The SBU Academy Class of 2019

South Bronx United would like to congratulate all its 2019 SBU Academy Graduates! They were recognized in a ceremony on June 12th at the Mott Haven Educational Campus. SBU recognized two students in particular, Alexis Vidal and Mohamed Kourouma, who had been in South Bronx United since 5th grade. Throughout the summer, each graduate will be recognized on instagram and Facebook.  Click on the links below to learn more about each of them.

Stephanie Acosta, Fordham University
Shirley AparicioUniversity of Rochester
Chelsea Bravo, Manhattan College
Denisse Calvario, St. Francis College
Aboubacar Camara, SUNY Polytechnic
Samantha Castelan, Medgar Evers College
Jonathan Ciriaco, Fordham University
Giselle Flores HuertaMercy College
Jacqueline Gonzalez, Lehman College
Melanie Huerta, Lehman College
Alhassane Jallow, Mercy College
Alhousseine Kallo, Boston College
Ousmane Konate, Mohawk Valley Community College
Mohamed Kourouma, University at Buffalo
Dayron Mejia, Canisius College
Jorsely Perez, Undecided
Boubacar Sarr, Bourough of Manhattan Community College
Deen Seybou, Farmingdale State College
Minkael Soumah, Kenyon College
Brisa Tapia Alvarez, College of Staten Island
Jhonny ThezeUtica College
Roberto Torralba-Bonilla, Utica College
Alexis Vidal Rios, Stony Brook University

Seventeen of these graduates received college scholarships from South Bronx United of at least $500, partially funded by the Play On Foundation and PlaySoccer2Give.

Additionally, two members of the Class of 2018 are heading off the college for the first time this fall. Andrea Bentoglio finished a post-graduate year at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania and will be attending SUNY New Paltz. Hans Mensah graduated this year and will be going to Morrisville State University.

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What I learned from my new team

This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I have learned a lot not only mentally but physically. My name is Citlaly, I’m 13 years old, and I joined the Girls U-14 soccer team at South Bronx United.  My coach from my school team had wanted me to tryout for the SBU team for a year. I didn’t really take it into consideration until my second year of middle school. Eventually, I decided to go to see them practice after I was further encouraged by Andy and my coach, who was about to leave his position at the school. I wanted him to know that I took his opinion into consideration.

Even though I knew some of the girls on the SBU team, I was nervous because this was the first time I would see them at practice. I was nervous because I didn’t really know how they were. It was different from being with the girls from the soccer team in my school—I practically grew up with them. When I met the Coach Noelle of the SBU team, I was relieved. She was nice but strict. She was very skilled when it came to soccer, and she encouraged me to work my hardest. She seemed to see potential in me and that encouraged me even more. She pushed me to do things that I said I couldn’t do.  Coach Noelle always says,  “Don’t say you can’t do it, instead say you can do it.” I learned a lot from her not only in soccer, and there are some valuable lessons I will remember. For instance, she showed me how to be more responsible with time management, how it can affect me if I’m late. Now, I feel bad if I get to the games late because I let my team down.

Noelle made me feel more comfortable. I didn’t really feel like I belonged the first few weeks of practice—I barely talked to the girls in the first few days. After a while, I  started to feel comfortable enough to make conversation, and I started to get used to them. I didn’t really feel nervous anymore. There was a lot to learn about them. It was hard, especially because the girls from my school, they liked soccer, but my new teammates are so passionate and are willing to play in bad weather conditions. If it rained, it didn’t really matter to them it was just a little rain. Yeah, they didn’t like that it would be harder to practice, but they liked challenges.

I’ve had so many adventures with them. My favorite was when we went to city hall to see the ceremony honoring the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. We did have to sit in the sun for two hours, with just a little from Starbucks in our stomachs. Afterwards, though, we went to eat at Shake Shack! It was my first time trying any food from there.  After lunch, we walked around a bit, and played soccer in a park nearby.

Coming out of the season, I feel like I have more goals. My goals are to become a better soccer player not only for me but for my team too. I want to score goals and learn how to communicate better. I need to achieve this to make myself stronger. Joining this team has helped me to realize that I need to work harder to achieve what I want.

