NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Dozens of Westchester women attended the first Connecting the Dots interactive event at The College of New Rochelle on Feb. 1 to learn about careers and the college experience.
The event drew high school students and family members from the Bronx and Queens and featured several College of New Rochelle faculty, students and graduates. The event partners included the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Girls Inc. Westchester, HerHonor Mentoring, The Young Leadership Schools and The College of New Rochelle.
The attending high school students learned about four different categories of academic majors through hands-on activities in human services, nursing, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and fine and communication arts. They also participated in a career personality exercise, and panel discussions with current students and with alumnae already working in their careers. At the same time, parents and family members had the chance to hear about financial aid, the academic experience, student life and career development, representatives said.
"While students began the day a bit quiet and tentative, their personalities and opinions emerged as the day progressed," officials said. "With Dr. Catherine Pearlman in a social services session, they discussed whether a 16-year-old cancer patient should have input into his treatment protocol. Students pedaled a stationary bicycle and learned how the energy they produced could be stored in a battery in Dr. Faith Kostel-Hughes’ STEM session, and they had the chance to be filmed while reading a current news story off a teleprompter with Dr. Michael Quinn."
Doshka Truick, a teacher with the Girls Leadership Schools in Queens, said the program "demonstrated how skills learned in schools could be applied to real-life applications in school and to future careers.”
Betty Muller, also with Girls Leadership Schools, said "the girls don’t fully understand that this time in their lives is their opportunity to take risks. We look for opportunities like this to present successful women our students can look up to as role-models, so they can see that other women are doing these things and they can too.”
Executive Director of Girls Inc. Westchester Sally Baker, who brought 10 students to the event, said that just getting the students onto a college campus makes a difference.
“One girl had never been to a college campus, so this experience was eye-opening. It makes the idea of college feel concrete and possible," Baker said. "For many first generation American families, the idea of sending their girls to college is overwhelming. But, sending them to a women’s Catholic college in the area makes it possible to consider.”