Mar 20, 2023
BTE Student Stories
We’re trying out a new format for our Site Spotlights! We want you to hear more directly from our sites, including our Site Coordinators, our J&J volunteers, and our participants. First up, a Q&A with Site Coordinator Nichole Rouached from BTE’s Warsaw, Indiana site, which is currently in Year 2 of the BTE program.
Question 1: Highlight one activity from this quarter (Oct-Dec, 2022). What made this activity stand out?
BTE-Warsaw completed their first of two job shadow experiences with our Johnson & Johnson partner company, DePuy Synthes. Students spent the morning participating in meetings, touring departments, and even joining Zoom calls, seeing a day in the life of a Johnson & Johnson employee. Our 55 students selected departments or positions related to their own professional interests, such as biomedical engineering or marketing. The day culminated in a lunch with their volunteers and ultimately helped students narrow the types of careers or industries they want to pursue outside DePuy Synthes for their spring job shadow.
Question 2: What did your site do really well this quarter? Share an example of this practice in action.
In the second year of the pilot, BTE-Warsaw has made vast improvements to our programming by including more mentor sessions and reflecting on feedback from students and partners after our first year. We’ve made the programming more consistent and have worked to create a cohesive cohort across the three classes of students we have during school hours. Our field experiences have been more engaging as we’ve worked to get student input prior to excursions to help with planning.
Question 3: How do you think this quarter impacted your BTE students? How did they respond to and engage with content and activities?
In addition to deepening their career exploration, students began preparing for college applications. Students were not only better able to understand programs of studies, but also knew what to look for in a college tour and how to prepare for a college application after a college visit. Students spoke with admissions and scholarship support from several local schools, then toured one of the schools and were given a guide on what to ask for on a tour. Several students were able to participate in college tours with their families and use some of the resources BTE provided to have a more meaningful engagement with prospect colleges.
What are your students saying about the BTE experience?
“BTE has opened up a world of possibilities that I honestly didn’t really know was out there. This program helps me stay on task through my high school journey and reminds me to look for amazing opportunities, some of which are right in my hometown. The job shadowing that we did reminded me that a lot of any job is communicating with other people and staying up to date on your tasks.” – Emma S.
What are the J&J volunteers saying?
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Warsaw High School students through the BTE Program. As a first-generation college student, I remember how overwhelming the college application process was, especially navigating the financial aspect of it, and perhaps the most challenging part: figuring out what career I wanted to pursue. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to mentor high school students to help them prepare for their college experience and hopefully make the process a lot less confusing for them then it was for me. This experience has been very rewarding and has allowed me to learn so much about what it’s like to be a student today and empathize with the unique challenges high school students face. I have seen so much growth in the students in the year and a half we have been with them and look forward to making more progress as we go into the next school year.” – Catherine Santis
Want to learn more about BTE Warsaw? Visit their site page!