Power Lunch Gives SHHS Students Career Insights

Many high school students have dreams and career goals they hope to realize.

A Career Awareness Power Lunch kicked off April 2014 when Sleepy Hollow High School and the Kids’ Club of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow teamed to give students the inside track about various careers.

A recent panel arranged by Career Coordinator Janet Longo-Abinanti included professionals in advertising, engineering, communications and finance.

“Some female students want to be engineers, and I felt this would be beneficial,” Longo-Abinanti said.

NNYB intern Ishmael Mejia addresses SHHS students/NNYB

NNYB intern Ishmael Mejia addresses SHHS students/NNYB

Returning to his former high school, Manhattan College junior Ishmael Mejia, 21, spoke about structural engineering and how his internship with the New NY Bridge project complements his studies.

Mejia “fell in love with building and structural design by working with my parents, who are both architects,” he said. “To this day they keep ‘engineering’ my outlook on life and everything I do.”

Students often wonder how to connect their textbook to their experiences.

“Being a part of this project has put the theory I have learned in the classroom to work,” the 2012 SHHS graduate said. “Concepts on the chalkboard are now made out of real steel and concrete.”

Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare, part of the five-member panel, spoke highly of the intern. “Ishmael is a valuable member of the New NY Bridge community outreach team and his personal story was very inspiring for the students at his alma mater,” he said.

His experience at the Community Outreach Center in Tarrytown gave Mejia “a new perspective on the engineer’s ability to shape lives as I interact with the community on a day-to-day basis.”

“That he is a recent Sleepy Hollow High School graduate allowed the students to see a part of themselves in him and possibly get a glimpse of what their own future could look like with similar hard work and dedication,” Conybeare said.

Helena Tam discusses her engineering career & path/NNYB

Helena Tam discusses her engineering career & path/NNYB

Project engineer Helena Tam worked for HDR, Inc. and left the company to start a travel planning business she continued after rejoining HDR three years ago to work on the bridge project.

Michael “Mac” McLaurin of Fifteen Degrees, a branding and promotional agency, and wealth advisor Craig Laub also spoke with the students. Hearing their various their experiences opened the teenagers’ eyes, Longo-Abinanti said. “Everyone had interesting stories about where they started and jobs they had.”

“Always brand your work at school, at home and at your job,” Mejia said. “Let everybody know you did it. No matter what you do in life — hopefully something you love — own yourself to it.”

Editorial Note: I worked in several fields and had a variety of jobs (including four weeks as a debt collector) while keeping my sights on a writing/reporting career.

“Biker in Search of Another Excursion,” detailing a college student’s coast-to-coast trip (my first bylined article and written while a college intern at The Reporter Dispatch) earned me a Third Place Gannett Student Writing Award from Women in Communications, Inc. (1981).

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

New NY Bridge & LEGO® Team Up at Lyndhurst

If seeing LEGO® creations at the Mansion inspired your creativity, all you had to do was walk down the path past the ice cream line to the Carriage House.

Looking like the real deal at Lyndhurst Family Fun Day/NNYB

Looking like the real deal at Lyndhurst Family Fun Day/NNYB

In addition to the I LUG NY display — I hope you walked around several times and marveled at the various scenes and the entire presentation and walked around it again — and the Hudson Valley FIRST LEGO® League robotics teams, you’d find kids and parents busy around the corner.

They were building mini New NY Bridges from kits of LEGO® bricks via a Smart Tablet and a six-step guide provided by LEGO® Master Builder Aaron Tang. I met him weeks earlier at an outreach presentation that included bridge-building; the kids couldn’t wait to start their projects.

“It’s been a busy day,” he said yesterday afternoon as he and Bricks 4 Kidz franchise owner Marj S. Santos broke apart the pieces and put them back into their containers.

tableConsider this immense project, now in its third year, and realize the effort put forth bringing it into the community: every level of school from elementary to university;  business, professional, trade, social and civic groups; national and international groups; and more.

A little boy approached Tang. “Would you like to build a bridge?” he asked. “Yes,” the child nodded, sitting at one of tables and taking one of the disassembled kits. Tang smiled. “They’re fascinated by it.”

