Grade 9 students visit York to try work on for size

Steve DranitsarisSons and daughters of York staffers descended on York’s Keele campus again last week for the annual Take Our Kids to Work Day. The Grade 9 students spent the morning touring the campus before enjoying a lunch at Michelangelo’s in the Atkinson Building sponsored by York’s Office of the Vice-President Finance & Administration.

Steve Dranitsaris (left), senior executive officer, Finance & Administration, welcomed the students on behalf of the University and thanked all the parents who participated in the event. “Thanks for choosing to come to York to participate in a workplace and see what it’s like when you have a career working at York University,” he said.

Dranitsaris outlined the history of the Take Our Kids to Work Day program and explained the purpose of the day. “I hope everyone enjoyed the program and the tour of the campus and that you’re all eager to go to work this afternoon,” he said. “We really hope to see you all as York University students within the next three or four years.”

Right: From left, John McNamara with son Bryan and his friend Kenric Khanija

Bryan McNamara, son of John McNamara, web communications coordinator in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, said he was impressed with all the programs and student clubs the University has. He said he had visited the Keele campus in the past for a dance competition and to take part in the York science camp during the summer. His father said Bryan would be building a website as his work project for the afternoon. Bryan’s friend Kenric Khanija came along for the day, too, and was most interested in York’s design programs. He is planning a career in flexography and design.

Lora Zuech, an administrative assistant in the Music Department of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, brought her daughter Amanda to work for the day. In addition to being impressed with all the new buildings at the Keele campus, Amanda said she is interested in animal biology and kinesiology as possible courses of study – when she’s not playing hockey or practising judo.

Left: Ryan Pottle with his father Steve (front) and Amanda Zuech with her mother Lora

Ryan Pottle, son of Steve Pottle, York’s manager of insurance & risk management, said he has watched his father at work in the past, particularly after a flood created extra insurance claim work for him. He hopes to become an engineer or architect and said he was particularly impressed with the plans for a subway station at York.

Steve Pottle also had a direct role in the organization of the day. Faculty and staff who bring a Grade 9 student to York must complete permission and release, waiver and indemnification forms from Insurance & Risk Management Services.

Each year, York organizes additional activities for the students, including an orientation session in the Senate chamber and a campus tour, led by the Admissions Office. Representatives discussed the kind of work that is done in the admissions area and briefly talked about university study and the programs offered at York. Each student also received a red York t-shirt.

The Take Our Kids to Work program was implemented by The Learning Partnership in 1994. Its mission is to continue to nurture the partnership among schools, businesses and communities devoted to strengthening our publicly funded school systems; to encourage caring adults to share their ideas, talents and resources with students; and to create learning opportunities that young people will find challenging and exciting.

By David Fuller, YFile contributing writer