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South Bronx United Awarded Grant from U.S. Soccer Foundation to increase female participation in youth soccer

BRONX, NY – South Bronx United today announced it has been awarded a $17,000 grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the national model for sports-based youth development programs in underserved communities. This grant is intended to fund the growth of girls soccer programming, with a focus on increasing engagement in the borough’s African-American and African immigrant communities. South Bronx United was one of five organizations to receive a grant.

“We are thrilled to be recipients of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Program Grant and its initiative to get more girls in the game,” said South Bronx United’s Executive Director Andrew So. “With the 2019 Women’s World Cup getting underway, there is no better time to highlight the lack of representation of women and girls of color in soccer and to invest in making a change. The grant will provide the resources to help us make inroads into underrepresented communities in New York’s most underserved neighborhoods.”

Founded in 2009, South Bronx United serves approximately 300 girls annually and 1,100 children and youth in all with programs both on the soccer field and in the classroom. In addition to recreational and competitive soccer programs, SBU offers academic enrichment, college prep, leadership development, health and wellness education, immigration legal services, and other individual and family supports.

This grant was awarded as part of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s annual Program Grants. This year, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Johnson & Johnson joined forces to fund grants under the category, Reaching Her Potential.

“Soccer is a powerful tool, not only to get young people active, but to teach important life skills that help them succeed on and off the pitch,” said Sarah Pickens, Associate Vice President of Programs at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We’re excited that, in working with these grant recipients to address barriers that have excluded girls from the game in the past, we can make sure that more young females are encouraged to play soccer and can reap all the benefits the sport has to offer.”

“Johnson & Johnson is focused on providing girls with opportunities to grow into strong leaders on and off the pitch,” said Heather Horner, Marketing Manager at Johnson & Johnson. “As part of our Because She Can campaign to empower young women, we’re proud to partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to offer assistance to amazing organizations working to develop girls into leaders of the future through soccer.”

Since its inception in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to non-profit organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Media Contact:

Caitie Adams, Development Manager, South Bronx United, caitie@southbronxunited.org (718) 404-9281

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Racism on Your Local Youth Soccer Pitch

Youth shouldn’t need to face racism when they step on the soccer field, but it’s been part of the experience for many young athletes.

South Bronx United

(Photo Credit: Hakim Kabbaj)

by Andrew So, Executive Director

Spring is right around the corner, and for many kids and parents that means that soccer season is starting up again. Get ready for the smell of freshly cut grass or, if you live in a city, the cling of green turf shavings and black rubber pellets. Get ready for goal celebrations and heartbreaking losses. Get ready for superhuman parents and parents whose sideline antics make it desperately clear they are living vicariously through their children. Get ready for teenagers to again struggle with the balance of soccer, homework, studying, and more soccer. We hope that all this still leads to smiles on the field, at least most of the time. Soccer is a game, after all.

For the last ten years this has been my Spring — ever since I started South Bronx United, a nonprofit youth development organization that works with student-athletes, primarily immigrant youth and first-generation Americans, from the Bronx and Northern Manhattan both in the classroom and on the soccer field. The start of the season brings excitement for all of them. After a cold winter, few things are better than that first outdoor game or practice under the sun, when you can finally shed your layers and the winter’s doldrums. Of course, the new season brings stresses for kids, parents, coaches, and administrators alike, but most of them are par for the course — not enough time, too much laundry, impossible travel logistics, rising costs, how to convince a team of adolescents to just get along… There is one thing that is likely to come up at least once this season, for at least one of our teams from the South Bronx — one thing that I will never accept. Something that has absolutely no place in youth soccer, no place in any youth sport or activity.

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SBU Awarded 2019 Community Grant by the FA Premier League’s International Development Fund

South Bronx United has been awarded a 2019 community program grant from the FA Premier League’s International Development Fund, a philanthropic fund developed in partnership with streetfootballworld. The grant, in the amount of £20,000, will be used to support South Bronx United’s college and career success initiatives for SBU Academy alumni.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Premier League to help us combat in our Bronx community a nationwide problem facing low-income young men and women,” said Andrew So, South Bronx United’s Executive Director. “Among those who start college, very few ever earn a degree. Among all young adults, fewer are gaining access to careers that can lift them out of poverty. Like with so many other challenges, soccer can, in fact, play a role in addressing these inequities, not only globally but especially here in the South Bronx. We are excited that the Premier League also recognizes this.”

Alumni and Academy seniors in a roundtable discussion at the First Annual Alumni Career Networking Mixer.

