Alexandria Simon //Senior – Leechburg Biomedical Technology
New York City is a long way from Apollo, but Alexandria Simon has never allowed life’s obstacles to stop her before. A senior in Lenape Tech’s Biomedical Technology program this year, Alexandria has applied to NYU for Molecular Biology, the first step in what she hopes will lead to a career as a pediatric rheumatologist.
Alexandria was diagnosed at a young age with rheumatoid arthritis, and an accompanying condition known as uveitis, where her auto immune system works to deteriorate her eyes. But she hasn’t let her medical condition dissuade her from pursuing a career in Medicine, as she is currently a top student in one of Lenape Tech’s most competitive programs. “Biomed is very in-depth, not only with Biology, but also Anatomy and Physiology, and how diseases affect us. It helps me better understand what is happening to me and why,” says Alexandria. She plans to use the pharmacy tech certification that she will receive at Lenape Tech to earn money over the summer.
Alexandria is preparing herself for college education by taking high-level academic courses at Lenape including Honors Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. She is vice president of National Honor Society, Student Government, and SkillsUSA at Lenape Tech. Back at her home school of Apollo-Ridge, Alexandria is involved in drama club and musicals, and is Color Guard captain. She also qualified for the WPIAL Finals last year as a shot putter, and is employed as a cashier at a local grocery store. “I didn’t think I would have time for all the things I like to do when I first came to Lenape, but I made it work.” Spare time can be sparse for a busy student like Alexandria, but when she gets a few free hours she enjoys Indie music, watching football, and deer hunting.
Tyler Elkin //Senior – West Shamokin Natural Resources Technology
Tyler Elkin doesn’t exactly know where his career path will take him, but one thing is certain - there will be plenty of fresh air. “I never want to work in an office,” says the Dayton native, “I love being outside and doing work with my hands.” After he completes his senior year in Steve Misera’s Natural Resources Technology (NRT) program, Tyler plans to leverage the diverse range of technical skills he’ll gain into an entry-level job and earn money for college.
His first choice is Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate campus of Penn State University. He is interested in earning a degree in Forestry, and possibly working as a game commissioner someday. He says that his favorite unit in NRT is making maple syrup, but he also likes operating the excavator, and the woodworking and electrical wiring components of the program.
“Mr. Misera is a great teacher who explains things very well,” says Tyler. A strong academic student, Tyler took Advanced Chemistry and Physics at Lenape Tech, where he is a member of National Honor Society. “Everything in nature is about Chemistry, like plants and photosynthesis,” explains Tyler. He was a member of the soccer team at West Shamokin, and enjoys playing street hockey with his two brothers for fun.
Allison Bowser //Senior – West Shamokin Culinary Arts
If life were a menu, Lenape Tech’s Allison Bowser would order just about everything on it. The Culinary Arts senior has a diversity of interests, and seems to pursue them all with boundless energy. She was actually undecided on a program when she first visited Lenape in 10th grade, considering both Culinary and Cosmetology, but eventually pastries won out over pedicures. “I can’t even paint my own nails, let alone someone else’s,” she jokes. Her career goal is to someday become an executive chef. “I enjoy everything about working in the restaurant, especially the lunch rush when we have to get things done fast.”
Allison has applied to IUP Punxsutawney Campus for the Baking & Pastry Arts program, and would like to eventually earn an associate degree in Business Management at IUP. “What I like about attending Lenape is that I can go out and get a job, and make more than minimum wage right out of high school,” she says. Allison is a member of the debate club at Lenape, and plays basketball and participates in Color Guard back at West Shamokin. “It is my senior year, and it is important to me to still be involved in these things,” explains Allison. She is a self-confessed teenage news and political junkie who writes her own blog on politics.
She also loves composing poetry. “I have learned more about myself in the last two years at Lenape than ever before. I learned how far I can push myself, and I feel like I have taken a large step in maturity.”
Sarah Berry //Senior – Leechburg Area Allied Health/Sports Medicine
When it comes to her future, Sarah Berry doesn’t believe in just diving into things. That’s why when she began to develop a strong interest in the nursing profession, the Gilpin Twp. native decided to first test the waters in Lenape Tech’s Allied Health/Sports Medicine program. “Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a nurse,” says Sarah. “And when I found out I could come to Lenape to try it out first to see if I would like it, I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Sarah hopes her future in the profession will begin next year in West Penn Hospital’s School of Nursing. The school offers a 22-month RN Diploma Program to prepare students for the RN-NCLEX exam. She admires Allied Health program instructor Becky Cappo for her industry expertise as a registered nurse. “Since Mrs. Cappo has in fact experienced it, it is easier to believe that what she is saying is how it is going to be,” explains Sarah, who plans the use the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credentials she earned at Lenape Tech to find a job in a nursing home over the summer to earn cash for college. Sarah remains undecided on what nursing specialty she will eventually pursue, but says that she might enjoy working in a fast-paced hospital environment. “Working in an ER would be really cool,” says Sarah, who has a 4.2 GPA and is a member of National Honor Society.
She has taken Advanced Chemistry and Honors Chemistry courses at Lenape Tech, as well as Algebra II and Trigonometry. Sarah is a LEO Club volunteer and a member of Student Government. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies with friends, Country music, and reading Nicholas Sparks romance novels.