By Dan Neumann, BEI Executive Director
“Being rich is a good thing. Not just in the obvious sense of benefiting you and your family, but in the broader sense. Profits are not a zero-sum game. The more you make, the more of a financial impact you can have.”
Does this statement by Mark Cuban, successful businessman and sports owner, provide his perspective on philanthropy? Or is he trying to provide justification for making scads of money and being able to have the satisfaction of spending it as he sees fit?
It doesn’t really matter because, no matter which view is accurate, it contains a kernel of truth: Success provides opportunity to help others.
This issue of the BEI Newsletter highlights some of the many activities and accomplishments of students supported by BEI mini-grants throughout this school year. We hope you find the vignettes interesting, thought-provoking perhaps even inspirational.
We hope that your response provokes a desire to pitch in, to join us in providing Trumbull’s students with opportunities to potentially discover their career passion, to form ideas about how they view what they want to be doing in their future.
None of these projects would be possible without the support of BEI’s contributors – the Town of Trumbull, corporate partners, other foundations, and individual contributors – who provide the funding that BEI channels to applicants who express aspirations to conduct the projects that we believe will make a difference for the participating students.
Companies willing to host job shadowing visits for students are also vitally important to BEI’s success. Opening their doors to small student groups to explain what they do and the various roles their employees play in their success can provide insights for students that aren’t discernible in classrooms. Seeing it is so much more powerful than talking about it.
So we extend a heartfelt “thank you” to our current contributors, whether you provide financial support, give your time to serve on our Board of Directors, and/or host students to see the work activities of various careers first hand.
And to others not already involved, we ask that you join us in whatever ways make sense as you view the opportunities that Mark Cuban’s description of success offers.
Let us hear from you. Tell us how you’d like to help. We’re all ears and eager to extend career exploration opportunities for Trumbull’s students.
Job Shadowing Day at Standard Motor Products
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Trumbull High School Job Shadowing program brought 10 students to the Standard Motor Products Company where they were able to meet and talk with business professionals. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in a career in business, students learned about career fields such as accounting, marketing, human resources, engineering, legal, and informational technology. The THS Job Shadowing Program would like to thank Tom Tesoro, BEI board member and Standard Motor Products’ Senior Vice President of Human Resource and his team.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center Job Shadow Day
On March 24, 2014, the Trumbull High School Job Shadowing Program brought 17 students to St. Vincent’s Medical Center where they were able to tour the facility. Students met and shadowed professionals in the Emergency Room, Radiology, Acute Rehab, Cardiac Monitoring and the Family Birthing Center and learned about the various careers and educational paths one could take to pursue a career in the medical field. Students were then invited to hear from THS alum Shervin Etemad ’10 who discussed his educational path and internship experiences. The THS Job Shadowing Program would like to thank Lucinda Ames for her assistance in organizing our trip.
Madison Middle School Courtyard Club
Madison Middle School students learn about native and invasive species of plants, trees, shrubs, and weeds in this ecofriendly club. They also learn the skills necessary to maintain a healthy vibrant landscape and created a plant list of native species to be planted this year. Students also learn about the interrelationship between plants and animals in our local ecosystem.
Construction Pro Rodeo
On May 5, 2014, 31 Trumbull High School students participated in an event called the Connecticut Construction Career Days Pro Rodeo: a trade show, career day, construction skills competition, and hands-on, interactive skills demonstration stations focusing on careers in the construction technology, engineering, and architecture professions: i.e. electrical technology, masonry, sheet metal working, carpentry, plumbing, automotive technology, civil engineering, surveying, etc. A BEI grant offset the cost of attendance for the students and their five chaperones as well as transportation to the event.
On Saturday May 9, Trumbull High Schools Robotics Club sent its team of 8 seniors to Rahway, NJ to compete in the Botball® Regional Tournament. In the morning Trumbull scored enough points to earn third place in a field of 17 teams from the NY/NJ region. In the afternoon, the highly reliable design went undefeated through the double elimination bracket to win first place. The combination of the morning and afternoon performance along with excellent documentation and presentation scores gave THS the trophy for second overall in the regional performance.
Marketing Ed and DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC)
Ten members of the THS Honors Marketing program made the trip to Orlando, FL to attend the Marketing International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Three of these students were selected to attend a leadership academy and the remaining seven qualified at the state level to compete internationally. Over 15,000 student representatives from high schools throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Spain, China and Guam competed in marketing related events. The competition was extremely rigorous as it included both a written exam as well and a role play component.
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) attended the Annual State Leadership Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell. Competing with over 500 business students from around the state, the Trumbull chapter took home nine awards. A BEI mini grant provided the support to this as well as to six of the competitors will be representing Trumbull at the National Leadership Conference in Chicago in June.
