West Islip High School Class of 2013 alumna Stephanie Rakiec, a Pennsylvania State University graduate, recently visited an architecture class at the high school to discuss how West Islip’s technology classes helped prepare her for college. Rakiec, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Penn State, currently works for the Busch Associates Architects firm in Bay Shore, also talked to the students about architecture school and her subsequent career.
“It was amazing to see the expansion of the technology rooms, with all new equipment and machines, and to hear about some of the additional engineering courses being offered,” Rakiec said. “As a young woman in a predominantly male industry, it was also nice to see a handful of girls in the class. I hope that number continues to grow in the coming years. On top of it all, it's always great to see the curiosity and enthusiasm some of the students already have. I hope I was able to provide some unique insight to the students today, being an alumna and working full-time in the architecture profession, and that I was able to create a spark for some students. I like to tell people that success starts with a good foundation of basic principles, and it seems like West Islip is really providing a strong foundation for our children’s futures with the ever-changing and growing demands in the STEM professions.”