SPECIAL EDITION | JUNE 22, 2018
Summit's Annual Career Assembly
On June 8, The Summit School held its Work-Based Learning Program Career Assembly, which marks the end of this school year's work program, in the auditorium of the Museum of Jewish Heritage located in Manhattan's Battery Park City, with over 300 students, faculty, parents, and business partners attending.
To open the program, Marian Corbett, Director of Work-Based Learning Programs, welcomed everyone. She was joined by Trevor Scott (photo above), a Summit junior and President of the Upper School Student Council, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and expressed his thanks for making the Summit work program possible -- to the students who show up each week and are willing to work hard and learn, and to the work sites that give us these opportunities.
Employer of the Year
Kirkland & Ellis, one of New York City's most distinguished law firms and a WBLP business partner since the start of the 2014 school year, was named Employer of the Year (photos below) for not only demonstrating support for our program, but for going above and beyond in so many ways. Theirs is a culture that believes in giving back and they certainly walk the walk. At Kirkland & Ellis, all students are treated as "new hires," including completing written applications, background checks and confidentiality forms, and attending new employee orientations sessions. As members of the firm, our students are invited to meetings and events, and they receive holiday bonuses. And, it doesn't stop there. Kirkland also provides The Summit School with free meeting room space and technical support for our bi-annual Advisory Board meetings. To date, eleven students in the supervised work program and two interns in the senior internship program have been hosted.
Accepting the Employer of the Year Award from Kirkland & Ellis: Glenn Fischer, Rob Berardis, Diana Haggerty, Dan Rodriguez, and Ramiro Ocasio. Kirkland & Ellis was introduced to Summit's WBLP by Nancy Lieberman, Summit parent of graduating senior Eric Ellman and a former partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, through her association with David Fox, a Kirkland partner.
Employee of the Year Awards
This year's Employee of the Year awards were presented by Sherri Bordoff, Upper School Clinic Director; Yvonne Bowman, Upper School Guidance Counselor; George Garrision, Sports Program Supervisor at the Upper School; and Larry Litwack, Dean of Students.
Wade Hutchinson (top photo above, left): Throughout all of his Summit work assignments, Wade has been recognized by his job coaches as a team player and a self-starter. His current internship at the Andrew Heiskill Braille and Talking Book Library has given him opportunities to grow and learn and to be part of a team that appreciates his strong work ethic. Wade loves working at the library so much so that he has stayed there for two years. His colleagues are impressed by the fact that he takes initiative and looks for ways to be useful. he has gone above and beyond in his time at the Library, even working over the summer and during school vacations.
Saurav Bhatt (top photo above, second from left): This young man had had a great four years in the work program, but this year has been an exemplary one for him, interning at Keller Williams, a real estate firm in Manhattan under the tulleage of Michael Shapot, a former Summit parent. As part of his internship experience, Saurav accompanied the Michael Shapot Real Estate Team on listing presentations and photo shoots, as well as events where he could get a feel for working in the luxury real estate business in New York City. this, as well as other experiences, have helped to expand Saurav's horizons and point him in a future direction.
Miranda Wein (top photo above, second from right): Miranda has impressed all her job coaches with her desire to work hard, no matter what the assignment. This year, she interned at Gallop NYC, a therapeutic riding program for children and adults with special needs. At Gallop miranda worked nonstop doing whatever was required, from feeding, grooming, walking the horses, to helping to clean out the stalls. Miranda's "cando" attitutde and her desire to achieve and be of service to others is what makes her a standout in the work program. She gives 100% every time, and that says a lot about her chances of success.
Jordan Levinson (top photo above, right): This year, Jordan interned for Playbill. This assignment was tailor-made for him as it comingled his interest in Broadway with his vast knowledge of musicals and performers. For Jordan, going to his internship every Friday was something he looked forward to. This did not go unnoticed by his supervisor who described Jordan as "capable and industrious." These traits, plus Jordan's undeniable talent, will take him a long way in his future.
Assembly highlights included:
A special tribute was made to honor the memory of
Robert "Bill" Donohue, who served as Summit's WBLP Business Advisory Board President for over 20 years before he passed in November 2017 (photo below). Bill was an executive at Con Ed years ago when he first saw the value in our work program. As he moved up in the organization to senior vice president, he became an even stronger advocate within Con Ed and he took on the role of ambassador by promoting the program to other companies. "Bill provided his leadership and expertise," said Marian Corbett, Director of Summit's WBLP, "and he was a friend and one of the kindest persons I have ever met. His family was everything to him, and that is why I am so happy that his wife Nancy, daughter Rosemary, and son Robert are here today to accept this plaque in his honor." Bill's family and Marian were joined on stage by our business partners at the Ridgewood Savings Bank, where Bill served on the Board of Directors, who extended their appreciation to the Donohue family.
The theme of this year's career assembly (photo above) -- "You don't get what you wish for, you get what you work for" -- not only resonated throughout the presentations, but was brought to life in the winning t-shirt design by Sam Forster (photo below, second from right). Other members of Summit's Graphic Communications class were invited on stage, including (from left to right) Theo Shapiro, Michael Cavusoglu, Philip Hanhurst, Sophia Donadeo, Nicholas Mascialino, and Zachary Tarrant. (Candace Landau was a class member, but not in photo.)
This year, a special award for Passion and Persistence was presented by Marian Corbett to senior students Matthew Giesse and Nicolas Cohen-Young (photos above on bottom, left to right). These two young men worked at ConEd in the Mechanical Garage in Astoria in junior year, and wanted to continue working there for their senior internships. They felt that there was still more they wanted to learn. ConEd workers were happy to have them return for their internships and expressed amazement at how hard these two boys work and how mature and responsible they are in their assignments. Now upon graduation one is looking to continue in the field of auto mechanics, and the other is seeking a career as a medical technician. Both will end up in high-demand fields where a degree of technical know-how is required. They have learned their strengths and are pursuing realistic career goals that align with their strengths -- a big part of what Summit's WBLP is all about.
Summit's featured speaker (photo above) was Sandra Lajoie, senior director of communications at Bravo and Oxygen Media, who shared her sad, funny, and inspiring story through an interview with Ben Rabinowitz, a Summit junior who worked in the Social Media Marketing Department at the Bravo/Oxygen network. Sandra's story was such a clear example of the assembly's theme -- "you get what you work for" -- and, from her heart, her story showed us that when you want something badly enough, you must be prepared to stick with it and pay your dues. And, she did just that through college, work, and life! Our introduction to Sandra comes from Jennifer Geisser, Summit parent of Owen Siegel and senior vice president at Bravo and Oxygen Network.
Before introducing the senior internship videos, Ryan Lepper, a graduating senior, student athlete, and our resident DJ, joined Marian Corbett in presenting a special recognition award to another one of our popular Summit family members -- Carl Miranda, who is retiring after 18 years of teaching, coaching, and student event planning at The Summit School (photo below, left).
Jordan Levinson (photo above, right), graduating senior and brand new Employee of the Year, shared his amazing singing talent to close this year's Career Assembly with his rendition of a powerful song from the Broadway musical
Wicked called "For Good."
As always, Summit's Work-Based Learning Programs are successful because of the enthusiasm and commitment of so many who are involved, especially Summit's Transition Team: Jolynn, Fran, Diane, Franca, Colleen, Michael, Lorraine, and our foster grandparents, Edna and Ursula.
Also a special thanks to Nick Jablonski, Summit sophomore, who created our opening student montage video; Greg Broas, Summit's computer teacher, for his video production expertise and coordinating today's presentations with our students; and Karen Elder and Caterina Mercado for photography.