Marlborough – Assabet Valley Regional Technical School (AVRTHS) became a Massachusetts State Scholar School in 2006. This initiative encourages all high school students to take and complete a defined and rigorous academic course of study to prepare for success in career and technical education, military service, college or university work, or immediate entry into today's competitive job market.
The program begins in ninth grade. Interested freshmen sign a contract and engage in a specific academic curriculum. They must also maintain a 3.0 GPA.
Cindy Zomar is the school's admissions/public relations coordinator.
“Over the course of the last several State Scholar's years, we have seen a nice increase in the number of kids who are signing up for higher level courses [honors or advanced placement], and we attribute much of that to wanting to maintain their State Scholar status,” she said.
The school is on target for 86 seniors to graduate with the distinction of State Scholar.
Recently, when Assabet looked to the local business community in an effort to tap into real-world mentoring for its ninth-grade students, it turned to the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
Lauren Hazirjian, events and service coordinator for the chamber, said the organization's young professionals group, HYPE9, was happy to help.
“When Assabet extended the invitation to the Corridor Nine for local business ????professionals to speak to the high school freshmen on the value a good education has to career success, HYPE9 members were more than excited to participate.?Since it wasn's all that long ago that many of the HYPE9 members graduated college and entered the workforce with their own exciting careers, we believed our presentations would resonate with the students,” she said.
Erin Harper, director of marketing and development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, participated on behalf of HYPE9.
“I was very pleased to take part in the State Scholars presentations at [AVRTHS]. It seems like such an ideal program that empowers youth to truly put their best foot forward while in high school,” Harper said. “It was a wonderful feeling because a lot of students signed up [for the State Scholars Program] on the spot.”
HYPE9 member Peter Rugg Jr., leader developer and nutrition advisor with ASANA, also participated.
“I spoke to the ninth-grade business technology class at Assabet Valley about the State Scholars Program, and about how the students should start thinking about their potential career fields now, so they can be as prepared as possible a couple of years down the road,” Rugg said. “In the class in which I spoke, we had 75 percent of the students sign contracts to participate in the program.? It will not be an easy task for the students to complete the program, but if they work hard, stay focused, and complete the program, they will graduate ahead of the curve and have unlimited possibilities.?I believe they can all do it!”
“We were very grateful that so many young professionals from HYPE9 were willing to volunteer their time to address our current freshmen, and share some of their own experiences in getting to where they are today. Our students are always interested to hear anecdotal evidence that hard work pays off,” Zomar said.
HYPE9 is an initiative that was developed by the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce to help connect younger emerging business professionals (21 to 40 years of age). To find out more information about HYPE9, contact the chamber at 508-836-4444, or visit www.corridornine.org.