How One Lenovo Scholar Network Academy is Maximizing Their Opportunity: Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance and IT in Queens Celebrates Their First Year with the Program and Prepares Students for Innovative Futures

How One Lenovo Scholar Network Academy is Maximizing Their Opportunity: Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance and IT in Queens Celebrates Their First Year with the Program and Prepares Students for Innovative Futures

By: Andy Jacklin, Career and Technical Education Teacher at Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance and IT

Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance and IT is thrilled to be one of the 20 new schools that have joined the Lenovo Scholar Network this fall. We are in excellent company, along with the other 30 new academies, and are honored to be part of a program that expands the enablement of the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs through comprehensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

To celebrate this achievement, our high school recently held a launch event to kick off the start of the program. Our students got together to express their excitement to participate in the Lenovo Scholar Network mobile app development program and were visited by a special guest, whose experiences helped make real-world connections. Zack Shapiro, a local business partner and entrepreneur who has developed and sold several apps, shared his personal journey and offered guidance. We are extremely grateful for his time and inspiring words, as our high school students embark on a new adventure with the Lenovo Scholar Network during the 2016-17 academic year. In addition to Zack, representatives from Lenovo also attended the launch event.

It’s been particularly exciting to hear feedback directly from participating students:

“I am so excited to join the Lenovo Scholar Network. I can’t wait for the app challenge! I really thought the ‘I’m Here’ app from last year was really cool and could do a lot. My friends and I already have some ideas that we want to start working on. I’ve even been playing around making a simple game at home and it works!” sophomore Harris Waseem said.

Holly Zhang, Senior Manager, WW Marketing Catalyst Group at Lenovo, said, “The program’s success wouldn’t be possible without the passionate teachers who are dedicated to ensuring that students reach their fullest potential. It is an absolute joy to witness these educators working to prepare students as well as providing access to resources and opportunities necessary for growth and success in tomorrow’s economy. For many teachers, this includes learning App Inventor and teaching app development for the first time. The Lenovo Scholar Network is proud to provide these teachers with training and technical support opportunities in partnership with MIT.”

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Holly Zhang and Sean Luter of Lenovo, along with app developer Zack Shapiro, with teacher Andy Jacklin and participating students from the Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance & IT at the school’s Lenovo Scholar Network launch event this fall.

From a teacher’s perspective, being part of the Lenovo Scholar Network is an invaluable opportunity for our students. We are grateful to Lenovo and NAF for opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for our students and providing them with the resources to excel. Our students are really excited and have so many ideas already!

With each new academy that joins the Lenovo Scholar Network comes the opportunity to shape future leaders, educators, and innovators. We are excited to be part of the program and can’t wait to see what the year has in store for our students and all members of the Lenovo Scholar Network!