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Some of the 15 rising seniors or recent high school graduates who participated in the MCLA/BCC Summer Academy pose with their completion certificates on Friday. The students earned up to six college credits.

Local Students Graduate From College-Sponsored Summer Academy

By Matt McGroryiBerkshires Intern
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than a dozen high school seniors and recent graduates earned college credits this summer through the MCLA/BCC Summer Academy program.
 
Friends and family gathered for the graduation luncheon this past Friday in the Conte Federal Building to celebrate the students’ achievement over the monthlong program. 
 
The Summer Academy program, first instituted in 2016, has been designed to give motivated young adults a headstart into college by providing them with two free college courses; Statistics 101 and English 101, both of which award three college credits upon completion.
 
These credits can be transferred to any state-accredited college inside or out of Massachusetts, which can end up saving students thousands of dollars in tuition.
 
It also gives participants an opportunity to work a paid internship in a field that interests them over the summer, a free laptop, and a free lunch for every day of the program.
 
The academy is staffed by faculty and advisers from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Community College, which jointly administer the program, and from the local high schools. The internships are available through Berkshire County Regional Employment Board. 
 
With college just around the corner, students were able to gain insight and experience into possible future career paths through their internships.
 
My internship was a position in journalism at iBerkshires.com, which gave me the opportunity to report on my experience with the program.
 
Kelby Lesage is a rising senior at Drury High School in North Adams, who is considering a future in social services. The academy allowed him to explore this field when he landed an internship at the Berkshire Community Action Council in Pittsfield.
 
"I could hardly have asked for a better experience out of my first-ever job," he said. "I've learned a great deal about how public assistance works … This internship experience and the knowledge I gained have encouraged me to strongly consider pursuing a career in the public sector."
 
As a student of the academy myself, I can safely state that it was a worthwhile experience. The chance to earn six college credits for free, plus get a paid internship, is one that I would recommend to anyone who plans on advancing their education after high school.
 
Matt McGrory worked at iBerkshires.com during the program, writing articles and learning about the news business. 

Tags: BCC,   internships,   MCLA,   summer programs,   

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Pittsfield Recognizes Boys Who Tried to Help Swimmer

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Fire Chief Sammons explains what happened at Silver Lake on June 23. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christopher Daniels just kind of shrugged Thursday morning when asked about how he and his brother, Skylar, had rushed to find help when they saw a swimmer in trouble at Silver Lake. 
 
But first-responders said the 16-year-old was loud and clear on June 23 when he called 911 to report the emergency.
 
"They're the ones that initiated the 911 call, and they gave clear direction," said Fire Chief Thomas Sammons. "Their quick actions, and the conviction that was in Christian's voice — we knew that he was dead serious."
 
Both brothers were recognized by Mayor Linda Tyer and Sammons at a brief ceremony at the Columbus Avenue fire station on Thursday morning. 
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