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Despite Challenges, Success Academy High School Graduates Achieve Extraordinary Academic Distinctions

**For Immediate Release Thursday, May 27, 2021**


Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
[email protected]




CNN Host Van Jones Addresses Class in Virtual Commencement: 

“All that Matters Is Two Things: How Strong is Your Springboard and How Hard Do You Hit It” 

New York, NY — Like so many students across the country, the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts graduating seniors endured an extraordinarily challenging year. With a global pandemic, cancelled SATs, remote learning, and record-breaking college admissions competition, especially at selective colleges, they faced tough odds. But the SA HSLA Class of 2025, so named for the year they will graduate from college, persisted, seizing every opportunity. 

Every one of them sat for at least one AP exam, with 81% passing one or more and 30% earning distinctions from the College Board as AP Scholars based on their excellence on multiple AP exams. Nearly a third conquered the advanced curriculum of SA’s Honors STEM and or Honors Humanities academies; 32 completed the two-year pre-engineering program, covering electrical, mechanical, environmental, and biomedical engineering; and six studied with undergraduates at Columbia University, taking courses such as advanced programming, game theory, general physics, and calculus II. 

“You’ve been able to overcome so much,” said CNN host and political commentator Van Jones, who addressed the class via video. “Nothing was able to stop you from getting what you needed done, done. You are better prepared now because of the adversity.” Jones added his advice: “It does not matter how low down the chain you start in life. All that matters is two things: how strong is your springboard, and how hard do you hit it. The great thing you have going for you is that the springboard you have in Success Academy is one of the strongest springboards for young people ever created.” 

For the fourth year in a row, 100% of the class is college bound, two-thirds of them to selective colleges and universities, including Yale, University of Chicago, Duke, Columbia, Bowdoin, Cornell, and Penn. Importantly, 71% of the class received at least one college offer to meet full financial need. Three out of four in the class will be first-generation college graduates.

“Our goal is to ensure our students have access to equity through a superb education,” said Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Academy, whose second son Dillon Grannis, an SA scholar since kindergarten, is among the graduates. “The Class of 2025 tackled challenging academics and worked hard, while also giving back to their community — tutoring younger students, interning with elected officials, advocating for tenants in NYCHA housing. We couldn’t be prouder of what they have accomplished!” 

Along the way, the class of 129 seniors also produced virtual theater productions and art exhibits; started SA’s first a cappella group, ping pong league and humanitarian club; and won national titles in sports, chess, and debate.

A full recording of the commencement ceremony can be found here.

The Class of 2025 College Acceptances:

Arizona State University

Barnard College 

Baruch College 

Binghamton University 

Boston College 

Boston University 

Bowdoin College

Brandeis University

Brooklyn College

Carnegie Mellon University

City College of New York 

Clark Atlanta University 

Colgate University 

College of Staten Island 

Columbia University

Cornell University 

Dickinson College

Duke University

Franklin & Marshall College

Georgia State University

Grinnell College 

Haverford College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges 

Howard University 

Hunter College 

Ithaca College 

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Lehigh University

Medgar Evers College

Mercy College

Montclair State University

New York City College of Technology

New York Institute of Technology

New York University

Northeastern University 

Nova Southeastern University

Oberlin College

Pennsylvania State University – Abington

Pennsylvania State University – Altoona

Pennsylvania State University – Hazleton

Rice University

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Skidmore College

Spelman College

St. John’s University

State University of New York at Albany

State University of New York at Brockport 

State University of New York at Buffalo 

State University of New York at Fredonia 

State University of New York at Oswego 

Stony Brook University

SUNY Buffalo State College 

Tufts University 

Union College

University of Chicago

University of Pennsylvania 

Virginia State University

Wake Forest University

Wheaton College

Yale University



Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 20,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. For more information about Success Academy, visit

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