Pathways Students Head For Bright Futures

Sparks fly as Capital Region BOCES welding student Brendan Frank, dressed in protective clothing, works at a welding machine.
The smaller class size, individualized focus and ability to “learn what you like” in our Pathways program made high school a different, more successful experience for Brenden Frank, who is graduating from the program this June and plans to work in the welding field.

Once at risk of dropping out of high school, four students graduating from our Pathways Academy this June are instead heading toward a different, more hopeful future. 

“I used to get C’s at my home school and would skip the majority of the time because I didn’t have the motivation to go to school. At Pathways, I earned A’s and B’s and looked forward to coming to school,” said Alexandria “Rosita” Guerra, of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Pathways,” said Guerra,  who is joined in the Pathways Academy Class of 2020 by Percy Claus of Niskayuna, Brenden Frank of Mohonasen and David VanVranken of Watervliet.

“Pathways was a better fit for me because it made the workload much more manageable and the smaller class sizes made it easier to get individual help,” said Claus, who also attended the Culinary Program at the Career and Technical School and now plans to move to Australia and further his culinary studies.

VanVranken, who plans to attend the University at Albany this fall, credits Pathways with providing the learning environment he needed to graduate.

“I learned significant life skills at Pathways because it was more flexible here,”  VanVranken said.

To a person, the soon-to-be-graduates praise the Pathways Academy and its faculty for providing an environment that made learning successful and fun.

“It’s not only a good place to learn, but it’s also a fun,  safe place where you can make new friends and a family,” added Claus.

Located on the Career and Technical School Albany Campus, the two year Pathways program offers students grades 9-12 all the classes they need to graduate from high school, along with help making up classes they previous were not successful with. In the program, students hone their employability skills, such as how to prepare for a job interview and communicate effectively, and have opportunities to meet with area business leaders and learn more about the region’s workforce.

During its first two years of operation, the Pathways Academy has already seen 12 students graduate, some of whom went directly into the workforce and others who went on higher education.