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‘Please, Mayor De Blasio: Give us what you promised! We deserve a building to continue our studies!’

**For Immediate Release March 16, 2021**


Michael Sherman, 201-306-9621

[email protected]

Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124

[email protected]



NEW YORK, NY — Fifth grade student Ayden Brotherson had to leave his home in Queens to stay with relatives in Guyana as a result of the pandemic. Despite being thousands of miles away from home, he continues to attend Success Academy Hollis Middle School remotely, and continues to excel. His mom, Aukwa Phillips, a Kindergarten teacher at PS 223 in South Jamaica made the difficult decision to send him back to his birth country so she could work. He loves his school and wants nothing more than to return in-person next fall. 

His dreams turned to dread when he learned he might not be able to return to SA Hollis Middle School — due to Mayor de Blasio’s discriminatory stance on charter schools. Despite an earlier promise, and the legal obligation to provide public charter school students a permanent space to learn free of charge, the Mayor is evicting Ayden and his 250 schoolmates from I.S. 238.

“Please Mayor de Blasio, give us what you promised — we deserve a building to continue our studies. We are the future leaders of New York City,” he said, when asked what he would say to the mayor if he had the chance.  

Ayden’s teachers describe him as a model scholar and a leader who is always ready to participate and stays on task. He pours himself into his classwork, particularly science and history. He loves playing basketball at SA, but desperately wants to join the debate team next year which begins in sixth grade. 

SA’s middle school debate team routinely qualifies for national high school tournaments and out-debates its older competition. Aydin dreams of being a part of the team, but may no longer have that opportunity. 



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. In 2020, 100% of SA’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 22% accepted to highly selective and 47% to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 82% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college. 

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