On Monday and Tuesday March 7-8, Santa Fe Prep juniors left the classroom to immerse themselves in real-world learning opportunities. They attended workshops or took trips were intended to engage their heads, hearts, and hands in ways that are sometimes overlooked in the focus on preparing for college. Each year, this time is meant to be fun and give a glimpse into interesting ways that people make a living. Our hope is that students find answers to that perennial junior question, “Why am I working so hard?” and that they may begin thinking about how they can direct their education to service their own passions.
This year’s Junior Days provided students 5 areas of interest to choose among:
FOOD – Students spent their first day at Tomasita’s Restaurant cooking, prepping, bussing, waiting tables, and hosting. They spent their second day at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy, learning to make New Mexican classics from scratch: red and green chile, tortillas, enchiladas, tamales, guacamole, tortilla chips and flan. Bonus, not only did they learn under Chef Rocky Durham, they served their sumptuous meal to family and friends and sat down themselves to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
SW CULTURAL AND HISTORY EXPLORATIONS – Students visited Inscription Rock at El Morro National Monument. This incredible area includes the petroglyphs of the Ancestral Puebloans, as well as writings by Spanish and other European travelers. They also visited Acoma Pueblo for a tour from a young Acoma guide. The tour provided the opportunity to have a better understanding of the early interactions of the Spanish explorers and the Acoma people, as well as understanding the current issues facing the pueblo.
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITING AT GHOST RANCH – Students spent time shooting and writing at the incredibly beautiful Ghost Ranch area that has inspired writers and artists for well over a century. This journey resulted in students curating a small exhibit on campus, bringing together images and words.
THAT BUSINESS THING – Students took a deep dive into the world of business and investment, exploring opportunities across a wide spectrum. They spent their first day talking to the finance officer at Del Norte Credit Union about the similarities and differences between banks and credit unions, then paid a visit to Positive Energy Solar to learn about B-Corporations, finishing with a tour of the highly unusual and innovative “Meow Wolf” art space. The next day they met with Merritt Brown, Marc Bertram, and others at SF Brown and Company to learn about their work in real estate investment and development; spoke with Jim Goodwin, former investment banker and private investor; and capped off their “business thing” with Dan and Brian Lewis ’11 at private equity firm Sun Mountain Capital.
RED RIVER YURT CAMPING – Students hiked in the Red River Ski Valley, where they spent the night in a cozy yurt. They spent their time night building a fire, preparing meals, hiking and star-gazing.