Saturday, June 10, 2023

Purdue Polytechnic High School students celebrate graduation

Graduation Address Encourages Compassion and Gratitude

Indianapolis — Gary Bertolin didn’t have the best high school experience.

It was with a sense of irony that Bertolin stood in front of the Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center in Englewood on the east side of Indianapolis and delivered the keynote address to 113 students, ready to graduate from PPHS and embark on the next chapters of their lives. Were. , You can view a video recap and a photo gallery of PPHS Graduation Day online.

Bertolin, Purdue University’s senior vice president for online and learning innovation, previously served as dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute and developed the concept of a Purdue-sponsored STEM high school that would help give students a voice in their education. He was also present on the day PPHS opened at a temporary location in Indianapolis on July 31, 2017.

Bertolin grew up as a shy, introverted person who passed high school with a B-average. “My parents had to beg me to just try to go to college. My high school experience crushed my spirit and confidence,” he said.

A photo gallery is available with images taken throughout the ceremony. (Purdue University Photos / Rebecca McElho and John Underwood) Download image

But amid those challenges, came the catalyst for personal growth with the birth of Bertolin’s third child, who has Down syndrome. Bertolin said that was the moment he realized he and his family needed to embrace life more fully, learn from all experiences, and be kind.

“Graduate, today I ask you to begin your postgraduate life by expressing gratitude to your family and friends,” said Bertolin. “Life is good, especially today.”

Bertolin’s message about finding the good in all things and being passionate about your studies follows the mission of PPHS, which was established to create new K-12 routes leading to Purdue, especially Hoosier students. For those who are underserved and underrepresented by traditional high schools. Higher education.

PPHS immerses students and their families in an innovative learning community. PPHS provides tuition-free, authentic, STEM-focused experiences that prepare high school students for a successful future. These experiences include internships, industry projects, dual-credit courses and technical certifications. PPHS also offers its students a unique route to college; Graduates who meet Purdue’s admissions requirements are ensured admission to many of the university’s programs.

watch Building a Pipeline: PPHS Origin Story Read on to learn how and why Purdue Polytechnic High School is revolutionizing education and changing students’ lives.

34 graduates have accepted his offer to attend Purdue in West Lafayette in the fall. Overall, 65% of graduates will pursue higher education, and 12% will attend trade school or military service.

While this was the second start for PPHS, the graduation ceremony included the first four-year graduating class from PPHS North, located in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis, and the first graduates from PPHS South Bend.

Victor Chukwuocha of the PPHS Schweitzer Center in Englewood was one of three student respondents. Chukuwocha will attend Purdue and major in Integrated Business and Engineering.

“We persevered in all our trials and tribulations. We have built a community where we have used each other’s perspectives to grow in our lives,” said Chukuwocha. “Although we are graduating today, this community will continue to help and nurture our development for the rest of our lives.”

Celebrate after the PPHS graduation ceremony. (Purdue University Photo / Rebecca McElho) Download image

Nate Lenman of PPHS South Bend is another member of the Class of 2022 who served as a student responder. Lenman will earn a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue.

“I’m sure we’ve all been through tough things, and I’m sure we’ll do more as we get older. But put all that aside for today and be happy, celebrate, laugh, Smile, just enjoy,” Leinman said. “No matter what you’re going to do now, when you’re older, make it one of those things to smile about.”

More testimonials from students about how PPHS changed their lives and opened the doors of the college are on a special PPHS webpage.

The 34 graduates will participate in Purdue’s Early Start program July 11-August. 12. Another 175 PPHS will participate in the Emerging Sophistication, Junior and Senior Summer Start (July 11-August 12) and Summer College for High School Students (July 10 – August 5).

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in each of the past four years, Purdue offers world-changing research and out-of-this-world exploration. Committed to practical and online, real-world learning, Purdue provides a transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and access, Purdue has capped tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students to graduate debt-free than ever before. See how Purdue never stops in its relentless pursuit of the next giant leap,

media Contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (Cell), [email protected], @mo_oates

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