The Caribbean American Center of New York (CACNY) in partnership with Borough President Eric Adams, presented 72 high school students with certificates at the second annual High School Graduation Ceremony at Borough Hall on June 22. Students representing 14 city schools were honored for their exemplary performance for the school year and chosen to be recipients of the award by their mentors said the organizer and executive director of the center.
“They were all chosen by their teachers and principals — we didn’t do anything but put the criteria out there,” said Jean P. Alexander, founder of the center. “They had to work hard from the start of the school year until the time for graduation, and they all made continuous improvements even if they didn’t start at the top of the class.”
Acknowledging the potential of up-and-coming students is just as important as praising high-performing students, added Alexander.
The students honored were from Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology and the Creative Arts, George Westinghouse High School, The Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance High School, S.T.A.R. Early College at Erasmus Hall, William Cullen Bryant High School, Medgar Evers College Prep High School, The School For Legal Studies, Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology, High School for Enterprise, Business and Technology, Brooklyn Lab School, Horace Greeley High School, and VOICE Charter School, according to Alexander.
Alexander says that the annual ceremony stands to show appreciation to students who may not initially get the high-ranking grades, but show ambition towards it.
“We want to bring the message home that it is okay to not be an A student,” she said. “We want to encourage them go further ahead with education and strive to be what they can be.”
In the fall, CACNY will launch a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program, which will teach between 15 to 20 children and teens, computer and coding skills. And for the next high school ceremony, the center plans to award students with scholarship money for books, school supplies, and other school-related monetary expenses, said Alexander.
Three of last year’s honorees Solomon Butler, Caric Appleton, and Andell Jones were each awarded a $500 scholarship from Caribbean Life this Spring. The three students won the scholarships based on grade point average and essay submissions.