Over the next year, South Bronx United will be investing more in providing the programs, services, and resources to assist its alumni in achieving college and career success. This includes hiring an alumni coordinator, increasing college counseling sessions to provide supports that prevent students from dropping out, expanding post-secondary and vocational training as options for non-college bound students, holding alumni workshops, and expanding on the SBU Coaching Corps Fellowship that offers a select group of alumni a stipend to gain practical experience and training as soccer coaches, referees, and mentors. In the past years, the organization has also started its first competitive alumni soccer team and held an Alumni Career Networking event that connected 73 young people with professionals in various career fields.

Established in 2017 in partnership with streetfootballworld, the FA Premier League International Development Fund supports collaborative projects between community organizations of English Premier League Clubs and community-based organizations that make up the streetfootballworld network members. The Fund also has selected individual projects led by network members in the areas of sports participation, education, and life skills development.  Since its founding in 2009, South Bronx United has demonstrated extensive experience in using soccer to expand opportunities and enrich the lives of young people. South Bronx United has been a streetfootballworld network member since 2016.

More information about streetfootballworld and the Premier League

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First Annual Alumni Career Networking Mixer

On January 10, 2019, 73 alumni and SBU Academy seniors and a diverse contingent of more than 30 professionals assembled for South Bronx United’s First Annual Alumni Career Networking Mixer. After welcoming remarks by alumnus Kafoumba Doumbia, professional attendees broke into panels representing the fields in which they work: business and marketing, communications and media, finance, health, law and criminal justice, public service, and technology. Throughout the evening, SBU alumni and seniors were able to rotate through the panels for roundtable discussions in which they could ask questions and get advice. Panelists were eager to share wide-ranging insight on everything from what to look for in an employer to finding work that you’re passionate about to how to meet the people that can open doors for professional development.

A tall stack of (obligatory) pizzas compelled everyone out of their roundtables and into the main auditorium for a lively networking mixer. As the evening wound down, alumni and seniors were able to sign up to be paired with professional mentors—it’s the first of several initiatives that SBU will develop over the next year to better support and engage with its alumni population.

Current alumni and Academy seniors who would like to sign up to be paired with a mentor, as well as any professionals who are interested in becoming mentors should send an email to Jessica Marroquin [jessica@southbronxunited.org] or Rob Boatti [rob@southbronxunited.org].

The event was graciously hosted by BlackRock. Pictures of the event can be seen on the South Bronx United Facebook page.

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SBU 8th Annual Benefit: Our most successful yet!

On November 8, 2018 at the Midtown Loft and Terrace, South Bronx United held its 8th Annual Benefit. More than 300 guests convened on the evening, raising $140,000, the largest figure ever from the organization’s fundraising event.

The night was hosted by Kyle Martino, one of the faces of NBC Sports’ English Premier League broadcasts, and whose own playing career brought him to the highest levels of US Soccer.

Martino was joined first by NYCFC’s Ronald Matarrita. As an ambassador to Laureus Sport for Good USA Foundation, the Costa Rican midfielder, has been a strong advocate for the development through sport of youth in immigrant communities. In September, he visited South Bronx United’s soccer programming to provide tips on life and on the game.

Bitta Mostofi is the Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs at the New York City Mayor’s Office. She discussed with Kyle Martino her role in the development of major City initiatives such as IDNYC and ActionNYC, the City’s free and confidential immigrant legal services program. Mostafi spoke urgently about the importance of supporting organizations like South Bronx United, and of nurturing a compassionate response to the plights of immigrants and refugees.

The organization’s 2018 Alumni Honoree was Derrick Cordova, who is a sophomore at the College of Mount Saint Vincent where he is majoring in Sports Management. He competes for the men’s soccer team and leads the team in scoring in 2018 with nine goals.

Derrick joined South Bronx United in 2015. At the age of 15, he left La Ceiba Honduras without any family on a treacherous 2,000-mile trek to the United States. He followed the path of thousands of other Central American youth, who were fleeing gangs and violence to seek a better opportunity for themselves and their families. Last year, ESPN Deportes and ESPN SportsCenter aired a segment titled “El Camino,” covering Derrick’s journey. The segment was played before Derrick joined Martino on stage to voice a moving statement about the importance of South Bronx United’s programming in his ability to overcome the challenges in adjusting to life in New York City. Derrick recently gained legal permanent residency.

