Building a Future

Noah’s first project at SUNY Delhi was framing a house.

Noah Sorensen, class of 2018 at City-As-School, is now in his second semester at SUNY Delhi majoring in Residential Construction. In the Delhi program his time is split between the classroom and the job site where he’s learning how to build a house from the ground up. “I didn’t think college was for me, and my Mom and I didn’t think we could afford it. I was ready to try to hop right into the trades and start working,” Noah says. It was Tomiko Abreu, CDI’s Post-Secondary Coordinator at CAS who encouraged him to look into colleges that offered a technology program that would enhance his skills.

She also introduced him to the A to Z Impact Foundation, which funds a wide array of initiatives that help underserved populations access and improve the systems they need to live healthier, more prosperous lives. “Supporting a student is an investment that goes beyond just covering a cost, it has the ability to ripple out and impact the student’s future and the lives of those around them,” says Michael Kaplan, Executive Director and Andrea Kaplan, Board Member of the Foundation.

Noah says he always wanted to be a construction worker. From playing with his grandfather’s old tools at his home in Brooklyn, to stopping on the sidewalk to watch construction sites in the city, he was enthralled by the whole process of what went into building something. “I’m learning things here that would have taken me years to learn if I went right into the workforce. After school I want to work for a few years and then open up my own Design and Construction company. Now I’m ahead of the game!”

Noah is just one example of the ways CDI is working to help students expand their view of how college can help develop careers for the today’s workforce. “When we talk to students about expanded options for life after high school we’re not just talking about encouraging them to get a job, but helping them to develop an educational pathway that supports their individual needs,” says Michael Roberts, CDI’s Executive Director.

In conversations similar to the ones Noah and Tomiko had, CDI College and Career Advisors work with students during their final year in high school to map out their career pathways, develop a plan and figure out the best ways to implement it. CDI advisors encourage students to explore the full range of options that colleges offer.

We are proud of Noah and will keep you posted on his (and the house’s) progress!

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