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Arete Student Interns and Employees Learn Read World Skills

This year students across Arete's two high school campuses are engaging in real world skills through their internships with Arete.

Student employees at Media High School are engaged in a professionalism seminar where they practice and grow their emotional intelligence, expand their lesson planning skills, and reflect on their own professional strengths, goals, and growth areas. Our self-care club for students at Media High School is growing a culture of wellness among future professionals.

At The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, high school interns are working with Citizens Bank branch managers to open bank accounts and deepen their personal financial literacy skills. In our pilot ISP Internship, our Communications Interns are mentoring 8th graders to build social media campaigns to raise awareness about common diseases that disproportionally impact patients in the Bronx, conducting interviews with BioQuest STEM mentors, and publishing to Arete's social media channels.

 - 04/30/2024 - sbsd@areteeducation.org

Partner Feature: RTW Charitable Foundation

During the height of the pandemic, RTW Charitable Foundation reached out to Arete Education through President of Community Engagement Marti Speranza Wong. It was a call out of the blue offering help to students and families in the South Bronx. “What do you really need?” Marti asked. “We want to get money to grassroots organizations immediately to help families who are suffering.” After that initial call with RTW, the funding came weeks later to launch the Arete Hope Network. The program provided wraparound support for 30 families living in temporary housing during the pandemic who were facing significant barriers to accessing school. As a result all students participating in the program passed all their core classes and successfully completed the school year in good standing.

Fast forward three and a half years, and RTW Charitable Foundation is still investing in grassroots education organizations in the South Bronx through an innovative RTW BioQuest program and other innovative programs to put teens into project-based learning contexts that inspire their work as future scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs. Our students in grades 7-10 have been working alongside mentors at RTW as part of the BioQuest and Week Without Walls Programs facilitated through Arete.

RTW’s BioQuest STEM mentoring program is in its first year. Through the pilot over 50 students across Arete the Hunts Point Alliance for Children have engaged with 20 RTW mentors to learn about diverse careers in biotech. They engage in team challenges, explore career pathways into science, and visit professional settings across the city. Students have toured RTW Investments, learning how a company sets out to invest in biomedical breakthrough technologies, as well as JLABS and Weill Cornell BioVenture eLabs learning about applied careers in STEM. Through RTW’s BioQuest, students have also done scientific investigations on the BioBus and spent the day in New Jersey at the Liberty Science Center. BioQuest mentors led hands-on lab activities including extracting DNA from strawberries, team pipette racing, and a video demonstration of robotics technology used in the lab. Students got to explore the space, engage with their mentors, and meet the Head of JLABS US Northeast. This markable group of professionals across the city has invested so much in our students this year. We are so appreciative to be able to facilitate this amazing partnership into a second school year.

 - 04/27/2024 - sbsd@areteeducation.org
rtw week without walls workplace challenge

Empowering Students: F&T 10th Graders Tackle Rare Diseases in Workplace Challenge with RTW Charitable Foundation

With curiosity and dedication, a group of high school students from The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology participated in an innovative initiative aimed at raising awareness about rare diseases. In collaboration with RTW Charitable Foundation and Arete Education, 10th grade students were provided with the opportunity to delve into the complexities of rare diseases and explore their creativity with science communication! Co-lead by Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg from Arete, Sean Robinson from The Lab School, and Sarah Garwood and Joe Katakowski from RTW Charitable Foundation, this unique collaboration was supported by The Lab School’s recent Magnet Award for Career Connected Learning.

The first workplace challenge was intended to immerse students in a thought-provoking environment where they would be able to learn about different diseases that are often overlooked. The research they conducted involved learning about signs, symptoms, and struggles that people face when diagnosed with these rare diseases. Using the knowledge they gained through the investigation process, students were tasked with creating communication materials to disseminate their findings within their community and beyond! 

As part of Rare Disease Month, RTW has featured spotlight posts on different rare diseases on Instagram. The rare diseases highlighted were Sickle Cell Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and Marfan Syndrome. The posts uploaded were curated by the students, showcasing the information they learned through the workplace challenge. Each post displays the students' attentiveness to learning about diseases that affect society and commitment to health advocacy. 

