5 WHHS seniors to spend semester at UNH
5 WHHS seniors to spend semester at UNH
Posted on 02/03/2015
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WEST HAVEN, Jan. 26, 2015 — A group of five West Haven High School seniors will spend the spring semester taking classes at the University of New Haven after being accepted into the college’s Outstanding High School Senior Program.

This is the largest number of WHHS students to ever be accepted in one year for OHSSP, which admits a group of around 18 seniors from New Haven and WHHS annually. Last year, two WHHS students were accepted.

This year’s OHSSP Westies--Jesus Yanez, Sarah Flynn, Timothy Arcadipani, Angela Riehl and Jakub Grubski--will still participate in senior activities at WHHS, but will be enrolled in four UNH classes at no cost to them as part of OHSSP.

Monique Bolt, a UNH senior admissions counselor who coordinates OHSSP, said this year’s talented group of applicants from WHHS warranted additional spots for Westies.

“Normally we accept two to three students from West Haven High School, but we had very good students apply and they stood out. They gave great interviews and applications,” Bolt said.

The students started classes Jan. 22 and will be able to apply credits they earn this semester toward a degree at UNH or another school they choose to attend. Typically, students take core academic classes in OHSSP so they can start more rigorous classes in their first full year of college after they graduate high school.

OHSSP students will have opportunities to join UNH organizations and club sports, as well as use academic support and mentoring services. They will get the full college experience while still technically high school seniors.

“Because you worked so hard, that’s why you’re sitting here today,” WHHS School Counseling Department Chair Rose Paolino told the five OHSSP Westies at a recent meeting about the program.

Though the students said the transition to college will be fast, they are embracing the challenge and are excited to be part of a college campus.

“I feel like I’ve enjoyed it here at WHHS, but at the same time, I think I’ve gained enough experience to help me be successful in college, and I’m looking forward to a clean slate,” said Riehl, a WHHS OHSSP student who plans to attend Quinnipiac University next year for a six-year program that will result in a doctorate degree in physical therapy.

Riehl said she became interested in working in physical therapy after recovering from an injury and hopes she can relate to future patients through her own recovery experience. As part of the QU program, she will also be taking summer classes. With summer courses and an early semester at UNH, she hopes her head start saves her money in the long run and allows for an early graduation.

Arcadipani has already been accepted to UNH for his undergraduate degree and took a class there last semester through the Charging Ahead program, so applying to OHSSP was an easy decision for him. And through the partnership the West Haven Public School District has with UNH, he will only pay half-tuition when he officially becomes a UNH student after graduating WHHS.

As a chemical engineering major, Arcadipani is considering a future in pharmaceuticals or as a professor.

A fellow Charging Ahead alum, Flynn plans to major in engineering and may pursue a graduate degree to prepare for a potential career in aerospace, as planes, helicopters and anything to do with flight fascinate her. She hopes that starting her degree early will lead to an early graduation, which will help when applying to jobs.

“I’m excited about the chance to get into the profession early. Engineering is a competitive industry to get into, so I think graduating a semester early will give me a leg up,” Flynn said. “Being a part of OHSSP is a really good opportunity, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; susan.misur@whschools.org