The following are student narratives in which they share their experiences of volunteering at the high school fair and what skills they gained from these experiences.
Weekends for me are two days strung together, created specifically for binge watching Netflix and going out. But this particular weekend, was given to WHSAD, and for good reason.
This weekend I decided, instead of doing nothing, to go and show my support for my school, which was an amazing choice.
Although I didn’t arrive on time, I still got to be a part of a great opportunity that helped me find a way to speak to people without wanting to bite my nails to nubs. Speaking to people has never been easy for me, with the copious amount of different mechanisms the human body goes through while communicating. Along with having to string words together into understandable/relatable sentences, a lot of different things make me apprehensive to speak to people on a regular basis. Nothing I’ve ever really done has forced me to step out of that mindset, so I hadn’t really expected the school fair to do that. I’m not, and have never been, a people person.
But on that particular day, something snapped inside of me. Talking to people became easier once I got over the initial anxiety of rejection. Talking to people became fun.
During the High School Fair, I spoke to numerous people about possibly joining WHSAD next year. I explained the multitude of both academic and nonacademic opportunities WHSAD provides. I got to meet a bunch of really cool people and had a chance to bond with my peers a bit more, which was my main focus.
It did kind of lose its magic after the first two hours of standing on my feet, along with getting stuck in a stairwell for half an hour. But honestly, that doesn’t even compare to the happiness that coursed through me when I heard “Of course we’ll be coming next year!” or a “I would love to sign up!”
Plus, I got a McDonalds gift card which I will most definitely be using.
So weekends are for kids, but last weekend was for WHSAD, and I’m happy it was.
Jaelynn Inge, WHSAD Sophomore
This weekend, I attended the high school fair at John Jay High School in Park Slope. This is the second year I have volunteered, and I have learned something both times. Doing the high school fairs, in my opinion, teaches you communication, marketing, and responsibility. You’re basically talking to families, trying to persuade them to attend our open houses so they can get more insight about the school and see what the environment is like in their eyes.
-Saria Wallace, WHSAD Sophomore
Over the weekend I was able to participate in the annual high school fair at John Jay Educational Campus. This experience showed me what parents and students look for in high schools. For example, a woman asked me if our school allowed phones because, in case of an emergency, she wants to be able to contact her son. This experience also helped me learn how to market by making the school sound good, listing the programs and the help that we offer here at WHSAD.
-Albert Rodriguez, WHSAD Senior
On Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22, I attended the High School Fair to help out and get community service hours. We gathered around at our stand, grabbed some flyers, and sent out a group of 4 people (2 sophomores and 2 freshmen). We walked between the 4 floors of the building (Ground Floor-3rd Floor), talking to random people and directing them to our stand or getting them to sign the open house sheet.
Through this High School Fair, I learned a few things about myself. For example, it’s not a good idea to leave me to start speaking. I get nervous rather easily, so having someone start out before I do is usually better. I also learned that it’s easier for me to speak when others around me are doing the same thing. I felt more at ease knowing we were all saying similar things. Most importantly, however, I learned the importance of wording and how you present yourself. We figured out that being confident was the best way to present ourselves to people. We learned how to word our sentences properly to convey our message. We learned to talk to strangers (in a good way, of course).
-Brianny Estevez, WHSAD Freshman
The high school fair was interesting and is a bit different every single year. I’ve been doing the high school fair events all four years of high school, and each year some experiences change and some things are the same. I know that if you are a freshmen or any grade just starting the high school fair, it’s going to be a challenge even though the steps are so simple: Talk to people, talk about the school and grab their interest, and get signatures. The details on these three steps are complex because everyone you will meet will definitely be different. My experience with the high school fair was that it was difficult to get people and start to introduce yourself as well as persuade them to take interest in our school.
The starts were always the hardest, but then later on you always find you rhythm. After that I began to walk around to see new faces and get to know people because I knew if I moved around there would be a better opportunity for me to seek people who are interested. Rejection was a key element in the high school fair, along with patience. Architecture is a weird field to catch the attention of many; therefore, trying to get like 250 signatures is a hard task to accomplish.
Ever hear that patience is a virtual? Well, in this setting it’s the main ingerdient to completing the task. Participating in a high school fair is like fishing: you have to wait for the right people and time to reel them in. Many times you will not get anyone who’s interested.
Here are some tips that should ensure you a good high school fair experience. Always, even if it gets annoying, stay positive because that will make people more comfortable or feel more welcome to you. If they feel like this, then they’ll believe that their child will be welcomed in our school, and this is exactly what we want. Second, keep your composure. Some attitudes are worse than others and getting out of your character is never worth it, especially for people you will most likely never see again. Lastly, relax! Being too uptight about it won’t make people want to be around you or really feel comfortable listening to what you have to say. The high school fairs are great experiences for high schoolers because you get to polish your public speaking skills and learn more about the society you live in as well. So join the high school fair this or next year.
-Errin Mickels, WHSAD Junior
On September 21st, 2019 a group of students and I participated in a high school fair at John Jay High School. At the fair, we were trying to get students interested in our school and the programs, and extracurricular activities we offered. All the students who volunteered were arrived at the fair around nine o’clock in the morning to help the staff of W.H.S.A.D set up for the long and, hopefully, productive day ahead. When I arrived at the school I found myself running the main table for our school, and I did this for about four hours with the help of Mrs. Chu, Mr. Koestner, and the other staff. Following that, I then proceeded to work the mobile unit. This meant that I walked around the school and tried and get people’s interest in architecture and design.
After the fair, I believe that I left the fair with better people skills and communication skills. I believe this because at the beginning of the fair I thought I could talk to people with ease, but I found it somewhat complicated to communicate with the interested students and parents. When the event was coming to a close, I found it easier to communicate. Overall I believe that this was a successful event, and I believe that others should get more involved in this.
-Leins Barthe, WHSAD Sophomore
I participated in the 2019 John Jay High school fair. I speed walked almost through the entire campus promoting my high school Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design. I got many signatures throughout the two days and got many parents and kids to become interested in my high school. Some people knew about my school, and some never even heard of it.
I learned I am a well-versed speaker and a good promoter for my school. Some parents listened very closely to me describe my school quick enough for them to stay interested in the school and what it offered, but I also described it slowly enough for them to understand what the school was about. I learned that it is very important to present yourself in a way that people will notice you and that you tell them everything that they want to know about the school.
I learned that research and hard work pay off. On the second day of the high school fair, I sat down beside my school’s booth reading information slips, researching, studying, and making sure my information was on point. This was important for me because I knew I could be influencing the future for dozens of kids. So I wanted to tell the truth and make sureI told all the information about the details of the school environment. I wanted to give a clear description of what my school offers and what it is about. I learned that it is important to prepare and make sure your information is on point because you never know how could impact the future for many different kids in just two days.
-Daven Parker, WHSAD Freshman