By: Sarabeth Weszely Thorson, Writer
January 28, 2023
Category: Alumni | college | culture | high school
At the beginning of each new year, we host Alumni Weeks for our Middle School and High School students, where professionals across many fields join Inwood Academy alumni to speak with our students and answer questions about college and career paths. This year was our most robust yet with over a dozen alumni participating via panels and video-recorded storytelling.
“I thought this week was the most enriching and developed Alumni Week yet,” reflects Angelo Ortiz, who has worked as a social worker at IAL for nine years and spoke on this year’s Health & Human Services panel. “It was great seeing so many new faces in the building, professionals from different walks of life, and so many alumni who came back to speak. I could feel the momentum building.”
“Alumni Week felt different this year,” shares Niomi Peralta, an IAL senior who has been with us since the 5th grade. “It was more hands-on than ever before. In my senior capstone there’s been an emphasis on the fact that we have to practice how to be professional, and then at Alumni Week we got to come in and practice, dress professionally, speak to actual professionals in the fields that we’re interested in.”
Niomi’s older brother, Edward Peralta, was one of many alumni who came back to speak on our Alumni Week panels. Edward graduated from Inwood Academy in 2020 and is now in his third year at College of Mount Saint Vincent.
“It made me so proud to see my brother share about his professional development and mentor my classmates. I hope to come back and speak at Alumni Week as well.”
Niomi is president of the National Honors Society at IAL and has been an active participant in the many opportunities our College & Career Success program has to offer, from college fairs to one-on-one counseling. As of this week, she has already been accepted to 12 colleges!
“I’m really grateful for all the experiences I’ve had so far because they’ve given me insight into what I want to do. Every one of my counselors at IAL has influenced the way that I’m able to understand myself,” Niomi reflects. “For example, before I had my interview with one of the colleges I applied to, my counselor encouraged me to reflect on my values and ask myself what really matters to me. I really appreciate that she was able to do that for me, because I think it completely changed the way that I see myself.”
Motivated by this clarity about her values, Niomi plans to study business with an application in the medical field. “I’ve grown up here and I know that a lot of people are struggling to have adequate healthcare and pay off medical debt. I want to learn about those issues that affect my community so that I can help bring in resources and work to make a difference.”
This kind of impact is, in a nutshell, the mission of our College & Career Success program. Our growing CCS team works with the rest of our amazing staff to make sure positive world-changers like Niomi can belong, grow, and lead during their time at IAL.