Throughout the evening, guests were able to participate in a silent auction and purchase tickets for a live raffle drawing. In his remarks, Executive Director Andrew So emphasized the need for guests to be champions of South Bronx United and its causes in order to continue to increase the organization’s capacity to serve the communities that are most vulnerable in our city today. Executive Board Member Jon Lee followed up with a rousing call to action.

 

It was the generous support of guests who believe in South Bronx United’s mission that made the night so successful. More than 90% of funds raised will go right back into the organization’s programs, supporting the community, immigrant, and first-generation youth in the classroom and on the soccer field, helping them on the path to college and professional life.

The night’s sponsors included Barclays, Bregal Partners, Dos Toros Taqueria, InterFysio, and Two Sigma.

Food and drink donations were generously made by Ample Hills Creamery, Barking Irons, Bronx Baking Co., Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn Gin, Dos Toros Taqueria, Double Dutch Espresso, Elevate Catering, Giffard, Heineken, Insomnia Cookies, Prizefight Irish Whiskey, Reyka Vodka, Shake Shack, Thomas Henry, Wódka.

To see more photos from South Bronx United’s 8th Annual Benefit, visit the SBU Supporters Club Facebook page. You can learn more about the SBU Supporters Club at sbusupporters.org.

For more information on South Bronx United and how you can support our mission, please visit www.southbronxunited.org, or call (718) 404-9281.

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SBU Alum Nancy Ordaz Travels to Peru with Woza Soccer

This summer, South Bronx United alum Nancy Ordaz was awarded a full scholarship by Woza Soccer for the organization’s service trip to Peru. The immersive program is an opportunity for students from across the United States to build relationships with each other while serving and playing soccer to inspire action and connections within local communities. Nancy was recently asked to speak at a fundraising event for Woza Soccer about her experiences in the program. Below is the text of the speech she prepared for that event:

First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to be here today and for the wonderful opportunity that was provided to me by WOZA.

When my soccer club, South Bronx United, first talked to me about WOZA, I was a bit skeptical. You see, I am a timid person, and I was worried about meeting new people. Not only that, I had never traveled outside the country or been on a plane before. It took some convincing, but I finally saw the value of this fantastic opportunity.

I knew I had made the right decision the second I met my travel group and group leaders. I have to say, this opportunity changed my life. My trip to Peru helped me meet new people from all over the country who share my passion for soccer. Not only did I get to hang out with some great people, but I also got to see the world in a whole new way. Before going to Peru, I was not aware or maybe didn’t realize that people outside of the Bronx have it a lot more difficult than I do. Their struggles are beyond anything I could ever imagine, and yet, they wake up every morning with a smile on their face. Their smiles taught me how to appreciate my life and all of the opportunities available to me. I also learned that Peruvian people are great soccer players and that soccer truly unites the world.

One of my favorite memories about Peru was traveling to Machu Pichu, but there was one thing I did not like. The stairs! We climbed and climbed, and I have to admit, I even contemplated quitting at one point. Thankfully, I didn’t let my exhaustion get the best of me. We made it to the top, and it was magical. I now use Machu Pichu as a metaphor in my everyday life. I remember that just like in Machu Pichu, life is hard and there are many steps before you reach the top. Sometimes, you’re going to want to quit, but if you stick it out and keep climbing, magic awaits you at the top.

Once again, thank you for having me and thank you for picking me to travel to Peru and be a part of this once in a lifetime experience.

Nancy was awarded a South Bronx United Scholarship to attend the College of Staten Island, where she is currently a freshman. We are so proud to see her continue to be a champion of the values that South Bronx United stands for.

 

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South Bronx United to Honor NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs and NYCFC Star at Annual Benefit on November 8th

South Bronx United’s 8th Annual Benefit will be held on November 8th. Doors open at 6:30pm.

NEW YORK, NY – On Thursday, November 8th, South Bronx United will hold its 8th Annual Benefit at the Midtown Loft & Terrace in Manhattan. The evening will raise funds for the organization’s youth programs that reach more than 1,100 boys and girls annually, combining recreational and competitive soccer programming with academic enrichment, college prep, mentoring, immigration legal services, and other support services for Bronx and immigrant youth and their families.

