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Middle Schoolers Advocate for New High School

Advocacy has been part of Success Academy’s mission from its earliest beginnings, when parents who were desperate for better schools in Harlem would attend public hearings to advocate for the opening of new SA elementary schools. Now, 15 years later, our scholars are standing up for their rights to attend a high school of their choice.

Currently, there are 360 eighth graders who want to continue their educational journey at SA. During the most recent Joint Public Hearing, an open forum for people to address the voting members of the Panel for Education Policy, twenty passionate SA middle schoolers spoke up for their education. Their powerful testimonies will inform the panel’s final vote on April 27, when it will decide whether to approve space for Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts–Brooklyn. If approved, SA’s third high school will open its doors this August for the 2022–2023 school year. Here’s what some of the future high schoolers had to say:

“Soon my classmates and I will apply for high schools. I really want to be a cell biologist. To do that I need to attend a school that offers all the best advanced science classes. I don’t know if the district school that I get allocated to will offer that, but I do know that if I go to Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, that I will have all the opportunities available to go to the best college for me to achieve my goals.”

—Charlotte Reich, Grade 7, SA Bed-Stuy MS


SA MYMS: Aniya Hernandez (grade 8), Andrew Beckles (grade 8), Melody McKenzie (grade 8)


“I would like to start with a formal thank you to the committee for granting me the opportunity to advocate for my school, as Success holds a deep place in my heart… In all, Success is a great way for students to feel involved as they advance in their education, and even in the world, so for a high school to be opened in Brooklyn would surely bring joy not just to me, but to the hearts of many, as they feel safe with Success.”

—Isaiah Aulet, Grade 8, SA Ditmas Park MS

“I want to be a computer scientist when I grow up. A Success Academy High School would help with that. I’m really excited to take the math and science classes because if I learn math and science, I will be able to put that to the test with computer science. People who want to fulfill their dreams would need a good education and high school.”

—Shayne Alexander, Grade 8, SA Ditmas Park MS


SA DPMS: Soliel Francois (Grade 7), Raziya Palmer (Grade 8), Shayne Alexander (Grade 8), Amaya Aneke (Grade 8)


Success Academy is not just a school, but a strong community that is able to adapt and that supports every member for any of their needs. Success Academy has helped me and countless others through hard times and so many students have benefited from that and excelled from the excellence of Success Academy.”

—Sadie Koonce, Grade 7, SA Lafayette MS

“I am a girl with many dreams, one of the hundreds of soon to be writers, doctors, vets, actors, chemists, and politicians of Success Academy. Children all over Brooklyn, K-8, have untapped potential that can only really be unlocked by Success Academy’s extensive extracurriculars and community. The opportunity to have an SA high school that offers a competitive and intensive curriculum in comparison to specialized high schools right here in our neighborhood, is an opportunity that must not be turned down.”

—Soleil Francois, Grade 7, SA Ditmas Park MS

We are so proud of these scholars for advocating for themselves and students like them, who need world-class schools and equal access to opportunity, regardless of zip code. They have proved once again that Success Academy scholars go above and beyond to achieve the education they deserve.

SA LAMS: Sadie Koonce (Grade 7), Milan Peoples (Grade 7), Yaya Barry (Grade 8)

SA BSMS: (Not in order) Charlotte Reich (Grade 7), Sukanya Ghanie (Grade 7), Adrian Iparraguirre (Grade 7), Miquel Utset (Grade 8), Viannelly Leger (Grade 8), Angelina Edwards (Grade 8), Saliou Sarr (Grade 8).

Written by Success Academy April 22, 2022

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