WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A week before Joseph Finateri graduates from White Plains High School June 21, he took part in a recognition ceremony for the Southern-Westchester BOCES Thursday at the Westchester County Center.
Finateri completed BOCES' two-year program for emergency medical service, during which he became a New York State-certified emergency responder. He is a junior firefighter with the North White Plains Fire Department and teaches CPR at the firehouse.
"We have been trying to encourage Joe to use his highly developed communications skills as a lawyer, but he says firefighting is his calling," said Dr. Linda Suarez, director for the Center for Career Services.
Finateri was one of nearly 300 students to receive a certificate of completion, alternative high school certificate or a GED certificate. Additionally, several outstanding-student awards were presented, including one for the applied art program, which went to Raymond Price.
Price, who will graduate from Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, is looking at technical schools to pursue computer graphics and animation, which he said would be his dream job. His parents were proud to watch their son not only complete the program, but be recognized as an outstanding student.
"It's long awaited and we're very proud," said his mother, Patricia Perotta.
Josias Valencia of White Plains High School said he chose the culinary arts program at BOCES because he hopes to become a chef. After completing his program, he plans to dive into his career in hopes of gaining experience and moving up the ladder.
Nicole Zeolla of Westlake High School in Thornwood was presented the De Paul Stallkamp Memorial Award, which was given to a student in the Introduction to Career Trades Program who has found a job as a result of their training. This was one of several more student awards presented by Dr. Clement Ceccarelli, supervisor for Career Services, and Georgia Riedel, president of the BOCES Board of Education.