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PSLA Students Become Career Ready through Summer Bridge Program

This is a photo of two PSLA students sitting next to a computer smiling at the camera while giving 'thumbs up' signalsThanks to a one-week summer bridge program, incoming freshmen and sophomores at PSLA at Fowler got a head start for the school year… and their future careers!
Freshmen in the school’s P-TECH program enjoyed team building activities and a tour of their new school, as well as a chance to experiment with robotics kits. They engaged with guest speakers from MACNY, who spoke about what employers are looking for; they developed their 30 second ‘elevator speech’ to help pitch themselves to a potential employer; and they even wrapped up the week with a field trip to Onondaga Community College.
“The goal of the summer bridge was to introduce the P-TECH kids to the career-readiness practices needed to succeed in the P-TECH program and to get ready to be first in line for jobs within the Computer Information Systems and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems industries,” PSLA P-TECH Work-Based Learning Coordinator Matt Caron explained. “We wanted to help them get back into the rhythm of school life again after hybrid and remote learning last year, and help them become confident with both school and workplace expectations.”
Freshman Zack Stachnik, who will be pursuing the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) pathway, said that head start is what enticed him to participate in the bridge program.
“I joined the RPAS program because I like to fly things,” he explained. “I joined the summer bridge because I was hoping I’d learn the school, the teachers and what I’m going to be doing in the program next year. I’m excited to get started now, because I know what I’m going to be doing throughout the school year. I’m really looking forward to building drones and the components to make them respond and fly!”
To help the students learn about career readiness practices, they learned from local business partners who will continue working with them during the school year as career coaches. The hope is that these partnerships will lead students to gain a job shadow or internship, and potentially employment down the road.
“It was cool hearing what the business partners did when they were looking for a career path – it will help me to be able to learn from them,” Zack added.
Classmate Kodi Wood said he sees how his early meetings with the business partners could give him a leg up over classmates who didn’t attend the bridge program.
“I love computers and I love the wonders of technology,” Kodi said. “I would love to work with computers, building them for companies. The business partners talked about different personality traits they see in their work environment, how some people are like lions and just make decisions, while others are like camels who need time to process things – but the two need to work together. It was a great opportunity to meet them!”
Sophomores, with a year of P-TECH learning already under their belt, were invited for a skills refresher. They met with a Lieutenant from the Syracuse Fire Department and had an opportunity to show him the drone skills they had perfected. They also participated in a business challenge, where they came up with a plan to help beautify the school’s campus. They will be presenting their PowerPoint to the entire 10th grade CIS P-TECH class in the fall! The sophomores wrapped up the week with a field trip to Onondaga Community College.
We are proud of these P-TECH students who took the time to attend the bridge program, and appreciative of the business partners who took the time to mentor them!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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