Kyle Martino, studio analyst for NBC Sports’ weekly English Premier League broadcasts, will serve as host. Martino played in Major League Soccer, winning Rookie of the Year and an All-Star selection, and was a candidate in this year’s election for President of the U.S. Soccer Federation. He was also named National Board Chair of Street Soccer USA this year, where he continues to use the game to make a positive social impact.

South Bronx United will also honor three individuals. Bitta Mostofi is the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. She was named commissioner this year and has served in the office since the start of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. Mostofi previously worked as an immigration attorney, fighting for the rights of immigrant crime victims and asylees, as well as providing legal defense for immigrants facing deportation and those experiencing discrimination because of their Middle Eastern or Muslim origins. In her work at the Mayor’s Office, she has played a central role in the development of major City initiatives such as IDNYC and ActionNYC, the City’s free and confidential immigrant legal services program.

Rónald Matarrita signed with New York City FC in 2016 from Alajuelense in his native Costa Rica. He was the team’s defensive player of the year in 2016 and has racked up 61 appearances. Matarrita has been a mainstay on the Costa Rican national team, helping them qualify for the 2018 World Cup. He visited South Bronx United programs in September where he engaged with community youth as an athlete ambassador to Laureus Sport for Good USA Foundation, an organization that uses sport to change the lives of youth and unite communities nationwide.

South Bronx United’s 2018 Alumni Honoree is Derrick Cordova. Cordova, 19, is a sophomore at the College of Mount Saint Vincent where he is majoring in Sports Management. He led the men’s soccer team in scoring this year with nine goals. Derrick joined the SBU Academy in 2015. A year earlier he had left La Ceiba, Honduras without any family on a treacherous 2,000-mile trek to the United States. He followed in the path of thousands of other Central American youth, who were fleeing gangs and violence to seek a better opportunity for themselves and their families.

Tickets for the Annual Benefit start at $140 and can be purchased on the event’s webpage. The ticket cost is partially tax-deductible.  Sponsorship and Program Ad Packages are also available. Event sponsors include Two Sigma Investments, Bregal Partners, Barclays, and Interfysio. Production sponsors include Dos Toros Taqueria, Shake Shack, the Bronx Brewery, Heineken USA, and Velvet Nation.

The 2017 Annual Benefit included host Roger Bennett, Alumni Honoree Mohamed Camara, and Honoree Jon Patricof, CEO of New York City FC

Up to 350 guests are expected to attend helping to raise more than $110,000 that will help cover an essential portion of its annual budget, primarily funding academic programs, college prep, and immigrant services. In the past six years, 100 percent of SBU Academy seniors have gone on to graduate high school and 95 percent have enrolled in college, nearly twice the rate of community youth overall. The organization has also provided crucial immigration legal services and screenings for dozens of youth and families, helping them on a path to a better life. For more information about South Bronx United’s mission, visit www.southbronxunited.org.

South Bronx United’s 8th Annual Benefit will be held at the Midtown Loft & Terrace, 267 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016 on Thursday, November 8th. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Advance tickets are needed to guarantee admission. To learn more visit the website sbusupporters.org/benefit, email  benefit@southbronxunited.org, or call (718) 404-9281.

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Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Every single one of our seniors has fought through their own personal struggles in order to hold a sealed envelope, telling them their hard work has paid off and they’re about to begin the next journey in their lives. Each student has left their mark on SBU and has worked hard to pave the way for the next group of graduates. We would like to take the time to recognize the students who have put in the effort to become changemakers and leaders of their community. Regardless of where they end up in the next four years, regardless of the new people they will meet, the new experiences they will have, and the new challenges they will face, we hope they remember that they will always remain a part of the SBU family and their legacies and stories will continue to be shared here at SBU.

The Class of 2018 graduates, listed with their college destination, each provided a message to next year’s Class of 2019:

Issac Amoako, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Rockshell Antwi, Wofford College “Everyone, as in players at SBU, joined for just one purpose, which is to bring out the very best out of themselves. You have to push harder in order to get what you are looking for after you graduate. The objective you set shouldn’t change.”

David Balderas, Purchase College “Always remember you have a home in SBU and they will guide you through. I know by experience that tutoring can be a handful, but TRUST ME, it is worth it. It helps you in so many ways it is hard to explain. College, though, is not the ending, it is just the beginning.”

