Support for College-bound Yonkers High School Students
Yonkers IDA and Westchester Community College Launch “Quest for Success” Support Program for Collegebound Yonkers High School Students
20 young men of color awarded scholarships
YONKERS, NY- (August 29, 2018) – The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency and Westchester Community College today launched the new “Yonkers Quest for Success” program aimed at giving at- risk high school students the extra support they need to graduate college.
Twenty Yonkers High school students, African-American and Latino young men, were selected for the program and received certificates from Mayor Mike Spano and IDA Executive Director Jaime McGill. Also participating in the presentation at Yonkers City Hall were Yonkers Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada and Westchester Community College President Dr. Belinda S. Miles and other local officials and business leaders.
Mayor Spano said the IDA provided nearly $60,000 to launch the pilot program with another $10,000 coming from area businesses. The program will provide students with books, counseling and other support during college. Westchester County also provided free Metro Cards to help with transportation to and from school.
Young men of color are six times more likely not to graduate within three years and receive a certificate as their peers. According to a survey done by Westchester Community College, students said the two main reasons they drop out are family obligations and financial hardship.
“We congratulate these students on their achievement and wish them well as they enter their Freshman year at Westchester Community College,’’ said Mayor Spano. “Providing students with financial assistance for college is not enough to ensure success. With this added support we are confident that these young men will not only graduate but will thrive in their future careers. After college, we hope they will stay in their home community and help us continue to make Yonkers the great city that it is.’’
Superintendent Quezada said, “Our strong commitment to leave our community and our children’s future better than when we joined it becomes a reality through Yonkers MBK.” Superintendent of Schools. “It takes opportunities as dynamic as the Quest for Success Program to elevate our young men of color. And, it requires the commitment and collaboration of elected officials, businesses, colleges and public educators; the commitment demonstrated here. These Yonkers MBK young men will benefit from our MBK Milestone 4, to ensure all youth complete post-secondary education or training, because each student will receive a stipend and mentorship/advisory to attain that goal.”
Westchester Community College President Dr. Belinda S. Miles said, “Access to affordable higher learning options is crucial for many students to transition successfully into four-year universities or jobs in high demand. We are pleased to collaborate with Yonkers IDA, the Board of Education, and the Mayor’s office to remove barriers to college completion by providing individualized academic and career counseling and financial support for books, transportation, and other services for a cohort of new students from Yonkers. About a quarter of our students are from this city and attend classes at our main campus in Valhalla or our Extension Center at Cross County Shopping Center.”
County Executive George Latimer said: “A college education can drastically change the course of one’s life. We are proud to partner with Yonkers, and proud to be helping these young men on their journey to a college degree. I, along with the whole County, congratulate these men on their work and wish them the best success in the future. As a first generation college graduate myself, I can assure you that the path isn’t an easy one, but the reward will be great not only for the student, but for their entire family and generations to come.”
Ms. McGill thanked others who helped to make the program possible including RMS Construction; Central Avenue Nissan, Alfred Weissman Real Estate LLC., Macerich (Cross County Shopping Center) and RXR SoYo Exalta LLC.
The following students received scholarships:
- Godfred Adjei, Roosevelt High School
- Frammy Almonte, Yonkers High
- Joseph, Aquino, Saunders High School
- Jaret A. Ballinas, Saunders High School
- Kevin Barran, Lincoln High School
- Edgar S. Bello, Yonkers Montessori High School
- Rohan Birch, Palisades Prep
- Sherman Bray IV, Roosevelt High School
- Deon Cooper, Gorton High School
- Qwashawn Davis, Roosevelt High School
- Justin Herrera, Lincoln High School
- Steven A. Jones, Lincoln High School
- Julian Mancuso, Saunders High School
- Montrel Savoy, Lincoln High School
- Travis Patterson, Roosevelt High School
- Aaron Perez, Yonkers High School
- Kobe Smith, Riverside High School
- Yankho G. Solognier, Palisades Prep
- Daniel Verlus, Lincoln High School
- David Wesley, Palisades Prep
About the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency: Established in 1982, the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency is a public benefit corporation that provides business development incentives to enhance economic development and job growth in the City of Yonkers.
About The Westchester Community College Foundation: The Westchester Community College Foundation was founded in 1969 as a public not for profit organization to serve as the fundraising arm for the college. It develops voluntary, supplemental support to strengthen and enrich the educational life and environment of the institution.
Contact: Dean Bender/Thompson & Bender NEWS RELEASE
(914) 762-1900 ext 13/