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CTE student gains diverse experience, skills in BOCES program In Audio Production, Desmond Michael-Washington sees broader professional opportunities.

Advocacy Day 2021

Desmond-Michael Washington, a Woodlands High School senior completing his second year in SWBOCES’ Audio Production program, is a typical Career Tech student in many ways.

He’s gaining marketable career skills that align with his interests while he’s in high school. He’s also not committing just yet to a career in his field of study. That’s also typical of many CTE students even if it’s surprising to some who expect a direct, high school-to-job market trajectory.

Desmond has a passion for mental health, and is mulling a career in social work or as a guidance counselor. If he chooses one of those paths, then audio production will provide a valuable secondary skillset, something he’ll always do no matter his career choice.

“Right now I don’t really know what the future holds for me. I want to do a lot of different things,” he says.

That’s part of what makes SWBOCES the right place for him to be. It has made a tremendous difference for him.

“I want to be able to do multiple things, he says. “I don't want anything to hold me back. I don't want any lack of education or lack of ambition or lack of knowledge holding me back. That's why I'm in BOCES.”

“I always have that knowledge now,” he adds, “even if I do end up being a mental health expert. If I’m a social worker, if I'm a school counselor, I always have that knowledge no matter what I do.”

Desmond likes that his program, and the CTE campus in Valhalla generally, is so diverse. There are students from many different backgrounds pursuing a range of skills and trades. BOCES has made a difference for him in boosting his confidence while providing that diversity.

His interests are varied. His varsity bowling team won sectionals last year, though a state championship bid was cut short by the pandemic. He also plays basketball and football, is a member of the jazz band and is a youth leader at his chuch, where he plays the organ. He volunteers though his church, too, performing at nursing homes.

“I always do a lot because I was always taught to do a lot,” Desmond says. “I was always taught to help others, and I think that's one thing that BOCES really helped me get across more. Throughout my whole senior year, I’ve been helping others more. I'm a senior so I know a lot of the (audio production material), so I'm pushing the juniors in a direction where now they can be better than I was.”

Created By
Brian Howard
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