It is with great pride, admiration, and honor that we present the very special East Side House Class of 2021! These students all persevered and continued to work hard, despite all the challenges the pandemic (and life!) threw at them.
East Side House is happy to share that we helped over 600 students earn their high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma this year.
We asked students to think back and reflect on what it feels like to have achieved this important milestone. We invite our readers to enjoy these insights from our graduates and view pictures from the various graduation ceremonies:
“Being enrolled in school while also working on getting a certification was very overwhelming at times… but it was a great satisfaction to know when it was completed that I’m doing something that’s greater than just your average high schooler… One of my goals in life is to be successful not just for fame but to be successful in order to be able to give back to my community just as much as my community has given me, because we all know that it takes more than just one person to raise a child.”
-Adrian Nunez, Mott Haven Community High School Class of 2021
“Shout out to Lehman YABC, I appreciate them a lot. They’re the best program in New York; if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have graduated but now I’m going to college because of them.”
-Michael Gray, Lehman YABC Class of 2021
“Lehman YABC was a life changer, a lifesaver, and a family all wrapped in one… YABC has helped me so much to do things that I never thought I’ll be able to do and has given me a platform and opportunity that I’ll forever be grateful for. I want to thank all the teachers and staff who made sure we (students) always came first. I want to thank you for giving me a chance to finally finish and also for being there for me especially throughout this time during COVID where it felt nearly impossible and I’m so grateful and I wish I can show you how eternally grateful I am.”
-Gisselle Alberto, Lehman YABC Class of 2021
“If I have to say anything about graduating, it would be that it is about time! I’m so excited to graduate since it took me a long time to get here. My future plans involve going to Co-OP tech for their Medical Health Careers class. It is something that I am excited for because I see myself doing it long term.”
-Arlennys Guererro, Bronx Regional High School Class of 2021
“East Side House was very supportive! I realized as I am about to graduate, how motivated I am to continue to do better. East Side House helped me during the pandemic to stay motivated and they always had my back.”
-Maximo Gonzalez, Bronx Regional High School Class of 2021
“It feels great to graduate because I feel like I finally achieved a big step in my life, and I am proud of myself. I’m looking forward to going to nursing school and also getting my business license. I’m grateful for East Side House because when we didn’t have Wi-Fi at home, East Side House helped provide it for me so I was able to do school work and they continued to show that they cared by checking in with me and the other students in our school.”
-Mia Torro, Bronx Regional High School Class of 2021
“My dedication is what enabled me to graduate. Before I went to Bronx Haven I was failing and was missing a bunch of credits and received no help, but when I arrived at Bronx Haven they gave me the help and support I needed as well as time to complete my assignments. When I graduated, I felt that I accomplished something big in my life. I plan to join the US Army National Guard and to go to college and study for criminal justice and do something that impacts the world.”
-Christopher Rodriguez, Bronx Haven High School Class of 2021
“Since the day I walked into Bronx Haven I said to myself ‘Angie you’re leaving this school with a diploma; we didn’t come here to play games.’ I came to this school with 15 credits, and I can’t believe I gained the rest in the matter of 2 years. When I did remote summer school it was the most frustrating hardest time of my life. I almost gave up on myself, but I didn’t let myself quit. I did extra credit assignments to gain my credits. Even after completing my summer classes I called Jasmine with my mom and asked if there were more summer classes that I could take to gain more credits because I really wanted to graduate. Instead of enjoying my summer I was more worried about whether I was going to be able to complete all my credits in the summer. I Never thought that these two years would go by so fast; it feels like just yesterday I walked into Bronx Haven as a new student. I want to sincerely thank all of Bronx Haven staff especially my advisor for blowing up my phone and making sure I came to school and being hard on me when I needed to be pushed. And look where it led me to, thanks to your support I was able to graduate!”
-Angielisa Pello, Bronx Haven High School Class of 2021
Congratulations once again, we applaud your accomplishments and tip our caps to you, Class of 2021!