Excelsior Academy at NFA North meet with IBM mentors
Students from Excelsior Academy at NFA North met with their mentors on Tuesday. Some students were meeting their mentors for the first time, while other students continue to work with their mentor from the previous year. Some students and mentors have the opportunity to be paired for all four years of the program.
Partnered with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, SUNY Orange, and IBM, Excelsior Academy provides students the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s in Applied Sciences Degree in either Computer Networking or Cyber Security.
Our school focuses on helping students acquire the professional skills necessary to be successful in the career world. Once students complete our 4-6 year program, they have the opportunity to enter directly into the workforce or continue with higher education. During their time at Excelsior Academy, students take college courses alongside traditional high school classes as they work toward both degrees in an environment that not only invites them into the world of information technology, but also challenges them to be innovative and intentional in every endeavor. While attending Excelsior Academy at NFA North, students may attend class on a college campus 2-4 days a week.
“We’re asking mentors to support students on their path of a meaningful education while working toward a meaningful career. We hope this program leads to internships, college programs, and then eventually that our students are colleagues of yours one day.” Mr. Kevin Rothman, Principal of Excelsior Academy
The first mentor meeting of the year included icebreaker and team building activities. Some groups were asked to compete to build the highest structure with the materials supplied. Other groups created a protective container in hopes that their egg were survive a fall from the greatest heights. Each team was given certain materials and amount of time to complete the task. Time was allotted for creating a plan and design and constructing the model.
Mentors work to develop rapport and later in the program work with students on career development skills, such as resume writing, professional development, elevator speeches, and interview skills.
Students primarily focus on cyber security or networking through the partnership with IBM and SUNY Orange. In the past, students have obtained meaningful internships at IBM and St Luke's Hospital as a result of Excelsior Academy and the mentorship program.