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A-School Students Go to Work

Intern RemiRemi Tolchin with Dr. BoockvarThis past month, over 80 students missed most of their classes with the teachers’ consent to go and work. This was possible because each January, Scarsdale High School’s Alternative School program cancels their classes so its students can embark on internships of their choosing. Some students pick internships that align with their deepest passions, and others pick jobs that allow them to try something new. Several A-School students spoke out about their unique experiences this month:

Sam Friedman ’20, an aspiring filmmaker, worked with Timeline Video in Irvington to both explore his passion for film and absorb the surroundings of a cooperative workplace. “I was tasked with making a commercial for a fidget spinner within the month. I am doing every aspect of the production from talent casting, location scouting, to budgeting and storyboarding,” said Sam. He has also been tasked with directing storyboard artists and negotiating prices with them, as well as using the company’s money to order outfits for the production. The company placed a lot of trust in Sam and allowed him to be independent in his work, which was a great learning experience for him. “I’ve learned to trust myself more. This internship has proven to me that I am compatible with industry professionals. All of the technical things that they talk about, I understand and can engage as well,” he said.

Like Sam, Remi Tolchin ’21 chose an internship in a field in which she is considering a career. She worked for Scarsdale resident Dr. John Boockvar at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she pursued her emerging love for neurosurgery. “I have been pretty set on being a surgeon in the future, but I was always a little nervous about pursuing this career because I did not know what I was getting myself into. Now that I have had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Boockvar, I am convinced this is what I want to do with my life,” said Remi. Throughout the job, she was riveted by the SamFriedman Sam Friedman in the studiosurgeries she witnessed, the brain scans and tumors she saw and researched, and the environment in general. She even became more confident in her commuting skills this month after taking the subway by herself to the hospital each day. “Commuting alone has taught me to be more independent and resourceful,” said Remi. She is grateful for this experience and that she got an inside look at her potential career track.

Sam Hoffman ’19 took a different approach and decided to try something new, in a less familiar field to him. He worked at a private equity firm, where he primarily organized information and aided the people around him. “Even if this isn’t exactly what I want to do in life, I know financial literacy is a skill everyone needs, so I can’t really go wrong with this internship,” said Sam. Since his sponsor wanted to help Sam learn about the business, Sam also spent time sitting in on meetings, researching stocks, and interacting with coworkers. “Economics isn’t the only skill you need in a place like this - social and communication skills are also really important. It’s a lot more qualitative than I initially thought,” said Sam. He’s come to love the social feel of working in an office.

Intern JocelynJocelyn LewisJocelyn Lewis ’20 spent her month helping out with immigrant cases in the legal department at Make the Road NY. She chose this internship for a few reasons: to try something new (last year she worked with a dance company), to explore an interest she’s fostered in her work with the Students for Refugees club at school, and to learn more about an important topic. “There is a lot of conversation surrounding immigration, and I think it’s important to learn as much as possible about the issue so that you can form educated opinions… this internship is a step in being able to provide more accurate information for others and form holistic opinions for myself,” said Jocelyn. She filled her work hours with a multitude of tasks, one of which was closing cases, which gave her the deeper understanding of immigration that she wanted. Even when Jocelyn was completing somewhat tedious tasks, she found it fulfilling to contribute to Make the Road’s mission. “Because I am doing these tasks, the lawyers are able to spend more time on cases, helping people, as opposed to doing work that just needs to get done,” she said. Jocelyn’s desire to help the greater good made this month’s internship an excellent learning experience for her.

Zac Scheider ’21 spent his first A-School internship with a real estate firm called Westchester Choice Realty to explore his possible interest in the business. He enjoyed his time with his sponsor, Barry Kramer, who took him on trips to visit apartments and meet with people. When Kramer was not in the office, however, Zac helped with file work. He learned from this experience that although he has a deep appreciation for real estate and architecture, a job in real estate may not be for him. “The reason why these internships are important is because they give the student an idea of what a job in the real world is like, but it also gives students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their own interests,” said Zac. He cherished the fact that the A-School gave him a chance to develop this insight. Intern DaniDani Paz

For Dani Paz ’20’s internship, she commuted to NYC to work at the UN in the Peace and Security department. Her favorite part of the job is “really just everything,” she said. Between the atmosphere, the diversity in the workplace, and the tasks at hand, Dani says that this internship only strengthened her dream of being elected US senator someday. She even found tasks such as working analytics and spreadsheets on Excel to be fulfilling at this job, because she thinks it is “so satisfying to see your end product.” Dani also found satisfaction in knowing that her job benefits others.

Ross Forman ’19 does not have many hours in his week for an internship, since most of his classes are not in the A-School and therefore are still in session this month. Nonetheless, he is devoting every hour he can into a cause very dear to him: El Centro Hispano’s Mi Hermano Mayor Program. Ross has volunteered at this program for three years, where he partakes in a “mentoring/tutorial program for Hispanic 6th graders in White Plains,” he said. Throughout his time volunteering, he has developed close relationships with the group of students he tutors, so he was happy to have the opportunity to spend more time with them this January. “One of my favorite parts about volunteering in this program is to see the students' joyful reaction after they do well on a test and can't wait to show me the grade, or after they master a topic they have been studying,” said Ross. Ross has fostered a passion for his program, and internship month is allowing him to build on that.

Intern ZacZac ScheiderWhether the students’ internships tapped into their passions or not, everyone experienced self-growth and acquired new skills.

This article was written by Alex Wilson SHS’19 who worked as an A-School intern for Scarsdale10583.com in January.

HoffmanSam Hoffman

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