“When I walk through these hallways, I think about what I [can] do when I get older.” – Richardson DeLeon, Inwood Early College Student, USA
September 4, 2014 was a big day for 87 students in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. Not only was it the first day of school, but it was also the beginning of an entirely new way to think about secondary education in one of the country’s biggest school systems. Inwood Early College High School for Health and Information Technologies is a Microsoft Showcase School and one of the brand new Career Technical Education (CTE) high schools partnering with the City University of New York (CUNY), Microsoft, and New Presbyterian Hospital to prepare students to be college and career ready.
After six years, Inwood Early College students graduate with a Regents High School diploma from IECHS, a technology-related associate degree from Guttman Community College, and a set of employer-identified, and industry-valued credentials that will give them career-ready skills. This is life-changing for many students, especially those who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend a university after high school.
“I know that I may not have the resources to go to college,” says Inwood student Jailene Parache, “but through [this program], I have the resources to actually have a foundation for an associate’s degree that I can work with.”
Inwood is a very special place, and I’m absolutely thrilled to share today’s Daily Edventure, where I sit down with two Inwood students – Parache and Richardson DeLeon. We discuss their journey so far, whether the new technology-rich classes add more or less stress to their lives, and the legacy they would like to leave behind for future students of Inwood.
“One thing to leave behind is a multi-cultural school,” says DeLeon. “It doesn’t matter what race you are or who you are. It matters what you are and what you think because this school is here to give it to you, and to take you to a destination that not many people can go to.”
These students – just ninth-graders – are already thinking very seriously about their careers and what they want out of life. It’s truly a breath of fresh air to speak with them. “I used to dream about being a basketball player,” says DeLeon. “I think I changed my mind. I want to become a sports medicine physician, because it is a part of sport, health, information and technology.” And Jailene? “This year I decided that I want to become an ER physician,” she says.
I’m happy to share that you’ll be hearing even more from Jailene, Richardson and a few other Inwood students in the very near future. They will be blogging as part of a new “Inside Inwood” series that we’ll feature right here on Daily Edventures. To say we’re eager to see what they have to say is an understatement. Stay tuned!