In essence, this workplace challenge is indicative of the meaningful knowledge students can acquire and spread. This serves as a powerful reminder that young people can have an amazing impact when it comes to various social issues when given the opportunity to engage with new topics in creative and intriguing ways. Furthermore, the graphics from the workplace challenge are also a form of motivation to inspire the general public in joining the cause of advocating for a more healthy, equitable, and inclusive world. The work that RTW does within the sciences are opportunities that allow us to continue supporting and empowering our students. With the help of RTW, we can establish new career paths, invest in science education for our students, and drive future generations of changemakers!

 - 03/20/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
career day highlight

Igniting Futures: A Successful Career Day @ The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology!

On Friday, February 2, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology hosted 68 dedicated professionals who offered a diverse array of career paths and life stories. This Career Day event proved to be a catalyst for personal reflection, igniting a sense of curiosity and ambition among the students that we believe will profoundly shape their futures.

 

Professionals from various industries volunteered their time to share insights and make invaluable contributions. Each presenter brought a unique perspective to the table, enriching the students' understanding of the professional landscape. Whether discussing the intricacies of software development or the nuances of environmental conservation, every interaction served as a stepping stone towards greater knowledge of potential career paths and aspirations.

 

Beyond simply delivering presentations, our guest speakers actively engaged with students, facilitating meaningful dialogue and forging genuine connections. This interactive approach not only enhanced the learning experience but also promoted the values of Career Connected Learning. Through these partnerships, we hope to continue collaborating, and creating internships and mentorship opportunities that will further enrich our students' educational journey. This network will serve as a valuable resource for students as they navigate the complexities of the workplace, providing them with the support and guidance needed to realize their goals.

 

We also want to thank our volunteer speakers for lending their time and expertise to inspire and educate middle and high school students. Upon reflection of the successful career day, two such volunteers, Jack Darcey and Regina Alston, shared insights into their respective careers and their experiences at the event.

 

Jack Darcey, a Transportation Planner with the NYC Department of City Planning, provided a glimpse into his dynamic role, which involves a blend of transportation policy development, analytics, and neighborhood analysis. His day-to-day responsibilities range from conducting research and spatial analyses to observing infrastructure firsthand, all with the goal of supporting policy proposals and addressing pressing transportation issues.

 

One highlight of the event for Jack was the opportunity to engage with students and witness their genuine curiosity and insights. He found it particularly rewarding to hear students' questions and comments, especially when they related to pressing issues like affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. Jack emphasized the importance of exposing youth to topics like urban planning, which may not be commonly discussed in academic settings but are crucial for understanding our built environment.

 

Jack's decision to volunteer stemmed from his passion for youth engagement and his desire to expose students to the field of planning, which he finds fascinating yet often overlooked. Through partnerships with organizations like ours, Jack aims to broaden students' horizons and inspire them to consider career paths in the built environment.

 

Regina Alston, a Mental Health Clinician with Samaritan Daytop Village, shared her experiences as a case manager working with patients transitioning out of mental health facilities. Her day-to-day responsibilities involve providing support, making home visits, and ensuring a seamless transition for her clients.

 

For Regina, the highlight of Career Day was the inquisitiveness and openness displayed by the students. She was impressed by their eagerness to learn and connect, particularly when discussing topics like mental health and the environment of the South Bronx. Regina volunteered for the event out of a sense of duty to her community and a desire to empower the next generation. She believes that investing in youth is essential for creating positive change and shaping future leaders.

 

The insights shared by Jack Darcey and Regina Alston offer a glimpse into the transformative impact of Career Day on both volunteers and students alike. Through their dedication and passion, they exemplify the spirit of community engagement and mentorship that lies at the heart of events like these!

 - 02/28/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz

Join us for the Citizens Bank Financial Literacy Session!

Event Date: Saturday, February 10, 2024
Time: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: Citizens, 186 E 86th St., New York, NY, 10028

 

Arete Education is partnering with Citizens Bank to provide students with financial literacy and real world experience through opening up and managing checking and investment accounts!

Arete has previously held a session with interns at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, and it was a success! This follow up event will be held on the Upper East Side (4/5/6 86th Stop) this Saturday exclusively for F&T families and staff who would like to learn more about how to open bank accounts.

Please consider joining us and learning more about finances! RSVP here.

 

Branch Event 2_10 Invite V4
 - 02/08/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
hawa highlight (1)

Student Excellence Highlight - Hawa Fisiru

Hawa Fisiru is an outstanding senior at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology who has shown tremendous leadership and excellence with her involvement in school activities, working with Arete, and earning an apprenticeship with JPMorgan through the CareerWise Partner Program.

