Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Beginnings: How will Emely be doing a year from now?

I came from Wagner high school. The reason why I came to New Beginnings was because I never went to class and if I did, I never passed any test, or did homework. I also came in late.

New Beginnings helped me because it took me away from all of my distractions. I am now coming in early; I’ve been focusing and passing my tests. My favorite class in New Beginnings is psychology. My favorite project I’ve done here was the Snoop Dogg slide show. I did it in Technology class.

Now my goal is to get some awards and get on the Honor Roll. My average in Wagner was 55% but now it is a 65%. I feel that I could do much better and I will. -- EMELY COLON

Emely and her classmates have the opportunity to attend New Beginnings for one year. Then they return to their home schools. We have one year to help them refocus, set some goals, learn some new skills, gain confidence, and earn 17 credits.

“Not every student succeeds,” says Mike Candella, NY Center’s New Beginnings director. “But for many, the year becomes a real new beginning.”

The mixture of NYC DOE academics and the youth development perspective and activities the NY Center brings makes for a potent program. The small number of students makes it hard for someone to hide. Staff pay close attention to when a student is missing. They can see when emotions need tending before learning can take place. And they celebrate every success.

This year students have prepared and shared heritage luncheons each month; so far, Hispanic, Jewish, African American. Next month, Irish. They’ve visited the Museum of Natural History and the Museo de Barrio; some have never been to a museum before. They’re learning to mediate their disputes with words rather than fists and give something back to the community through service learning.

Read more in their own words about what New Beginnings means to them.

RACHEL PFLUGER: I like it here at New Beginnings because it isn’t easy for me to cut my classes because there are no hallways for me to cut and chill in. I actually want to come to school because it is easy to get your credits and it is easy for you to pass if you really want to learn.

This school is fun! When I was at Curtis I failed everything because I cut class and that school was boring. It’s more fun here and more interesting and here we go on trips and we do fun stuff. I think it’s better here for me because even if I wanted to cut I won’t because none of my friends from Curtis are here to cut with me, so cutting would be boring.

Here at New Beginnings I was on the honor roll and I didn’t fail anything and I’m still trying to keep my grades up. I was never on the honor roll before and I’m really proud of myself I never thought I could do it. But I did.

TERENCE LEGRAND: What I have learned from economics is how to live my life and not die to stay focused. I have learned factors of production and I am more familiar with the checks. I liked when I learned about when a check says paid in full. If someone complains about you not paying them and decide to take it to court you will not get in trouble with the law because that person accepted the check saying paid in full.

NICOLE CARRION: At my old school I was failing and I was way behind. When I came to this school I had a lot of focus because its small and it has small classes. Here there is no way for me to lose focus. I used to cut classes and now I don’t.

SEDRIK WILLIAMS: New Beginnings has affected my life because how I came to school. This is also the first time that I am passing classes in four years. I like this school because it has changed the way I used to think about teachers and counselors.

FELICHA REYES: How has New Beginnings helped me? By being given a second chance in a smaller school and given more attention I have better chance of passing. When I leave I will have more opportunities.

How far have I come? I realized that when I’m not here that is main reason why I’ve failed. Therefore, my goal is come everyday and pass. Do I like it here? Not all the time. Why? I'm not sure.

My favorite class? Art class because I like to draw and color. My favorite teacher is Mr. Garvey who teaches my Art class, he has a cool personality.

The last question is about friends. I’m not here to have friends, but I’m cool with everyone.

LINDSAY SORENSEN: New Beginnings has helped me do a lot better. They helped me to get credits, and helped me bring up my average. I am here because when I was in New Dorp I use to cut because it was so easy, but now in New Beginnings you can’t really go anywhere. In a way it’s good because you have a chance to do better and stay in school.

At New Beginnings they make learning fun so we’re not bored with the work.

Lunch is also a good thing here because we can listen to music, dance, go on the computer and I think its a lot better.

New Beginnings is a good place to be because they sit down, with you and make sure, you’re doing well and if you are not doing well they will take the time out to help me.

ANISSA TORRES: New Beginnings has affected my life by keeping me out of trouble and making me go to every class. I like New Beginnings, but sometimes it can be annoying. I didn’t come here to make any friends but I’m cool with everyone. My grades are good and I’m passing every class and my test scores improved and I’m very proud of that. I like every teacher and get along with all of them. All the teachers always help me if I need help and always offer even if I don’t ask. New Beginnings is a new start to put me on the right track and make me do better in the future.

No comments: