Brit-tiana Francis, a graduating senior at Marble Hill HS for International Studies in the Bronx, could barely contain her excitement when she saw the laptop and printer she won at the UFT’s first Bronx HS District and Pathways to Graduation Recognition Awards Ceremony and Dinner. “The printer is a fax, copier and scanner all in one,” said Brit-tiana, who will attend Mercy College in Manhattan in September. “I’m so excited.” She’s planning to become a hotel manager on the island of Jamaica and wants to create a program to help women launch careers in the hospitality industry. “I want to help women better their lives,” said Brit-tiana, one of 17 students chosen out of 101 who submitted essays to a committee of college students and teachers. In addition to the laptops and printers, the honorees received backpacks to stow the equipment. The ceremony on June 20 at the UFT’s Bronx borough office was the brainchild of Eliu Lara, the UFT district representative for Bronx high schools, who wanted to do “something to bring people together.” Lara said, “Everyone has the same goal — the community, teachers, elected officials — everyone wants to see our students graduate.” He obtained community donations for the awards and invited local officials to celebrate the winners and to honor Frances Midy, a union activist and former chapter leader at Evander Childs HS. “We wanted to recognize people who help our students,” Lara said. It was a memorable night for educators, too. “It was just a great event for Bronx students to be acknowledged,” said Patrick Bernal, the chapter leader at Marble Hill. Linda Key, the chapter leader at Fordham HS for the Arts, hopes it becomes an annual event. “I really loved that it was bringing all these Bronx high schools together to celebrate achievement, and students were getting absolutely useful and expensive items they would not otherwise have,” she said. Brendan Kolbay, the chapter leader at Bronx International HS, conveyed the emotion of the evening in a thank-you note to Lara: “There were definitely moments during the evening — while the students were sharing their stories and accomplishments and their gratitude — when I’m sure it would have been impossible to find a dry eye in the whole room.”

TASC Test Announcements and 2016 Update

December 10, 2015

Next year will be a big year for the TASC test program. What you have accomplished at your TASC test center is rewarding to see, and most importantly, rewarding for all the adult learners you serve. We are now excited to share some news about TASC test as we look forward to working with you…

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First Year Implementation of the new High School Equivalency Exam

February 2, 2015

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234 TO: Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) Committee FROM: Kevin G. Smith SUBJECT: First Year Implementation of the new High School Equivalency Exam DATE: February 2, 2015 AUTHORIZATION(S): Elizabeth R Berlin SUMMARY Issue for Discussion To provide…

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Guide Released to Connect Immigrant Families to NYC Services

October 31, 2014

The de Blasio administration announced today the publication of a resource and referral guide specially created to connect recently-arrived immigrant children and their families to New York City government and nonprofit services. The guide is available in both English and Spanish at The resource and referral guide provides information about health insurance and access…

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YMCA Launches Program for Disconnected Bronx Youth

October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 30, Eddie Small, DNA Info THE HUB — High school wasn’t working out for Viatris Balbi. Although she enrolled at a school in Manhattan late in 2012, she found the material boring, the classes too large, the students unfriendly and the individual attention from teachers lacking, so more often than not, she would…

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Y Roads Program Expands to the Bronx

October 30, 2014

The YMCA of Greater New York and Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) celebrated today the Bronx borough expansion of the Y Roads program, which puts New York City’s “opportunity youth” on paths towards higher education and careers. On hand to celebrate the new center were Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, District 16 Council…

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Educator is Dedicated to Helping Disadvantaged Kids Finish High School

July 10, 2014

Thursday, July 10, Jaclyn Anglis, NY Daily News Getting some of the city’s most disadvantaged students on the straight and narrow path requires creativity — and Robert Zweig is just the man for the job. The 55-year-old deputy superintendent of District 79, a citywide support program, pulls out all the stops for his students with…

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YMCA Expanding Program for Disconnected Youth to The Bronx

July 1, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, Eddie Small, DNA Info  The YMCA plans to expand a program meant to help city youths earn education and job credentials into the Bronx this fall — the organization’s second outpost since the initiative started in Queens last year. The program, called Y Roads, is a collaboration between the YMCA of Greater…

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YMCA Opening Massive Center to Help ‘Disconnected’ Youth in Jamaica

April 1, 2014

Monday, April 1, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, DNA Info Shakila Monk was 17 years old when she became pregnant and later dropped out of Jamaica High School to take care of her daughter. “I was super scared and didn’t realize how much work it was,” Monk said. “It was very difficult being a teenage parent.” Months later,…

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New High School Equivalency Exam Raises More Questions than Answers

March 7, 2014

Friday, March 7, Pamela Granda, Borough Buzz The new exam is called TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) and it’s different from the GED in several ways. For starters, in compliance with federal standards, TASC is common-core aligned. Schools and educators throughout the city are trying to prepare students for the new test, but uncertainty and…

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New ‘GED’ Test Will Be Harder Than Regents Exams, Critics Say

March 3, 2014

Monday, March 3, Amy Zimmer, DNA Info SOUTH BRONX — Madalyn Vidal’s head was spinning after she spent two-and-a-half hours Wednesday taking the first of three parts of the overhauled high school equivalency exam at the FEGS Bronx Youth Center. “I walked out feeling not smart, like I needed a dictionary,” said Vidal, 23, a…

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