She first heard about the CareerWise apprenticeship while she was in 10th grade. After being accepted into the program, she commenced her work with JPMorgan in 11th grade. Her apprenticeship is expected to continue well into her first year of college.

As a senior in high school, her typical weekday models a split school-work schedule. In the morning, she attends her classes where she takes multiple Advanced Placement (AP) courses and manages to plan senior activities and meet with administration as the Class Council Vice-President. While at school, she prioritizes her academics and also takes on an additional role of advocating for students’ needs and wants.

Once the clock hits 12 pm, she heads off to work. Her role as an apprentice focuses on working in corporate investment banking, specifically with trading and foreign exchange. Recently, Hawa was shadowed in her work in Manhattan and interviewed by a production team from JPMorgan and the Atlantic to discuss her time with JPMorgan as an apprentice and learn about her story.

During this conversation, she was asked about her time as an apprentice, what she has learned thus far, the meaning of family, and what got her to where she is right now. Hawa’s poise and brilliance will be used to promote the Career Connected Learning Program.

Not only has Hawa been a proactive student in school and throughout her internship, but she also displayed excellent humility and maturity through her involvement with Arete. She worked as a tutor during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when learning transitioned from in-person to online. Every other day, she tutored two students in different subjects in order to keep them on track with handing in assignments and retaining the information during this difficult time. When schools opened back up, she remained as a tutor and took on an additional role of being a teaching assistant. Through these responsibilities, she learned to work with students of different learning levels and teaching styles. She also refined her skills of compassion, communication, and patience. Although these roles taught her that she does not want to go into education, it taught her how to communicate with others and provided her with a sense of fulfillment by patiently assisting students in need!

Currently, a lot of her time is spent going through the college application process. She is applying to various schools in the city in order to continue working for JPMorgan while also taking her education seriously. Some schools she plans on applying to are NYU, Barnard, Fordham, and Columbia University, Columbia being her dream school. Hawa expressed that even though the application process is arduous due to her various roles and responsibilities, she is still giving it her all to submit all her application materials in order to get into a good school post graduation. “It’s stressful, but I’m getting it done!”

 - 11/03/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
arete alumni feature - Amy Arizmendi

Arete Alumni Feature - Amairany (Amy) Arizmendi

Meet Amairany (Amy) Arizmendi - middle school alum of The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, Class of 2012. 

 

She has become extremely involved with Arete taking on various roles and responsibilities, an indispensable team member and leader. She has had the roles of family advocate, registering people for the census, helping families register their children to Arete programming, coordinating events at different sites involved with Arete, ordering supplies, managing budgets, and more. Additionally, during the peak of the pandemic, Amy was involved with Arete’s mission of assisting different families during this difficult time. She helped with the distribution of groceries and provided families with access to laptops and gift cards to buy different necessities like toiletries, clothes, and household items. 

One main takeaway from her various roles throughout her time with Arete has been her mindfulness skills! She has learned to take things one day at a time and use breathing techniques when things get stressful and difficult to manage. This is especially important when dealing with important responsibilities and following through with the mission of serving underserved and vulnerable populations. Amy affirms that Arete has fostered an environment where she is constantly able to learn and grow. She has grown the ability to effectively communicate not only with her peers and coworkers but also with parents. She enjoys interacting with families and credits this growth and enthusiasm to Arete’s commitment to providing support to their employees. Amy continues to benefit from Arete as she is continuously being challenged and improving. She takes on more tasks and fulfills more deadlines which allows her to learn more and become more prepared for future events and jobs. 

 - 07/31/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
arete alumni feature - Dinanyelin Martinez

Arete Alumni Feature - Dinanyelin Martinez

Meet Dinanyelin Martinez - graduate of The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in 2020 and current student at Mount Holyoke College, double majoring in Sociology and Spanish with a certificate in Latin American study

 

Dinanyelin started working with Arete back in 2020 as a tutor and teacher’s assistant. Following LSFT graduation, Dinanyelin worked as a virtual intern supervisor for the entire academic year. Then, in the summer of 2021, she became an in-person supervisor for the summer tutoring program/summer youth workers, specifically as a supervisor for Summer Programming student interns. As a supervisor, she guided, taught, and evaluated students on different benchmarks like teaching strategies and SEL.

