The Justice Academy for New York young women introduces promising high school students field of law and leadership skills through an intensive legal educational program. Over 400 young women have completed the program with confidence and inspiration to pursue careers in law. Numerous young women at our charter school have participated. This past summer we had five whom were selected. Honorable La Tia W. Martin is the founder of the Justice Academy. A special recognition to our Juniors Leslie Grullon, Ruth Laryea, Stephanie Ortiz and Jailyn Ruiz who participated in the 3 week summer program at Fordham Law School. Great Job!
On October 25, 2018 our charter school hosted our Eighth Annual College Fair. There were over 25 colleges represented to include SUNY, CUNY and private independent institutions of higher learning. A special thank you goes out to our collaborative partners at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Manhattan College and Fordham University. Congratulations to Ms. Adriana Cameli on a successful turn out.
Educating Girls: Think Equal & Build SMART
According to former first Lady Michelle Obama, it's the promise inside each of those girls -- girls who show up every day to learn. They show up even after walking for miles or waking up early to earn some extra money to help pay their school fees. They show up even though their families depend on them to take care of younger siblings, cook meals, and ensure their household is running smoothly. They show up even though many are pressured to marry as adolescents, sidetracking their own goals for a man's. The girls in that school are joined by millions of others who aren't able to get an education at all -- today, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school.
The theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. The theme will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public ser-vices and sustainable infrastructure.
“Just like boys, girls can become doctors, lawyers, we can do anything if we have the support. We just want to have the same opportunities.” Fatima Ansari, Pakistan
In recent years, the top operational priority at our weekly school leadership meetings, have focused on school safety, lock down and active shooter drills and mental health. The parents and school community give our charter school high marks for creating a safe and secure place and haven for our adolescents. In spite of this, the issue of school violence, mental health, frequently consumes our conversations, burning bright through all of our daily innovations, and the pursuit of our goals. We must be actively vigilant and deliberate about protecting our students and staff. Our approach is to intentionally promote an environment of tolerance, compassion, peace and respect for self and others. Our local effort is minuscule and pales in comparison to the enormity of the problem. The NRA is the national organization that lobbies for the second amendment right to carry firearms and against stricter gun laws, may have never experienced the pain of loss of a loved one to gun vio-lence. A popular argument in the national debate on the topic of stricter gun controls is that guns do not kill people, but that the irresponsible gun owners kill people. While there is evidence to show that there is a pattern mental of illness among the shooters committing these heinous acts, this is part of the story, and not the main problem. The national crisis that we are facing is the easy access to purchasing guns without appropriate background checks. The attacks on innocent children at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook and Parkland High School and more recently the murders of worshipers at a Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh, is a threat to humanity, our freedom to enjoy peace and civility and all we hold dear as a nation and as a community of educators. Should this not be enough? When will enough, be enough? In the Bronx alone, there have been 75 fatalities in this cal-endar year.
As for our charter school, we must be resolute and continue to put our focus where it matters, and not spend any more precious time on the ill-informed notion that the answer is to arm Principals and school staff. This generation of scholars whom we are educating will become the voices of leadership to stop the violence and transform their communities’ one student at a time. It is up to the parents, teachers, church leaders and mentors to empower our youth so that they can rise up as warriors for peace putting an end to intolerance of every kind and who will change the laws and end the easy access to purchase a firearm.
Lessons from Ruby Bridges
The Rockwell’s painting, The Problem We All Live With (1964) displays a young Ruby Bridges walking to school, escorted by four white US Marshalls as she integrates William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana.
The landmark court case, Brown v. Board of Education banned segregation in schools allowing Ruby to set foot in an all-white school without being turned away and led the way for the integration of the rest of society.