College2Career Event at Rainforest Alliance (RA) with Life Sciences Secondary School (LSSS)

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On May 30th, 2014, EduMaKate hosted a College2Career event at the New York offices of Rainforest Alliance with the sophomore AP World History students from Life Sciences Secondary School. The event was held on a pleasantly warm day in the storied Woolworth Building on the 28th floor, overlooking City Hall and Pace University – a fitting backdrop for a day filled with activities around creating environmental awareness through intervention and education.

Students were introduced to EduMaKate by Co-President, Arthur Gukasyan, and discovered some of the amazing opportunities we offer during our year-long program at participating high schools. Our Chief Financial Officer, Raul Noriega, introduced the first speaker, Annie Berger, a 6 year veteran of Rainforest Alliance, who talked about how she got inspired to join a cause for biodiversity and sustainability while attending college.

After Ms. Berger’s speech, students received an informative and interactive presentation from Maria Ghiso, Rainforest Alliance’s Education Manager, and got to touch an actual cocoa leaf farmed from one of their RA Certified farms. Students also received Dove chocolate bars that were RA Certified for sustainability, and learned how sustainability along with the protection of the rights of farm workers can impact the food they consume.

During intermission, students enjoyed a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies catered by Subway, and got a chance to view the entire range of RA certified products in the main lobby. Afterwards, students were treated to the inspiring journey of Nerissa Williams, an IT project lead at RA, who came from humble beginnings in Grenada to earn two (2) Master’s Degrees from Pace University in Computer Science, and oversee the helpdesk for over 400 employees worldwide.

Having been inspired and filled with new nuggets of knowledge, the students sharpened their competitive edges and formed into teams for a fun-filled Jeopardy game. After two informative and entertaining rounds, Team 5 emerged victorious and all four (4) team members won an Android 7″ tablet and expandable memory card. We also conducted our event raffle, and awarded another Android 7″ tablet, a $30 Amazon gift card, and a $20 Starbucks gift card to students as well.

Finally, every student left with a copy of our Prep4Break workshop materials in order to have a productive summer in preparation for their junior year this fall.

A special thanks goes out to all those at the EduMaKate team who contributed to the event, as well as Annie Berger, Briehan Lynch, and Patricia Lukas at Rainforest Alliance, who were instrumental in making all the accommodations and arrangements for our students at this event.

Thank you to Ms. Shambourger and Principal Genevieve Stanislaus for facilitating the field trip and creating a buzz about EduMaKate at Life Sciences.

A very special thanks to Adam McClarin at Micro Center in Queens for helping us arrange the purchase of prizes/giveaways for the students.

And, to Eric Rothenberg, EduMaKate’s senior board adviser, whose directorship at RA and lifelong dedication to environmental stewardship made this connection with our students possible.

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