Paul Zanardi, Kiski Class of 1981
, has always had a keen interest in helping young people. In his workplace, Paul volunteers to help young employees with their transition to the work-a-day world and he helps them get acclimated to the rigors of the everyday grind. Recently, however, with the new web site making it easier for alums to connect with Kiski, Paul decided that the time was ripe to become involved in helping Kiski students with the many looming transitions in their lives. With a few minutes and a few keystrokes on the web site, Paul became the first Kiski alumnus to volunteer for the inaugural Kiski Mentoring Program that is just getting off the ground this year.
Paul’s experiences were very positive after he arrived at Kiski as a junior. Paul says that he was a “classic underachiever” in public school his freshman and sophomore years, and that Kiski was instrumental in helping him turn all that around, showing him the path to becoming a better writer and overall student. At Kiski, Paul learned the importance of keeping on top of the work and the importance of relationships, two things that have stood the test of time through both college and work. In point of fact, Paul remembers two faculty members with great fondness, listing them as one of the primary reasons he wanted to become a Mentor to current Kiski students – Dr. David Lane and Cliff Brett. Paul remembers the important connections he made with these and other faculty members and students, the community they built and shared, and the welcoming atmosphere that was established with everyone. These feelings have stayed with him and it is because of his experience at Kiski, this important intervention during his most formative years, that Paul feels so strongly about this new program and this opportunity to give back.
In a recent conversation with the Alumni Office, Paul voiced a strong desire to share common experiences with Kiski students and to be a kind of “big brother” to Kiski seniors, advising and lending a helping hand as they look toward the transition to college and to their working lives.
Paul is now a crude oil options trader. He wants to introduce Kiski students to the world of commodities but his primary goal is to reinforce in Kiski students all the things he learned while here, things that helped him become successful after graduation such as the importance of a good work ethic, honing one’s communication skills, the willingness to reach out to others for a helping hand. In his experience, Kiski really does translate into a “leg up” when looking toward the future, whether it is in college or beyond.
As part of the Mentoring Program, Kiski is also launching a Career Day
this spring for seniors. The goal of the Day is to expose seniors to varying types of career options but the more important message, according to Assistant Headmaster John Lombardo, is to assist Kiski students with the process of building a path toward the future, either by exposure to a specific career, educational goal or making the simple connection with an adult who shares the same interests. Career Day is a wonderful opportunity for Kiski seniors to meet alumni, parents and friends of the School and discuss not only their careers but the important path and process that leads to the career. As a first step toward a mentoring relationship, Career Day hopes to open the door toward a line of communication between current Kiski students and adults who may be able to assist them in the future.
If you are interested in becoming a Kiski Mentor, please go to the Kiski web site (www.kiski.org) and navigate to the Alumni Login. In the left hand panel, select “Alumni” and “Mentor Program” is the last item listed. Kiski will then be notified when you’ve registered. If you’re interested in participating in Career Day, please email Margot Beattie
in the Alumni & Parent Office.