TREMONT, the Bronx — These students have a dream.
It’s audition day and they are hoping to go to a performing arts school in the Bronx with a very good record.
Sanjeev Girjanand, 13, has never had a piano lesson and can’t read music, but at his audition for the Theater Arts Production Company School, known as TAPCO, he impressed his teachers by performing pieces he heard on YouTube.
“I get joy from playing music,” Sanjeev Girjanand, an auditioning student, said. "My family is proud and they like the music I play."
Sanjeev was one of hundreds of eighth graders auditioning for a chance to go to this public high school located in an underserved neighborhood where the high school graduation rate hovers at 60 percent.
But at TAPCO, the graduation rate is over 77 percent with almost all of their graduates going on to college with scholarships and grants... not loans.
“It’s hard work and it’s love for our school community, students and parents,” Ron Link, TAPCO’s principal, told PIX11 News. “And it’s working for their success as we prepare them for life as best we can."
Destiny Colon, 17, is in her fourth year at TAPCO trying to figure out the next step.
“I want to see if I can be able to perform, that’s my dream.” Colon told PIX11 News. “But I also want to major in education so that I can teach other students."
The parents of many of those auditioning are hoping TAPCO will give their children a chance at a brighter future... like the mother of dancer Nyjhea.
“It’s nice to have a school that has both academics and performing arts,” Jacoya Major, a parent, said.
The students auditioning for TAPCO won’t find out until late April if they are accepted for next year.