- Somers Central School District
SHS Alum a Rising Leader
From the Maker Space and tech and engineering classes at the middle school to the BOCES design and architecture programs available to high school students, the STEM programs available to Somers students give them a leg up in the professional world.
“I was looking for a change of pace from the typical high school,” says Pam Sweig, a Somers High School graduate. “I had been with pretty much the same group of students since kindergarten, and I felt the need to branch out.”
Sweig attended an open house at PNW BOCES that revealed a wide array of career options and areas of study. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college, so I looked at all the programs. Something drew me to the architecture program.”
The course suited her inquiring mind perfectly. “I really liked the environment at the Tech Center. It gave me the opportunity to explore things that my friends in my home school weren’t doing.”
When in class, Pam found she had the latitude to investigate her interests.
“Even though I didn’t want to go into architecture, Mr. Markel was a great mentor for me. I loved that in his classroom, I could explore related areas. For example, I could get into interior design within an architecture project, and he would let me run with it.”
She also enjoyed meeting new people at BOCES and seeing where their interests were taking them. “I liked working with the other students in an interdisciplinary environment.”
Pam attended the architecture program for two hours a day and pursued her other classes at Somers High School. “I was able to stay in touch with my friends at school and also stay involved in things like National Honor Society.”
After graduating in 2016, Pam attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she found her BOCES experience gave her a leg up.
“Certainly, knowing programs like AutoCAD put me ahead of my peers,” she says. After graduating with a dual major in Business and Management and Design, Innovation and Society, Pam continued her studies at Russell Sage College, earning a master’s degree in Organization Management last May.
Right out of college, she joined Convergint in Massachusetts, a Chicago-based company that offers integrated security systems, as part of a development program for recent college graduates. In July, she began working full time as a junior project manager.
“I’m getting some good experience in the industry and in management,” she says.
“I think that having BOCES on my resume continues to set me apart from other applicants. Having that different basis of knowledge gave me more insight about what to expect after high school,” she says. “It’s also a great conversation starter.”
Her advice to high school students considering their next move? “Go to the open house and see what sparks your interest.”