RHS Alumni Association News
RHS Alumni Association News
Posted on 05/08/2021
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Ridgewood High School Alumni Association Launches Externship Program

Over 200 Students Connect with Alumni from Across the Globe

RIDGEWOOD, NJ – Building on the success of the RHS Alumni Career Speaker Series, the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association (RHSAA) launched a complementary program, the RHS Alumni Externship Program (RAX), designed to give juniors and seniors an interactive career mentorship experience with professionals in a variety of career fields and positions. RHS alumni eagerly responded to this unique opportunity to give back to their high school community in a way that would have a meaningful impact on the next generation of leaders, innovators, creators and thinkers.

The RHSAA, only in its seventh year of operation, has ramped up its career-focus by hosting events and creating networking opportunities for RHS graduates, and it has been deeply involved in fostering the tradition of excellence that is synonymous with Ridgewood High School. An idea that evolved from research on mentoring programs at the college and private high school levels, the RAX Program was carefully designed and crafted by Dr. Gorman, Superintendent of Schools, Bill McCabe, RHSAA President, and Tim Monahan, RHS teacher and alumnus, to provide mentorship and networking opportunities for RHS students who are beginning to explore educational and career paths.

"I’ve always been interested in helping students with their career journey and improving their overall experience at RHS. Having the opportunity to lead the RAX program has been some of the most important and rewarding work in my career,” said Tim Monahan, Career Network Chair of the RHSAA. “We’re just a few weeks into the program, but the early results are clear — RAX is having a real and meaningful impact on both students and alumni “hosts.” The mentoring, shadowing and networking possibilities are endless.”

Given the myriad of hardships and challenges faced by students as a result of the pandemic, the RHSAA was eager to implement the mentoring program this school year. Recognizing this was a kickoff year for a new program, the hope was to recruit 20-30 alumni to participate. What happened next, could not have been predicted by anyone. Nearly 100 alumni from around the world responded to the initial outreach looking to participate.  In the end, Tim and the RHSAA organized over 50 unique breakout sessions representing a diverse pool of careers, in just over four weeks during May and June.  

RHS Alumni, representing a diverse group of companies, including Columbia University Medical Center, New York Rangers, Amazon, The United States Air Force, Restaurant Associates, Women in Need, the Malala Fund, Moody’s, JP Morgan Chase, and many more have signed up to participate.  Session hosts share their career experiences, provide mentorship, encourage networking and answer questions from their student cohort. For the complete list of host sessions, visit the RHSAA website

“It’s been terrific having Tim Monahan run point on RAX, our new RHS Alumni Externship Program. He’s an alum, 2020 RHS Teacher of the Year and has been informally connecting his students with alums his entire career,” said Bill McCabe, President of the RHSAA. “We’re especially excited because RAX gives the Alumni Association a platform to connect current RHS students with alumni in cities around the world to discuss their careers in an open and intimate environment. Equally important, we are laying the foundation for the current generation of students to pay it forward to future students when they become RHS alumni.”

Through digital and word of mouth recruiting, over 200 juniors and seniors signed up to participate in RAX. After only a few sessions, the feedback from both students and alumni has been remarkable, a bright spot at the end of a difficult school year. As word spreads about this unique opportunity, it is bound to expand in the future.

"The RAX Program has certainly created a positive vibe around campus. Personally, I enjoy connecting with former students. Watching the alumni give back to our current students during such a critical time of transition is so impactful on their lives,” said Mr. Jeffrey Nyhuis, Acting Principal of Ridgewood High School. “Great job, to the Alumni Association, and a special thanks to Tim Monahan for his leadership."


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