You’re Missing Out: An Insider’s Guide to BOCES

Culinary students are introduced to a world of flavors and methods at PNW BOCES.

Culinary students are introduced to a world of flavors and methods at PNW BOCES.

Brianna Barbosa and Bianca Langone

BB: Many are uninformed as to what BOCES is. Some think it’s for those who don’t excel in school academicall

y, while others have absolutely no idea what it is. In my experience, neither did I. Personally, I had no clue that BOCES existed, and I was curious. I remember my friends and I decided to meet up in the PAC because someone from BOCES was there to speak about the program. We were introduced with videos, a slideshow, and handouts. In my eyes, BOCES is now the pathway to my dreams.

BOCES is a tech school where there are almost forty programs you can choose from, ranging from auto mechanics to culinary arts. Students in BOCES work just as hard as anyone else, yet they get to choose what they’re learning about. I chose Culinary Arts as my program, where I attend four periods at BHS, and at 11:15 I take a bus to BOCES. One thing I love about BOCES is the fact that you get to meet so many new people from many different schools, people that you can relate to because you have the same passion.

Some people have a misconception about cooking, thinking it’s just mixing ingredients and putting them into a pan, yet it’s so much more than that. Cooking is an art and so is baking. Knife skills, communication skills, sanitation skills, etc., are all part of it. The culinary program at BOCES allows for students to learn about hospitality, management, cooking, and baking. We also have math and English at BOCES once a week, but our math is related to culinary. I have met so many incredible people who I feel I’ll have lifelong friendships with. We as a whole in culinary have to work as a team in the kitchen. We also get “hands-on experience” that is hard to gain elsewhere, and once I finish my two years at BOCES, I’ll be getting a certificate that allows me to work in a kitchen. This will be one big step towards achieving my dream of owning a bakery or restaurant.

BL: My experience was similar to Brianna’s in how I learned about BOCES, but our choices for BOCES were very different. Our BOCES program has Cosmetology, Engineering, Fashion, and even an acting class, where students learn a lot about not only being in front of the camera but also being behind the scenes with how lighting and cameras work together. BOCES also has many programs that run for 2 years, those programs usually help you with many things. I chose Child Development, where you learn about safety, care, and the teaching process. BOCES really does help people who know what they want to be in the future. For example, my program is a two-year program, where in my senior year, I will be able to get an internship at a school (usually an elementary school), and we will work with a teacher and an actual group of kids.

There are some requirements to meet, but they are worth it. To apply, you have to write an essay about why you would like to take that program. To be eligible to go to BOCES, you also need to pass your all your classes in sophomore and junior year if you want to go to BOCES your senior year. These programs are very versatile and absolutely amazing, I really hope more people take up this opportunity and go to BOCES. If there is any more information needed or you would really like to go to BOCES please talk to your guidance counselor.