For Kobi Bernstein (Class of 2020 Salutatorian), the decision to defer acceptance to university after graduating from York was not one he took lightly. “I remember waiting until the day before the deadline. When it was clear the beginning of first year would involve on-line learning and social distancing, I knew that a gap year would be the better choice for me.”
With his mind made up, Kobi put a plan in place that would allow him to grow and learn while also providing lots of opportunities to get outside and have fun. First up was the challenge of a four-month internship with Rumble Gaming, where he learned coding software and developed an in-house tool for the sales team.
Once that was complete, Kobi headed west for the winter and took a job at Panorama Mountain Resort in British Columbia with classmates Holden Folk ‘20 and Charlie Sheiner ‘20, who also took a gap year. “It wasn’t easy at first when I was still in Toronto with most of my friends from York off at university,” recalls Kobi. “But it was the right thing for me. I got a lot out of the experience and had time to explore my interests. Also, being outside and skiing most days really helped me get through all the lockdowns and other restrictions.”
Sports have always been a big part of Kobi’s life both in and out of school. At York, Kobi was a member of the badminton and soccer teams, and joined the varsity basketball team and volleyball team in his final year. “York was always so inclusive. I have great memories of being with my classmates from my time playing on teams and some sport trips we went on.”
Now in his third year of Cognitive Neuroscience at McGill University, Kobi looks back on his time at York with fondness, knowing that many of the skills and perspectives he learned there helped shape the path he’s on today. “There are many benefits to a York education,” says Kobi. “I especially enjoyed TOK (Theory of Knowledge), which is essential to the IB program and changed my thinking in a lot of ways.”
In fact, it was the Diploma Program’s TOK class that sparked Kobi’s current interest in epistemology, psychology and philosophy. “At York, I was introduced to the process of questioning how we know what we know,” explains Kobi. “I’m fortunate to now be pursuing an education in the kinds of things I like to think about in my spare time.”
The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first English speaking school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experience Teaches.