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New Jersey High School Students Launch Website To Help Peers Find Pre-College Opportunities


By Web Staff

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    ROSELLE, New Jersey (WCBS) — Three New Jersey high school students who were frustrated trying to find internships and other opportunities have come up with new technology to help others in the same boat.

On Monday, CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke to the brains behind the idea.

Mehar Johal is a tech savvy 17-year-old.

“I was sort of realizing that it’s a little hard to find summer programs for yourself. A lot of college sites or sites have like paywalls or you have to go through, like, lots of different websites in order to find just one opportunity,” Johal said.

So he wanted to create a way to make the search easier. Interested in computer science, he and two friends, Dhruv Rai and Arsh Batth, built a website with a search engine for pre-college opportunities.

It’s called High School Navigator.

“You can find things from competitions, internships, scholarships, summer programs and volunteers,” Rai said.

“If you want to go to certain universities like University of Michigan or UT-Austin or Columbia, you can find programs there. And, obviously, there are some that offer a stipend. So if you want to get paid for your work, you can do that,” said Batth, a 16-year-old who attends South Brunswick High School.

Scrolling through the site, there are camps at Princeton University, photography, art and journalism competitions, and many more math and science possibilities, Baker reported.

“They’ve leveled the playing field for communities like mine,” Roselle Councilwoman Denise Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson invited the teens to present to parents, students and guidance counselors, knowing that many may not even realize these opportunities exist.

“Roselle is a small urban community with a large African-American and immigrant population, and I knew that the tool had the knowledge that our community needs to be successful,” Wilkerson said.

“There’s around like 800 kids in a class, and there’s only like eight counselors. It’s important that, like, they get all the help that they have and if they get, like, know about the opportunities that they can pass on to the students,” Johal said.

The driven teens hope to help their peers build a foundation before they get to college in the fields they may be interested in, and are even giving back. They host a web-based internship with High School Navigator.

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