internships

fostering hope

career prep

New York

Low-scoring but not closing, CTE school showcases job training

Graphic Communication Arts juniors Lissy Alcantara and Kianne Martinez and senior Aziza Ramsay show off the video on HIV awareness they shot and produced at FACES NY. Just days after their school was spared from closure, students from Manhattan's High School of Graphic Communication Arts showcased fruits of the school's longstanding Career and Technical Education program. Founded as the High School of Printing in 1925, Graphic Communication Arts has offered students hands-on training in photography and visual arts since a time when CTE programs were called vocational schools. Now, through a workplace learning program funded by the city's Department of Education and the federal government, dozens of students at the Hell's Kitchen school are working as interns at private and public sector companies — 16 businesses this fall. More than 50 students also participated in summer internships that ran the gamut from print-production to photography to legal services. Four of the students are putting their academic-year training in photo and film editing to use at FACES NY, a social services agency that helps at-risk populations with HIV/AIDS prevention. Earlier this year the interns shot and produced a video about HIV awareness, which they are promoting via a Facebook page and a Tumblr blog they maintain for the agency. The mini-documentary they produced was as much a lesson in professionalism as film editing, according to the three students I met Tuesday, because it required them to talk to peers about sexuality and other difficult subjects.