Senior Independent Experiences

hands-on, engaging learning

Andrew Smith loves caring for the goats and other animals at Good Hope Farm, in South Salem. “I even got to see a goat give birth yesterday!” said the senior at John Jay High School. The experience is a perfect match for his interest in pursuing veterinary medicine. 

His is just one of the nearly three hundred fascinating, hands-on, mentoring relationships that John Jay’s Class of 2022 is experiencing right now. It's the Senior Independent Experiences (SIE), an optional, 25 hours a week program which runs from May 9 through June 10.

“For many students, SIE provides a first experience in the workforce,” said Kristin Spiros, School Counselor. “It’s a powerful transition from their formal K-12 education into the ‘real world’ they’ve heard so much about.”

experiencing the workforce

Students are not required to attend class once they begin their internship. However, all students who participate in SIE must keep a daily journal, which they review with their advisor, and do a final presentation to receive credit.

Participating in SIE allows students to explore an area of strength, or experience something completely different.

Each experience is different

Zachary Bertin is reading young adult fiction and preparing questions for Katonah Village Library’s Battle of the Books. Alexander Pallas is looking for salamanders at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and recording them on an app that maps biodiversity. Ayla Dollar is shadowing each department head at ROAR, an animal shelter in Ridgefield, and learning about the day-to-day operations of a non-profit.

Whatever their experience, one thing is for sure, highlights Alexa Kauffman, School Counselor. “The seniors are experiencing the workforce, creating connections for their future and learning valuable skills for career development.”