Andrea Betoglio, Mercersburg Academy (Post-Graduate Year) “Senior year will be the hardest moment of your life. Make sure your time management is very organized. Always remember that tutoring will be beneficial and it will help you 100 times more than your actual school. The application process will be a ton of work, but it will be done before you know it. Even though it is your last and hardest year of high school, do not forget to have fun and live your final year as you should.”

Edgar Camero, Monroe College “Do not panic when you see how long the college applications are, just know you will get through it because you will always have help around you. You guys are going to have to put extra effort in everything you’re doing towards the college application. Senior year is no joke because it will come to an end faster than you think. You guys will face rejections from colleges, but that is why you are doing more than one college application so you can have many backups, so don’t put your heads down if you get knocked down.”

Teofilo Chavez, Morrisville State College “This is your last year of high school and my advice for you is to finish strong. Also, make good use of the SBU program because what they offer won’t be found at other clubs. From my experience at SBU, I can say that it’s the best soccer club because SBU focuses also on academics, like college tours and advising and college applications. This year you will have an amazing college advisor with the best tutors.”

Freddy Flores, LaGuardia Community College “At times, it’s going to be irritating because you have to be coming here on Monday and Wednesday and you have to finish all your work and finish all your college applications. Just keep it going and don’t give up.  Like, these tutors are here to help you and are taking their time to be here for you.”

Parvenu Kimpolo, Saint Peters University  “College might be the next step of your life, but make sure that you finish high school strong to start big. On that being said, you should take all the opportunities thrown your way. Apply to as many colleges and scholarships as possible and you won’t regret it a bit in the end.”

Jallah Konneh, Monroe College“Don’t let anything or anyone distract you from accomplishing your goals. At the end of the day, you are your own man and you make your own decisions. Stay focused and work hard then your dreams and goals will become true. Just want it as much as you want to breathe whether it’s graduating or becoming successful in life. A wise friend once told me that ambition goes a long way!!!”

Kalifa Kouyate, Morrisville State College “This program is really good, take advantage of it. I was playing at another club before I came to SBU and they did not have a great program like SBU does. They do not help you with college applications nor school work. All I got to say is take advantage of your opportunities.”

Hans Mensah, Morrisville State College “Becoming a senior brings a lot of responsibility and commitment. All in all, you should bring your “A” game at all times. Here are some things to remember: 1.) Be on time. 2.) Answer Jessica’s texts on time. 3.) Be ready to write, like, 20 essays. 4.) Don’t talk back or try to get into an argument with her or anyone. 5.) Be respectful of your teammates on both the field and in tutoring. 6.) Have a valid reason to miss tutoring. “I don’t wanna come” is invalid. 7.) Be positive and open. 8.) Be respectful to the tutors and any adult.”

Nancy Ordaz, College of Staten Island “Take advantage of the help you will be getting here in tutoring with SBU because they would always be here to guide you into the right college for you. The advice I would like to give to you is to always stay up to date on your college application deadlines. Enjoy your senior year because the next steps of your life would be a very important and a completely different experience than anything before.”

Keyla Pena, Bloomfield College “Make yourselves open to information. The club will guide you through the entire process but you must make sure that you put in an effort as well and meet them in the middle. Along with that, you must make sure that you take care of your responsibility. Last, but not least, you must remember to have fun as well, this will be your last year of high school.”

Miriam Tepale, Borough of Manhattan Community College “Enjoy every step of the way because once you realize that senior year is close to finishing, you’ll then want to stay, like I do, because I know that when going off to college I’ll be a mess without my mentor’s help. Don’t worry, just enjoy and cherish every step of your life, meanwhile, in South Bronx United, everyone is here to help.”

Francisco Uzhca, Borough of Manhattan Community College  “Seniors, make the best decision for college and to decide your best and never give up on your dreams, always be hungry on achieving your dreams.”

Dominic WrightBinghamton University “SENIOR YEAR IS NOT ABOUT ACADEMICS. It is about adjusting to growing up. Finding yourself. Learning about who you are, what you are good at, what you are not good at. Learning life skills. It will be stressful but it’s all part of growing up. EVERYONE feels the same way whether they voice it or not, so don’t stress too much. There is no try, there is only success or failure. BUT don’t be afraid of failing, don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there and taking risks, making decisions on your own, learning to figure things out for yourself. Plus, you are all in safe hands here at SBU.”

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