While many seniors in the area finished their last day of classes Friday, Audrey Huigens was busy learning yoga poses, researching the history of yoga and building an index of new yoga poses for CHOOSE, also known as the Croton-Harmon Options and Opportunities for a Senior Experience.
As parents of Croton-Harmon High School students know, seniors in Croton have the option of picking an alternative end to their senior year. The CHOOSE program was implemented in 1993 to “facilitate seniors’ transition from Croton-Harmon High School to post high school education or employment,” according to the program’s website.
“Everyone really looks forward to it,” said Audrey Huigens, who chose her project based on her experiences in Brigid Murray’s Sunset Nursery School Yoga class in Montrose. “I got really good at [yoga],” said Huigens, who continued that she was so immersed in the class “it became all I could talk about.
The CHOOSE program allows seniors to choose any sponsor they want, like Murray for example, and learn a field in depth. Huigens spent two-and-a-half months with Murray, stretching, learning better alignment, researching and helping run the classes—even making music playlists for yoga workout sessions.
Jen Rutheny, of Rutheny’s Jewelry in Croton, has been taking CHOOSE interns from Croton-Harmon High School and also interns from Yorktown, which has a similar program, for nine years. “The interns that work with me,” said Rutheny, “have gotten hands on experience making metal jewelry. But also working with customers, being personable, working with stock… It’s endless what they learn.”
At the end of the year, each student is asked to make a PowerPoint presentation on what they did in their CHOOSE project, and to watch six of their classmates’ presentations. Out of Huigens’ friends alone some worked for organic farms, interned at alternative health veterinary clinics, and even worked at Baked By Susan, the local bakery.
In the fall Huigens will attend Beloit College in Wisconsin, where she plans to study “women’s and gender studies, or French or English.”
For more information on Sunset Yoga, contact Brigid Murray at email@example.com., or call (240) 672-4652. For more information on Rutheny’s Jewelry contact Jen Rutheny at (914) 271-0980, or visit www.ruthenyjewelry.com. Finally, for more information on Baked By Susan call (914) 862-0874 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Croton-Harmon High School's CHOOSE program can be found here.