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Scholarships Go to To Three Western Suffolk BOCES Wilson Tech Students
(Farmingdale, NY) The first recipients of the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT, Bethpage, NY, www.lift.org) Technology Scholarship were announced on Thursday, May 16th, 2013 in an award ceremony held at the Western Suffolk BOCES’ Wilson Technological Center (Wilson Tech, Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY, www.wilsontech.org). On hand for the event were representatives of LIFT, Western Suffolk BOCES, Wilson Tech, the scholarship winners, all of whom attend Wilson Tech, and their families. The scholarship winners are: Yander Reyes of Wyandanch, NY, a student in the Aircraft Technology 2 program; Luis Sanchez of Amityville, NY, a student in the Aircraft Technology 2 program; and Jose Yanez of Copiague, NY, a student in the Auto Technology 2 program.
Pictured here (from left to right) are: Wilson Tech students Yander Reyes studying Aircraft Technology of Wyandanch, Jose Yanez studying Automotive Technology of Copiague and Luis Sanchez studying Aircraft Technology of Amityville and LIFT Chairman of the Board Joseph Garone.
The LIFT Technology Scholarship program was designed specifically for science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) students enrolled and graduating through Eastern Suffolk, Western Suffolk or Nassau County Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) programs. It is the first of its kind on Long Islandand will provide up to ten (10) merit-based scholarships per year at values of up to $5,000 each.When announcing the program last October, LIFT President Frank Otto commented that the program is a direct reflection on LIFT’s goals as NYSTAR’s designated Regional Technology Development Center for Long Island and the region’s official MEP. He explained its intent was to serve as catalyst in developing skilled workers who will then become productive employees for local manufacturers and tech firms.
Western Suffolk BOCES Chief Operating Officer Dr. Michael Mensch opened the LIFT Technology Scholarship Award Program welcoming attendees and acknowledging special guests and those who helped coordinate the event. He then turned the program over to Wilson Tech Executive Director, Career & Technical Education Kenneth Burr. Mr. Burr provided an overview of the programs and facilities at Wilson Tech. Guests learned that Wilson Tech offers high school career and technical programs within Service, Tech Electronics, Construction, Graphics & Media, Health and Transportation majors. They also learned that the Wilson Tech component of Western Suffolk BOCES serves 18 school districts, over 10,000 adult students, and 2,000 secondary education students enrolled in over 30 different programs.
“Upon graduating from Wilson Tech, 66% of our students receive their high school diplomas and 22% of them become employed, while others enter the military,” said Mr. Burr. “We are very grateful to LIFT for its Technology Scholarship Program and for recognizing three of our outstanding students for their achievements. We hope this event becomes an annual one at Wilson Tech.”
Mr. Burr was followed by LIFT Chairman of the Board Joseph Garone, who began by saying, “I echo those feelings and hope this is the start of a long relationship with Western Suffolk BOCES and Wilson Tech.”
Mr. Garone introduced LIFT Executive Director Bill Wahlig and fellow Board Member Tom O’Rourke, who headed up the Scholarship Winners Selection Committee.
He went on to say, “We received 34 applications and every one of them was worthy of a scholarship. At LIFT, we hear from manufacturers all the time who have unfilled jobs because of an inability to find skilled workers. Wilson Tech is helping address this need by helping build a skilled workforce and enabling our young people to get good jobs and stay on Long Island. In doing so, the school is also helping return Long Island to the forefront of manufacturing and technology innovation leadership.”
Mr. Garone then presented the scholarships to Yander, Luis and Jose as their families, teachers and guidance counselors looked on proudly.
“I know you have a bright future,” Mr. Garone told the students. “Stay in touch. LIFT will help you in any way we can.”
The LIFT Technology Scholarships enabled each of the winners to pursue their career goals. Jose, who originally had planned to enlist in the Army, is now going to Suffolk Community College to continue his automotive studies. He is the first in his family to go to college, to which Mr. Garone related, noting that he too was the first in his family to attend college. Yander and Luis both plan on using their scholarships to earn their second FAA licenses in the BOCES Aviation Maintenance Technology Program for adults at the Wilson Tech Republic Airport facility in Farmingdale.
When asked what the scholarships meant to them, each student had a response. For Jose, who was flanked by his proud Guidance Counselor Michele Falco when responding, “It provided the opportunity to go college.” For Luis, “It was a real confidence booster and the program at Wilson Tech provided personal growth.” For Yander, “It represents a source of great pride and opportunity.” The 2013 LIFT Technology Scholarships were made possible by a generous grant from National Grid, as well as donations from LIFT’s Board of Directors, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, and through various LIFT fundraising events.
The Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) is a non-profit economic development organization working with the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). LIFT is NYSTAR’s designated Regional Technology Development Center for Long Island and the region’s official MEP. Its role is far reaching, including helping members win government contracts and grants to grow their businesses; aligning companies with synergistic lines and missions; giving members access to critical business improvement and quality management systems across core areas; providing lean product design and development services, innovation engineering, feasibility studies, material analysis services and rapid prototyping; and offering industry-specific education forums. The LIFT Family of Companies reflects several major technology and related initiatives, including: the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security, the Rail Alliance, The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technology Innovation Center, DHS Mantech, Information Technology, Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition and Workforce Development. LIFT’s primary mission is to commercialize Long Island’s technology. For more information, visit: www.lift.org
About Wilson Tech
Wilson Technological Center (Wilson Tech) is the Career and Technical Education Division of Western Suffolk BOCES. For 50 years, Wilson Tech has helped teenagers and adults enter the labor force with skills for satisfying and successful careers. Programs at all Wilson Technological Centers also provide a foundation for post-secondary education. Adults can upgrade their skills or develop new ones by registering for a Tech course. Committees representing the Long Island business community help insure that Tech programs are compatible with employment opportunities and current technology. Wilson Tech’s Job Placement Office offers lifetime assistance to those who successfully complete a Tech program. Wilson Tech’s main sites are located in Dix Hills, Republic Airport Farmingdale, Northport and Huntington. In addition, there is one specialized satellite location at the Equestrian Center at Thomas School of Horsemanship, Melville. For more information, visit: www.wilsontech.org