Welcome to the 2013 Celebration of Early College High School Week! The Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) Program brings together a powerful public/private partnership between SUNY, EDWorks, and the New York Department of Education.
The SUNY/EDWorks partnership is excited to showcase our 23 state-wide Early College High School programs. We are very proud of our Smart Scholars and the hard work they put in to be ready for college and career. We look forward to sharing their stories with you.
We will kick off this week by highlighting a few inspirational students and faculty, which you can read about below. Please tune in the rest of the week for the history of the programs, individual achievements, program developments and coverage of the ECHS Week activities all week long!
Renado Taylor, 18, will graduate from Grady High School in Brooklyn, NY in June 2013 with an Advanced Regents Diploma and college credits as a Smart Scholar. As a student living in temporary housing and a first generation college attendee, Taylor has already beaten the odds by being college-ready. Taylor credits his mother with instilling in him the importance of education and helping him to achieve perfect attendance throughout high school.
His family is from Jamaica and perhaps his few trips back to visit have inspired him to pursue a career as a pilot. Last month, Taylor was accepted into SUNY-Farmingdale’s Aeronautical Science program. “It’s not something that everyone can do, it requires a lot of time and dedication towards my education and it’s something people will look up to and I’ll be able to travel the world. I am thankful for the help that I got from the Smart Scholars program.”
Principal Kim Mitchell has been with Pathways College Prep School since 2010. From her office window, she can see the house she grew up in in Saint Albans, N.Y. Principal Mitchell remembers attending middle school classes in the same building she now works in before the Smart Scholars program existed. With her own determination, she went on to pursue a Bachelors from York College, a Masters from Adelphi University and a second Masters from Fordham University. Flags from her alma maters hang proudly in her office.
She is now dedicated to seeing that every one of her students goes to college. “The mission and the vision of the school is aligned with what I wanted to do in this community, which is to establish a school that allows our kids to compete with the rest of the world and prepares them for college,” says Mitchell. The population of the school is 94% African American with the remaining 6% of minority demographic.
“Our schools have struggled for so long. We are trying to close the achievement gap that we have seen nation-wide. Our goal is to ensure that every one of our kids that walks through the door goes to college. When Smart Scholars came along, there was no other funding that we had ever had that could do what Smart Scholars was offering in terms of programatically bringing resources into the school, connecting with the university partner and having every kid be touched by the Smart Scholars grant.”