THE BRONX —The mission is clear:
"From the time that they walk in the door they’re told they can do anything," said Charisse Lewis.
The journey is challenging ….
"We put in the work we make sure they know from the time they walk in here they are college bound," said the school's college counselor, Brittany McNeill.
But the payoff is big ….
"When that first group graduates next year, they will graduate here being empowered young women ready to take control of their lives," said Co-Director, Devon Eisenberg.
Setting their sights on success is the goal that’s taught at the Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. It’s one of only 5 “All Girl” schools in the city’s public school system – and boy, are these girls proud!
"We all are sisters in this school, so we encourage each other to be more to be better, we can’t leave anyone behind . So we’re all in this together," said Josephine Lewis.
It’s not just about “girl power.
It’s about a 100% graduation rate, with everyone college bound.
"You’re going to college?" asked Mr. G.
"Yes I am!" said Rachell Alejo.
"No, if but, maybe, you're going," said Mr. G.
"Of course," said Miss Alejo.
"Are you the first in your family to go?" asked Mr. G.
"No, but there’s very few people who went to college in my family so I’m part of that group," said Alejo.
"Everybody goes to college. How is that possible?" asked Mr. G.
"We start in day one talking about college. They have a college home room and that starts right away. It's not if you’re going to college, it's where are you going," said co-director, Eisenberg.
These three girls are part of the first “senior class.”
They started the first year the school opened, back in 2012 as sixth graders.
They’re juniors now…
The one thing that’s not on their minds: boys!
"You don’t need boys to be successful," said Khadijah Sedibeh.
"How annoying are boys in school?" asked Mr. G.
"On a scale of 1-10 I say a 12," said Alejo.
"Its interesting how they all agree that boys at this age can be a pain," remarked Mr. G.
"Hmmm, men can be too," said Lewis.
I’ll just leave that one alone…
For these girls, it’s all about focus, and doing well and climbing that mountain.
"I’ve known them all since they were 10-11 years old and now 11th graders, they’re 16-17 year old women. They came in here this big so to be able to see them go through all these changes is amazing," said Co-Director, Eisenberg.