 

This summer, Dinanyelin will return to Arete as an Impact Fellow. She will work alongside our president, Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, to plan the logistics for Arete's pilot Summer Career Camps. She is leading the pilot career program which includes programs teaching, finance, and journalism. As Dinanyelin anticipates her return to Arete this summer, she appreciates all she has learned from this work environment. One thing she noticed that Arete underscores is the mental health of students and how students’ mental health is important when it comes to academic performance. With this, she has learned how to approach students using different tactics based on their different circumstances, learning styles, and skill levels - something that is imperative to effectively address the needs of every student!

 

Dinanyelin is grateful to have picked up pedagogical skills while working with Arete. “The ability to teach and navigate communication with students and other adults is an asset that will come in handy in any career field and network opportunity!” Furthermore, Dinanyelin deeply values the substantial personal and professional development she has undergone in conjunction with her participation at Arete. Through its commitment to cultivating an environment conducive to the expansion of skills and offering unique avenues for active involvement, "Arete has bestowed upon me exceptional opportunities and responsibilities that are rarely attainable for the younger members of my community."  

 - 07/20/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
arete alumni feature - Mariyam Sumareh

Arete Alumni Feature - Mariyam Sumareh

Meet Mariyam Sumareh - LSFT Class of 2020 and a rising senior at New York University majoring Sports Management and minoring Public Policy and Management

Her involvement with Arete as an employee began back in 2020 as a senior at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology forming part of the internship team. She was a tutor to three 8th grade students. Being a tutor provided her with connections she did not know she would have made. She connected with her tutees on a more personal level on top of providing them with educational support during the peak of the pandemic. She noticed that these tutor-tutee relationships helped her reflect on how she saw herself in the younger kids and made her realize that she could become a mentor to them. She made sure the students felt validated about their passions. She was not just a tutor but someone that students could lean on socially, emotionally, and academically. 

After being a tutor, Mariyam became a Youth Service Leadership Fellow where she conducted leadership initiatives for grades 6-12, helped with the adaptation of virtual learning and became a spokesperson to donors and guests. After this, she took on the role of Project Coordinator for Summer Bridge/Rising. During her 2021 summer role, she mainly did administrative work. Her other responsibilities involved outreach which included updating families about student progress. She also curated weekly vlogs for the summer rising program and communicated with program donors. She then got promoted to Program Coordinator for College and Career Access. Here, she oversaw high school student activities during afterschool programs and managed attendance for 400+ people. She supported weekly and monthly attendance reports for the senior leadership team. On top of that, she made phone calls and wrote letters to donors and also maintained a digital alumni database . Additionally, during her time in this role, she started up the Arete Alumni Council where they held monthly events, such as financial literacy, resume building, Feed our Needs events, and Alumni Day. 

Currently, Mariyam works as an Admin Operations Associate. She is in charge of various operational needs like keeping inventory on school supplies, ordering supplies and storing items in the office, and organizing electronic files (paystubs, alumni contracts, etc.). She ensures that students get stipends in a timely manner and administers the onboarding process of staff to ensure they get offer letters. Moreover, she serves as support for human resources responsibilities. This means that she tackles operational issues, creates guides on how to clock in and clock out, provides assistance on accessing paycom and timesheets, and produces basic employee manuals. Not only is she the go-to person for employee assistance, but she also helps the President of Arete, Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, find prospective donors, have access to an alumni database, and keep alumni contact information organized! 

One thing that Mariyam is immensely grateful for is the ability to grow as an individual with the help of Arete. She recalled that when she first started working with Arete, she possessed a student mindset where her main goal was to just do what needed to be done; however, as she progressed throughout her various roles, she gained leadership skills as she took on more responsibilities. Through this, she has been able to tap into her leadership skills whether it be leading groups or leading behind the scenes. She is constantly pushed to do better and improve on her time management, organization, networking, leadership, and mindfulness skills. She is proud of being able to create a space where everyone is able to adapt and do what they have to do - something that Arete has enabled her to do easily!

