience with the senior class on October 18.
The high school students soaked up the information like a sponge. It was amazing to see the transformation of a rather boisterous and distracted group of teenagers suddenly silenced and giving their undivided attention to their guests. After the NYIT students shared their own personal stories they opened the floor for questions. Once the questions started, they did not stop until well after the bell rang signaling the end of the advisory period. Realizing that there was not enough time for all of the students’ questions, Oshane Cooke (B.S., Advertising, ’14) gave his contact information to them, offering help with the college application process and even tours of NYIT if the students wanted to get a sneak peek into college life. Orin Pramanik (B.S., Life Science/Biomedical Engineering, ’14) got more than she bargained for when one of the students came up to her and gave her a big hug in thanks for the inspiration. The student had yet to meet someone in her aspiring field of Biomedical Engineering until Orin. Hearing Orin speak about the major was very motivating as she begins to plan for her career goals.
All of the guests left something important and inspiring with the students during their trip. Whether it was simply a description of their residence hall or stories of the life altering effect college has had on them, they gave a piece of themselves to the students at the High School of Arts and Technology that day. They explained not only the importance of finishing high school and going on to college but the possibility of making it a reality. For many students, especially those from a low income household or community, college can seem like someone else’s dream. The NYIT students reflected on their own experiences and even shared that they too had some of the same doubts and obstacles that these high school seniors were now facing. They then went on to share how they overcame those obstacles, whether it was finding motivation through participating in college tours, finding a way to open doors through opportunity programs such as HEOP, or taking advantage of leadership opportunities at NYIT. Thank you to Jeremy Ducos, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development, for helping to make this visit possible.