If you’d like the Outreach Team to talk with your group or school, see the Contact Us page on the New NY Bridge website.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

It’s a LEGO® Weekend of Activities at Lyndhurst

The week before was about demolition; this weekend is about creating and building and everything LEGO® at Lyndhurst Family Fun Day.

helloMy favorite part of the day was this fellow named Tank from the Nature of the Things petting zoo. He’s 20 years old — and will age to 100 years — and was patient as kids and adults petted him. He wasn’t shy, either, and as soon as I pointed my camera at him he began crawling in my direction.

And then he smiled at me. Click!

LEGO® Master Builder Aaron Tang and Marj S. Santos, Bricks 4 Kidz franchise owners from Scarsdale-Bronxville and Chappaqua-Armonk, respectively, helped kids and their parents build mini New NY Bridges from kits of LEGO® bricks via a Smart Tablet and a six-step guide.

I LUG NY display this weekend/Courtesy Lyndhurst Mansion

I LUG NY display this weekend/Courtesy Lyndhurst Mansion

Activities in the Mansion and the Carriage House include a Golden LEGO® Scavenger Hunt, a LEGO® exhibition by area kids and an awesome giant train display. (I know the secret of how it was assembled and will be disassembled.) The detail and intricacies are amazing. It’s on display again Sunday from 1o a.m. to 4 p.m. at 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown.

Starting next month the Mansion is open for tours Friday through Sunday. The LEGO® excitement is only one more day. Don’t miss it.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

It’s Finally Spring!

parkA familiar odor reached me when I got to RiverWalk Park. The smell wafted across the path and the grass and floated into the air as the river moved against the rocks.

The air had that smell.

It was Rye Playland, the Long Island Sound, summers at the beach club where my parents had a cabana. It was the smell of spring that waited too long to arrive.

mossEven the moss on the rocks looked pretty when the river made them shiny. A few boats went by and turned when they reached the green buoys per the Regulated Navigation Area. They looked really tiny as they passed the giant crane.

I smiled at people passing by and seated, and they returned the grin. The weather was warm, relieved to come out from under a horrible winter. The sky was smiling, too.

old and newYou could see the contrast of old to new: the bridge next to sections of its eventual replacement. Five months ago the first set of piers was built, and two weeks later their formwork was removed. Cars and trucks driving on the bridge looked like toys by comparison.

Camera in hand, I walked along the path and reminisced about earlier times.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

Police Barracks Torn Down; Lane Closures Ahead

First a new staging area, then a terminus/© Janie Rosman

First a new staging area, then a terminus/© Janie Rosman

Friday part of the former New York State Police Troop T Barracks was torn down to create a staging area on the Westchester landing. The site will be rebuilt as a visitor and greeting area once the project is completed. That’s not all.

The 18,000-foot building was vacated last year when the state police and Tappan Zee Bridge maintenance crews moved to 160 N. Route 303 in West Nyack, Zone 1 headquarters for New Rochelle, Newburgh and now Tarrytown barracks.

Their new albeit temporary location — a 42,000-foot empty warehouse — was once an active printing plant for the Journal News.

Toll plaza gone, zipper obsolete next year/© Janie Rosman

Toll plaza gone, zipper obsolete next year/© Janie Rosman

The Tarrytown toll plaza will be torn down in the next year as the Thruway goes to all-electronic toll collection: an archway over the highway will read drivers’ E-ZPass® tags as they pass under it at highway speeds to ensure smooth traffic slow. If a driver doesn’t have an E-ZPass® tag, a mounted camera will take a picture of his or her license plate and send a bill to the home address.

Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) continues installing foundations for a temporary toll gantry near Exit 10 in South Nyack next week (prep began in September).

Noise will be monitored as TZC drills holes into the soil and rock for reinforced concrete foundations; noise reduction procedures are in place to reduce the impact on those living nearby. The right traffic lane in the area will be closed April 14, 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Striping overnight on April 13 and 14 closes the three left lanes of northbound I-87/I-287 from Exit 9 in Tarrytown across the bridge to Exit 10 in South Nyack. One lane will be open from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. both days.

For additional news, click here.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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