Starting with four victorious teams in the regional round in December, three in the quarterfinals, and two in the super-quarterfinals which faced off in the semi-finals for the privilege to represent THS for the championship, the competition came to an end in the finals in the Connecticut State Supreme Court. The students performed admirably throughout their season, which was even more demanding than usual due to several rescheduled rounds due to repeated snowfalls. These students were well deserving of the win but, unfortuantley, they fell to a talented Weston team. Advisor Eric August said “I am proud to be a member of this school and even more proud to call myself coach of an amazing group of young adults. ”
Model UN Club
The THS Model UN club saw success in Washington D.C. with 18 students debating in several committees addressing the most pressing issues facing the world among the brightest high school students from all over the world. One of the many highlights of the trip include our very own Taylor Berlin receiving verbal recognition for her contributions to her committee of the Organization of American States. THS should be most proud of this team and their accomplishments.
With the support of BEI the THS Model Congress team traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the University of Pennsylvania Model Congress competition for the first time. Penn Model Congress is a four-day simulation of legislative process that included 730 students from 38 schools across the country. Students are assigned to committees in the House and Senate before the competition and prepare legislation on a topic of interest in that committee. During the simulation, students present their bills to committee and try to get them passed through negotiations and debate. Trumbull High School’s ten-person team passed 8 out of their 9 bills through committee sessions and Ethan Bachand’s bill was selected for full debate on the Senate floor. In addition, Bridget Weston, the senior leader, was selected as the Secretary of Defense in the President’s cabinet. Trumbull had a very successful weekend coming home with 5 Honorable Mention awards (2nd best in committee session).
Five THS students were given the opportunity to stretch their minds and their horizons as they saw what it is like to make monetary policy in the most important economic institution in the world. The students spent the day preparing at the New York Public Library, discussing monetary policy, and impressing the judges at the Federal Reserve. The judges expressed approval of their economic thesis that the Fed should hold off on an interest rate increase until inflation stabilizes. They cited an impressive and diverse set of economic data brought forth to support our debate over monetary policy. One of the junior competitors, Aravind Sureshbabu, he asked if he could come back senior year to participate again. Rohit Kandala, senior, has decided that he wants to major in Economics. He said, “I’ve done a lot of academic competitions, but this is by far the hardest.”
BEI’s Support: A Student’s Perspective
By Erin Wingo, Class of 2015
A little more than a year ago, C House Principal Todd Manuel asked me to be a student liaison to the Trumbull Business Education Initiative Board. I agreed even though I was hesitant and I am so glad I did, because the experiences and opportunities it has provided me have been amazing.
The BEI Board allowed fellow senior Erika Koury (another student rep) and me to take the lead in creating a BEI Club for Trumbull High School. Working with board member Trista Morin, we were able to start a club whose mission is to utilize the BEI partnership to develop an environment in which Trumbull High students will acquire an understanding of the business world and the tools needed to help find a part-time job. The club will also focus on college planning and the application process. It hasn’t been easy, but I have learned so much about working within the confines of school administration, the community, students and the BEI Board to get this much-needed club running and the results have been great. I am really proud that it will be a legacy I can leave behind.
I have also been fortunate to participate in many other activities that BEI has to offer, including a job shadow opportunity at GE in November 2014. This past year, I was proud to be a member of the 2015 THS “We the People” Bicentennial Team. It was one of the most amazing experiences. We were able to challenge ourselves academically based on work load and degree of material we were dealing with. We also gained real-world skills that can be applied in our futures, like public speaking and thinking on our feet. And while “We the People” is not directly funded by BEI, it was my work with BEI that helped to prepare me for the success my team and I achieved – we were proudly awarded 15th in the Nation, and Best in the Northeast. BEI has impacted my life in so many ways and helped me prepare for my future in more ways than I thought possible!
A Look Back and a Look Ahead
By John Annick
It all started with a vision, a vision that business, through a partnership with education, community and town government could foster the means and medium to motivate and greatly enhance the understanding of career choices and the work environment demands for K to12 Trumbull students. The results have been a major collaboration of business, education, town government and community in providing career exploration and career awareness to our students, in both public and private schools. In between, Trumbull Business Education Initiative was created to facilitate it all.
Some of the initial projects were assisting Trumbull businesses in recruiting new hires. We sent letters to over 700 past graduates and served as a clearinghouse to receive resumes and forward them on to the businesses. Fast-forward to today and we have awarded over $250,000 in mini-grants to foster motivation within the educational community to obtain additional career development ideas. We have had more than 100 students visit various workplaces, arranged college and career fair readiness forums, and sponsored numerous guest speakers to classrooms across the town.
BEI is truly unique in its endeavors and our accomplishments are hard to quantify. However, the feedback of the student who talks nonstop after a job shadowing experience about what she wants to do, or the student who say’s “I didn’t realize what you needed to know and do in this job,” lets us know we are on the right track. If history is any indication of success, we have a bright future. With your help, it will certainly be!