I have lived in Broome County my whole life, and am currently attending Susquehanna Valley High School. It is arguably one of the smallest high schools here, but it is filled with opportunities nonetheless. No matter which school a student attends in Broome County, however, we have roughly the same chances as each other due to the county wide programs, such as the BOCES New Visions Program. I am in the New Visions Business Academy, but if business is not for you, BOCES offers a variety of other programs such as cosmetology or construction. This unique program provides each student with vast opportunities to prepare for their future careers, whether it be right out of high school or after college.
Broome County also has many local businesses who are willing to connect with students, which increases the opportunities available for those interested in getting more involved with the local community. Forming connections and relationships has put me on a track to success, and other Broome County students who take these opportunities will be too. There are vast opportunities for working part-time as a student, but also full-time positions available as well when you are ready to transition into the workforce. I, like many kids my age, already have a job. I work at a larger national corporation while some of my friends work at smaller locally owned businesses such as restaurants and pizza shops. The opportunities available are diverse and endless across Broome County and in our urban cores. Downtown Binghamton has become an epicenter for businesses, and even as just a student intern, it helped me find what I was passionate about and decide on my future plans. Anyone who lives here is lucky to have found a place with opportunity for work, growth, and a lively community.
But Broome County is not just work, it is also fun. With annual traditions like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade or LUMA, the only projection arts festival in the United States, there is something to look forward to each year. As we are in Upstate New York, we also experience each of the four seasons. I love going outside when it is 50 degrees and waking up the next day to snow on the ground, although there are opportunities for recreation no matter the season. The spring and summer months are my favorite because of the warmth, but the tree covered hills of Broome County in the fall is beautiful. I love taking drives and seeing the leaves change colors. For the summer months, we are lucky enough to be home to dozens of parks and trails and be close to places like Salt Springs, where I like to picnic with my friends and afterwards take a walk by the waterfalls. One of my other favorite Broome County places to visit in the summer is Animal Adventure Park, where I like to feed giraffes. In the winter months, when we are looking to stay inside and warm, there are dozens of local and chain restaurants that my family and I enjoy as well. Little Venice, a local family-owned restaurant, is an all-time favorite, keeping us warm with the welcoming atmosphere and delicious food.
Between restaurants and community events, as well as the county's natural beauty, I have found my favorite places here with ease. There is really something for everyone, educationally and recreationally. It is something I had to learn to appreciate but now I am glad to live here and am fortunate to be presented with the opportunities I have had. Any person coming to Broome County, no matter if you are a student coming in high school or college, or for work or just play, it definitely has something to offer to you.
Author Isabella Giammarino is a Senior at Susquehana Valley High School and a BOCES New Visions Business Academy Student