You know it’s summer when the students on campus get a little smaller, a little younger and clad in all colors of T-shirts with names of programs like WE@RIT, Kids on Campus and Summer MASH Camp.
It got me thinking about how often people at RIT, beyond the admissions staff, are involved with K-12 students—either here on campus or at the different elementary, middle and high schools in the area. Venessa Mitchell leads the Pillars of Hope to Nathaniel Rochester Elementary School.
Global Union students volunteer at the local STEM High School, our women athletes hosted girls from the Rochester City School District for Women in Sports Day and Stephanie Ludi sponsors an all-girls FIRST Lego League team. The awesome Giant Read has grown considerably and the E-Cubed Fair has been in place for more than 20 years now. This is just a short, short list of RIT’s K-12 connections. It doesn’t include our new City Scholars, CBET’s summer camps and the Education for Peace Conference.
I think it shows that RIT is pretty well connected to the community…and, except for the booties the teens had to wear to get into the clean room, most of the youngsters leave RIT saying the experiences were pretty exciting and interesting. I think RIT really makes an impact on this younger set.
Where else can you meet a rear admiral during Navy Week, jump into a Navy simulator (see video below) or work alongside college students in biotech labs?
The young women in the RIT chapter of the Society for Women Engineers and the campers in the WE@RIT World in Motion program were captivated as Rear Admiral Gretchen Herbert talked about the Navy, its focus and her path from West Irondequoit High School and the University of Rochester to becoming assistant chief of Naval Operations. During her presentation in the Xerox Auditorium, she showed photos of the many different naval operations on the sea, in the air and on land, as well as the people who serve in the Navy.
For the kids who come to RIT for programs, they are able to try things they’ve never done before. I wonder which of the students will look back at their summer at RIT, or at the visit by an RIT faculty or staff-volunteer or even recall the student-athlete they met, and say it was one of the things that influenced them to try something new, to challenge themselves or to consider a certain career path?
The students listening to Admiral Herbert asked her about preparation for careers, wondering what it will be like for them as they start looking into college (for the middle school students) and after they graduate (for the college students). She told them to challenge themselves at every opportunity. “You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Success is never so sweet as doing something you didn’t think you can do.”
NOTE: Check out the video from the Navy’s visit on July 14 and take a ‘ride’ on the simulator.
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