A second thing that she values about Arete is Arete’s involvement in her life but also with everyone that is part of the organization. She became exposed to Social Emotional Learning that taught her that it is imperative to check in and make sure you and everyone around you is doing and feeling well. Having the opportunity to debrief and be mindful of these emotions allowed her and her colleagues to perform better within their roles. “Arete definitely cares about their staff!” exclaimed Mariyam as she explained that Arete asks their employees about their feelings and opinions on certain projects instead of just being told what to do. Being asked for personal input makes Mariyam feel welcomed and validated. As a former LSFT student and current Arete employee, she is able to provide a new and youthful perspective on certain events and makes her feel valued as a member of this organization. On top of that, Mariyam enjoys seeing that Arete organizes important events that are beneficial and dear to the communities they serve (Juneteenth, Feed Our Needs, hotline and family services, Eid celebrations, etc.). Also, the fact that Arete is expanding shows that they care about service and are constantly striving for more! One last thing Mariyam underscores is that although what she is studying is different to what she does within Arete, she is able to gain transferable skills that help support her career goals (youth engagement, consistency, empathy, being supported and being supportive). 

 - 07/11/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
2022 Wallach Scholarship Recipient - Sydney

Sydney Pierre-Saint: 2022 Academic Inspiration Wallach Scholarship Recipient

In memory of Edward Wallach, the 2022 Wallach Scholarship was announced in June 2022 to The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology Class of 2022. Edward Wallach was a huge contribution to the community at The Lab School and beyond! He motivated students in academics, community service, and athletics and for that reason, recipients of this scholarship would receive between $2-3,000 in three different categories:

  • Leading athlete -  a student who excels in team sports and proudly represents the 223 community.
  • Community builder - a student who creates meaningful friendships, serves the 223 community, and has a strong passion in doing good in the world.  
  • Academic inspiration - a student who excels in academics and journey inspires others to achieve their highest potential. 

On July 26, 2022, Sydney Pierre-Saint, the 2022 Lab School Salutatorian, became one of the three recipients of the Wallach Scholarship, specifically for the Academic Inspiration category. 

Initially, Sydney applied to the scholarship for the community builder and academic inspiration categories. Within the 223 community, she tried her very best to become involved and get to know those around her. As someone who was new to The Lab School as a high school freshman, it was somewhat difficult at first to find a sense of belonging as most people had already known each other from middle school and established their groups for some time now. Nonetheless, Sydney slowly began to participate in various activities that led her to build a sense of community with her peers and staff. On top of that, her involvement in the school and greater South Bronx community led her to build passions that motivated her to want to do good in the community that raised her. Her personal experiences allow her to have knowledge in different aspects of life which gives her leverage in knowing how to give back to her community. As for academic inspiration, Sydney recounts that growing up, she constantly doubted herself and truly struggled in everything academics. Back in elementary school, she saw that she did not take her academics seriously. Her lack of academic tenacity and overall focus on school-related activities led her to become left back in third grade. From then, she began to lose her pride. She internalized all the comments about her being “dumb” subsequently losing her confidence in her academic abilities. After this incident, she was motivated to not only prove to everyone that she was capable of being academically successful but to herself as well that she was in fact not dumb. She learned that she had to unlearn old habits and build positive ones. Upon prioritizing different things that truly mattered to her grades and her well-being, she began seeing change. This turn-around in academic tenacity and abilities began to make her believe she was just as capable as her peers in doing good in school and that sense of accomplishment gave her fuel to continue working hard. As she progressed through the school years, she realized that she came a long way in her efforts into school and academic passions. From once seeing herself as “dumb” and “stupid”, she ended up graduating as the Class of 2022 Salutatorian at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology. 

A year later, Sydney, a rising sophomore at New York University, plans on studying Psychology and considers minoring in Creative Writing with interactions in academia and creating theories. Upon finishing first year of college at NYU London, one main lesson she learned is to be in the moment. Yes, it is good to have goals and aim for something; however, it is also good to be content in the moment, indulging in the present, and not compare yourself to others. She also recalls learning to adapt to new environments and make the best out of every opportunity presented to her, just like she did with studying abroad and applying to this scholarship. 

She is extremely grateful for the Wallach Scholarship as it granted the freedom of not having to worry as much about financial hardships when it came to her college education. Applying to this scholarship also gave her time to reflect on what she has accomplished so far and what she sees herself doing in the future. Moving forward, if ever presented with more scholarship applications, she will definitely apply and utilize every resource possible. These opportunities will only grant her the ability to continue pursuing her passions, continue learning and furthering her education, and continue to grow as an individual!

 - 07/11/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz

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