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Eighth Graders Meet Professionals for MCS Mentor Day 2024

Andres David Lopez
Friday, our eighth graders ventured throughout the city to meet professionals in fields such as medicine, banking and finance, international affairs, sports management, technology, fashion, and psychology.

Thank you, Mary and Anna, for reaching out to potential mentors and organizing the project. Thank you, parents and caregivers, and alumni, for meeting with our students and sharing with them about career opportunities.

Jonny and 8th Street Wine Cellar

Cole and Helena visited Jonny at 8th Street Wine Cellar and learned about the restaurant and bar industry.
Jonny shared about the science of mixology, which requires working with specialized tools, and also balancing ingredients and characteristics such as acidity. He also shared about the human element of customer service and the importance of cleanliness.
“It’s a pretty fulfilling career if you like people,” he said.
Cole and Helena experienced mixing mocktails. They both called MCS Mentor Day fun and a great opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.
Before visiting Jonny, Cole was mostly interested in the culinary science involved in the restaurant and bar industry. The passion for food runs in his family, including his parents, he said. He recalled an uncle who recently passed away as a successful San Francisco Bay Area chef who made a lot of people happy.
Helena said she is focused on her education and hasn’t committed to a career path yet, but she is definitely thinking about her short-term and long-term future. She saw Jonny as a good connection for a potential job someday. And she is also interested in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

“I'm trying to experience different career paths,” Helena said. “I’m really just trying to find what I like personally and what will be in my best interests … I just want to be happy with what I'm doing in my life.”

Steven and New York Theatre Ballet

A journey from homelessness to the ballet stage.

Steven Melendez ‘01 shared about his career with Kaelyn. In case you missed it, a documentary follows his life and work. Shot over 10 years, “LIFT” is available to stream on Apple TV and to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video.

After traveling the world as a professional ballet dancer, Steven returned to the Bronx where he grew up to give back to his community and mentor other aspiring dancers.

“LIFT” shines a spotlight on the transformative power of dance and the invisible story of homelessness in America through the eyes of a group of young home-insecure ballet dancers in New York City and the mentor who inspires them. Mentor Steven Melendez is the Artistic Director at New York Theatre Ballet.

Steven joined MCS as a sixth grader and called repeating the grade (because he was the wrong age) “the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“My time at MCS gave me friendships that I still have to this day,” he said. “It gave me a worldview and perspective that's so much bigger than myself, which I think is what informed me and my ultimate career choice.”
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