Thursday, October 31, 2013

Panther Prep Day

 PHS seniors learn real world skills in Panther Prep Day
By Gregory Hill
Last Wednesday, while freshmen, sophomores and juniors took the College Board’s ReadiStep and PSAT assessments, seniors at Pikesville High School walked confidently in their finest suits and blouses as they engaged in Panther Prep Day to help the soon-to-be graduates prepare for career and college.
Students in six groups rotated every half hour among six stations.
At one station, students presented their resumes and participated in a mock interview with a variety of professionals, academics, and business owners, including Mathew Death, community outreach coordinator for the Baltimore Orioles, and Robert Sarnovsky, molecular biologist from the National Institute of Health.
“The interviews show first hand the importance of having a polished resume and being prepared for a job interview,” said David Kreller, PHS School to Career Coordinator who planned the event in conjunction with school counselor Erin Murphy.  “The fact that the students receive feedback can be invaluable in students’ lives as they prepare for life after high school.”
After the interviews, the professionals rated the students and provided them feedback on their resume and interviewing skills.
“I have never been interviewed before,” said senior Shannon Nichols.  “I was kind of nervous, but when I interviewed, I realized it was like a conversation.  I now have more confidence.”
In addition to interviewing, students also participated in a career fair featuring Armed Forces recruiters, trade schools, and local businesses to offer students career advice and options.
“I liked how it was authentic, and it was a new experience for me,” said senior Dylan Alexander.
A third session, led by First Financial Credit Union, aimed to teach students financial literacy, including the realities of college debt, credit cards, and spending money wisely.
“I like the financial workshop because I learned how to be responsible in college to avoid financial ruin,” said senior Bezankeng Njinju.
A fourth session, led by School Resource Officer Joseph Goralczyk, taught students personal safety and awareness.
“I liked the safety part because I know how to conduct myself to avoid situations that put me in harm’s way,” said Bezankeng.
The seminar from the Community College of Baltimore County featured an overview to college options for students.
Finally, Kelly Yousem, a medical malpractice lawyer, vegan chef, and expert in nutrition, taught the students how to eat and live healthfully.
“We thought that it was important for students to understand what healthy eating looks like.  It is very important to their well being, academically, physically, and socially,” said Mrs. Murphy.
Jeremy Goldman, school counseling department chair, reflected on the positive outcome from the Panther Prep Day event.  He shared, “for a day that is traditionally so focused on assessments, it was refreshing to give seniors this opportunity to do something different. Because of Panther Prep Day, all of the students at Pikesville High School were actively engaged in college and career readiness, and it elevated our students’ awareness of why school is so important.”

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