Beyond Reserve brings immersive learning opportunities to 22 students

Beyond Reserve brings immersive learning opportunities to 22 students

Summer at Reserve sees a campus bustling with future Pioneers as part of our jam-packed programs and camp schedule. Meanwhile, many of our current students are launching into once-in-a-lifetime opportunities off campus, made possible by our signature Beyond Reserve program.

Under the supervision of Director of Programs John Gordon, Beyond Reserve has evolved and expanded over the past years and this year includes 22 students in internships spanning sports, science, entertainment and technology. The program invites students to connect with alumni and friends of the school who immerse them in learning experiences that — in their breadth and sophistication — sound much like internships achieved by college students.

This year, for example, Juliana Xie '19 is working at the University of Pennsylvania alongside other student entrepreneurs as part of Penn's prestigious "Pennovation Center." The program consists of lectures from UPenn professors and group work on specific projects. Xie and her team are designing and prototyping stamPen, a pen that instantly fills in and erases the bubbles of multiple-choice test answer sheets (begging the age-old question among aspiring entrepreneurs..."Why didn't I think of that?!"). Xie said they have "conducted thorough market research, developed and tested five mockups, and considered the legal protection of our idea. It's a great combination of learning in the classroom and learning by doing!"

Cassidy Williams '20 was selected to study at Baylor Medical Center, and had the added bonus of experiencing the opportunity alongside Science Department Chair Wanda Boesch. Baylor College of Medicine created the DocPrep Program for students in the Texas area, but with the generosity of Dr. Paul Klotman '72, CEO of Baylor College of Medicine and WRA alum, Williams was given the opportunity to participate in the program, which includes experiences like a simulation of open heart surgery.

"There are many reasons to love this opportunity, including the chance to meet such a diverse group of students from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds," said Boesch.

Not only are our students engaging in specialized summer programs, but they also are competing and succeeding as they dip their toes in real-world settings. Vivien Marmerstein '21 attended the Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research at the University of California, Berkeley, recently named the third best university in the world by U.S. News & World Report. Among other highlights, the two-week program included lectures by Dr. Troy Rohn from Boise State University and labs focused on molecular biology techniques. During her time, Marmerstein studied neuroscience and post traumatic stress disorder, earning second place overall for her project.

"It was an incredible experience! I met so many wonderful people and learned a lot!" said Marmerstein.

According to Gordon, the goal of Beyond Reserve is to create and develop partnerships with organizations in our backyard and far beyond to allow students to engage in transformational experiences.

"Not only are students learning through hands-on experiences, but they begin to think about passions to pursue in college and life," said Gordon. "With the immersive learning experiences students gain from the program, Beyond Reserve helps to distinguish the students at WRA as they apply to colleges."

Follow WRA on Facebook to stay posted on all our students' amazing Beyond Reserve experiences:

  • Cassidy Williams '20, John Rizk '19 and Hannah Ghoubrial '19 are doing lab work and research at the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Institute
  • Steven Yang '19, Matthew Bloom '19, Rowena Ge '20 and Amy Zhou '19 will participate in genetic research and lab work at Case Western Reserve University Genetic Research Institute
  • Sam Bluso '18 is learning the operations of professional baseball with the Lake County Captains
  • Ella Siegenthaler '20 is furthering her understanding of mechanical engineering and product design with Little Tikes
  • Jessica Tannehill '19, Jasmine Wheeler '20 and Colin North '20 will be exploring professional filmmaking and promotional initiatives through local film production company, TheStoryIs
  • Mike Wang '20, Ilyana Smith '20 and Izabel Acosta '20 learned about aerospace design and manufacturing through experience with Parker Aerospace

In addition to these domestic opportunities, international immersions in France, Guatemala, Germany and China have dotted the WRA summer internship landscape. Stay tuned for updates on student travel, much of it provided by the students themselves as they blog their way around the world! View our student travel blogs.