Posts Tagged ‘students’

Struggling Teens Explore Careers in Engineering

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Teens from Washington Heights, where per–capita income is half the New York average, balanced on scaffolding, learned the rudiments of how to build a high rise that won’t fall down and took their first steps towards becoming engineers at Liberty Science Center last Saturday, April 19, 2014.

The event, hosted by Catholic Charities Alianza Division and sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Professionals in Engineering, was designed to motivate minority students to explore the possibility of pursuing careers in engineering. Students from the High School for Media and Communications GPS program – short for Graduate, Prepare and Succeed – that participate in Catholic Charities’ Alianza Dominicana were bused from Washington Heights to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. There they met with engineering professionals who answered questions and peeked students’ curiosity as they explored the 300,000 square foot learning center.

Next up for these students is Engineering Day on Saturday, May 10. Also held also at the Liberty Science Center, teens will team up to build their own machines. These engineering immersion experiences fit the mission of Catholic Charities Alianza Dominicana, to assist children, youth and families break the cycle of poverty and fulfill their potential as members of the global economy.

Series of College Tours Inspires Students to Achieve

Monday, August 19th, 2013

By Ben Ros

“I found a college that I will be comfortable attending. The visit to Ithaca College makesme want to continue working harder, and focus on taking more challenging courses in my school. I will definitely start taking my priorities more seriously.”

—Yeury Amarante, HS for Media & Communications

July 22, promptly at 6 a.m., students from HS for Media & Communications and Innovation Diploma Plus (IDP) High School gathered at George Washington High School and departed for a two day tour of Skidmore College, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, and SUNY Cortland. Catholic Charities Alianza Division initially contacted parents about the upstate tour, stressing the importance of higher education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Alianza is a division of Catholic Charities that provides comprehensive community support through a number of programs spanning from domestic violence assistance to immigrant advocacy — and at a time when the New York Times reports that elite colleges are lagging in their efforts to recruit students from financially challenged backgrounds, Alianza is rising to the challenge.

Students from IDP and HS for Media & Communications have been to Alianza-coordinated college fairs and career days before as part of the program’s larger mission to encourage youth to finish school and think about their future. Seeing the actual campuses, however, they were able to picture themselves going to college in a way that fairs and brochures simply can’t emulate.

“Attending this trip gave me the opportunity to meet new people and to look beyond my expectations. I did not think that college was for me, but now I know that I have the potential to enroll in college and major in my area of interest, which is music.”

— Steven Arias, Innovation Diploma HS.

For more information on the good work that Alianza does visit their website alianzaonline.org.

Washington Heights Teens Stage Their Own Red Carpet Event

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Mimicking Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Daddy Yankee and more, middle school-aged students took charge of their first ever “Red Carpet”  in Washington Heights, an Oscar-inspired event held on February 15 by La Plaza Beacon Afterschool Program.   The students – 90 in total – also directed, worked as stage hands and videotaped the program.

La Plaza Beacon is part of Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division.  During after-school hours, La Plaza Beacon’s  school-based community center transforms a local school into a thriving neighborhood center. It provides a safe, supervised place where youth go for recreation, cultural activities, homework help and tutoring.

“The Red Carpet event was magic,” La Plaza Beacon Director Leonardo Dominguez said.  “We gave them technical support and advise; they learned how to put together a huge event like this by themselves.”

Congratulations Alianza Class of 2013. You Did It!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan served as keynote speaker at the mid-year graduation of 15 students who received full academic Regents diplomas on January 31, 2013 at Innovation Diploma Plus (IDP.)  This small school devoted to second chances helps teenagers who dropped out of high school, then returned and struggled to receive full academic diplomas.

“I basically grew up here in this school,” said graduate Carlos Guilbe.  “I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the students and staff of IDP and Alianza LTW that motivated me to make it.”

The program’s classrooms, pairing small class size with technological innovations, sit on the top floor of the Louis K. Brandeis campus on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“We’ve been  working with these young people for the past two years to make sure they pass and finally graduate from high school and personally, professionally and academically get their lives on track,” says Eddie Silverio, Alianza’s director of youth programs.  “To see them get their diplomas is a beautiful experience.”

Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division partners with youth, families and public and private institutions to revitalize economically distressed neighborhoods.  Its mission is to help children, youth and families break the cycle of poverty and fulfill their potential as members of the global community.

“We are filled with excitement seeing how each one of our young adults has accomplished a great milestone, high school graduation,” said Alianza LTW Director Daiana Castillo.” “Congratualtions Class of 2013!  You did it!”

More News from Alianza

Alianza has been able to multiply opportunities it provides the children it serves.  Thanks to coordination with Catholic Charities CYO programs, Alianza’s Young Men Initiative program brought 11 teens to the Fordham vs. University of Rhode Island basketball game held last month on the Fordham campus.

The trip proved so popular that it is now slated to be the first of many trips to the university campus.

“Our students didn’t realize that there was a school that big and beautiful in the Bronx,” Mr. Silverio added.  “Our trip gave them another incentive to work hard and keep their grades up so that they can go to a school like Fordham.”

Struggling to find meaning after the Sandy Hook school shooting?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

It’s been less than a month since 27 people, including 20 children and six school employees, were shot dead in Sandy Hook Elementary School and the close-knit Newtown,  Fairfield County community is still struggling to find meaning in this almost unspeakable tragedy.

Listen to JustLove, the Catholic Channel, as Al Barber, President of Catholic Charities in Fairfield provides his personal account of the “tremendous spiritual hunger” he witnessed in this overwhelmingly Catholic Connecticut town and learn about support provided by Catholic Charities, the Church and the community.

“You pray and keep going and know that the good Lord is there,” he said. “He’s not casting us overboard and saying good luck with this one. He’s there every day and brings different challenges”

JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10 am EST on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio on The Catholic Channel 129.