The May Project program is an educational experience that gives seniors the opportunity to pursue a variety of professional experiences ranging from work in a research laboratory or museum to recording music to learning about technology development in a gaming company. While the program allows students to explore their interests and ideas, it also allows them to demonstrate the core values that they learned during their years at The Albany Academies: responsibility, self-discipline, compassion, ingenuity, respect, service, integrity and perseverance.
While each student’s project is different, all the experiences grow out of a specific set of principles and guidelines. In early May, the students – instead of going to classes – participate in an internship that pertains to an area of study they intend to pursue in college. The student is expected to find an appropriate placement; however, the school assists with support and contacts for the students.
The student works with two advisors, one on campus and one at the work site or in the field where the student is working. The on-campus advisor is selected by the student from among Academy faculty and staff and is usually someone with whom the student has a close relationship. This advisor provides some accountability for the school, monitoring the student’s hours and performance and giving advice on how to enter the professional world.
The student is required to keep a daily journal to document and reflect on the experiences and lessons learned, and the entire project culminates in a fair in early June where the student has an opportunity to share their project with the school community. Local leaders, professionals, families, faculty and students gather together to see the students’ reports, exhibits and documentaries.