Students of ExxonMobil’s Summer Youth in Science Technology Engineering and Math (SYSTEM) program took a break from their daily routine of learning how to make the world a better place to hear from several individuals who are already doing so.
Wednesday’s Career Panel gave students the opportunity to learn how to find their interests and discover the many ways to develop a career from it. Film director, Katie Dellamaggiore, played the trailer to her documentary, Brooklyn Castle, and reminisced about her days freelancing at MTV, where she got a sense of the industry before deciding to create her own films. The Gazette’s Jeff Mann discussed how he went from being a stockbroker on Wall Street, for 15 years, to owning his own newspaper.
Marine biologist, Piper Wallingford, who spent time in Miami tagging sharks and advocated for animal rights in Washington, especially intrigued the teens.
Her focus in conservationism and environmental awareness aligns with the projects the teens are working on.
ExxonMobil partnered with the Greenpoint YMCA & NYU Wallerstein Collaboration for Environmental Education to create the six-week summer program. SYSTEM accepts 10 high school students and two alumni every year to learn about the history of Greenpoint’s environment, community engagement, green technology, science and engineering.
“I wanted the kids to hear from real people who pursued careers in the STEM subjects,” explained ExxonMobil’s Kevin Thompson. “I also wanted them to learn that there are many different approaches to what will be your career.” Other guests included geologist, Mike Ritorto, and ExxonMobil intern Devin Basile.
Brooklyn Latin junior, Fatumata Fofana, was never really interested in math or science but decided to stay open-minded and join the program. “I’m anxious about the future and I don’t always know what to do. But it was nice to hear Kevin say that it’s okay to be unsure,” said Fofana. She is looking into studying law or media in college.
Like Fofana, Kyle Creegan was glad to hear the panelists discuss the changes in their career. “A lot of them went down one path and ended up somewhere else, it gives me hope that things will work out,” said Creegan. He will begin classes at Manhattan College in the fall.