#LifeAtNinthDecimal: Principal For A Day

ninthdecimal principal for a day times square billboard

“Principal For A Day” Times Square Billboard

Having fun and playing as hard as we work has become a part of who we are at NinthDecimal. In fact, regular NinthDecimal outings not only spur team bonding but allow us to extend creative and impactful conversations outside of traditional office settings and into our communities.

From left to right: Michael Vignapiano/9D, HSAC Teacher, Todd Adest/9D and HSAC Principal

This past month a couple of us had the privilege to represent NinthDecimal at this year’s Principal For A Day, an annual event where executives spend a few hours at a local school in the New York area for a mix of administrative and student facing activities. Those who participate spend time with a local high school principal discussing the challenges and opportunities associated with today’s schools. Volunteers also get a chance to tour the school, interact with students and teachers, and also have the opportunity to have conversations with a class about life after high school.

NinthDecimal Visits the High School of Applied Communications (HSAC) in Long Island City

During lunch we met with Student Leadership members, allowing us to not only hear straight from the students themselves, but also catch a glimpse of life at HSAC. Later that afternoon we spoke with some students during their computer class where they were working on their Photoshop and website-building skills – it was pretty impressive. We had a great conversation with the students, sharing our own passion for the tech industry and how their hard work in the classroom can help fuel and guide their career paths.

We started our day meeting with school administrators talking about the history of HSAC and the passion and commitment that their students have for achieving success despite over 70% of them living below the poverty line. It was clear from our exchanges with staff that the teachers are playing a key role in inspiring academic and personal success.

“We left the school feeling inspired and honored to take part in the event”

–Michael Vignapiano, NinthDecimal
Inspired By the Drive and Commitment of HSAC Teachers & Students

While our intention in participating in Principal For A Day was to help encourage HSAC students to reach their academic goals, we were the ones who were left feeling inspired and impressed. We met students who were teaching themselves how to code and build apps, while others were already, at a young age, determined to become marketing professionals, lawyers, and psychologists. Students at HSAC are so focused on succeeding that they came up with their own motto which is displayed throughout the hallways and in classrooms — “85 is the new 65”. It means that you shouldn’t settle for the passing grade of 65, but only strive for greatness, 85. For the 9D team it was a reminder of how we challenge ourselves and the entire industry everyday. And we can’t forget that the energy and guidance behind the success of the HSAC students come from teachers who are hard at work and dedicated, day in and day out, ensuring these students are ready for the real world.

We are so honored to have taken part in Principal For A Day at HSAC and can’t wait to do it again next year.

More About Principal For A Day

Principal For A Day is a program executed by PENCIL, a nonprofit organization that has a variety of programs where local companies can volunteer and connect with students across NYC to help create brighter futures. Their programs range from one-day volunteer activities (called Points of Engagement) to school-year long partnerships supporting students in a specific public school. Portions of the PENCIL programs also include resume writing workshops, interview role playing, internship opportunities and real work skills.