ESI Update – Week of April 28




ESI Update

Week of April 28



Principals and ESI Team Members,

During the recent Spring Break, the ESI Team attended and presented at two national conferences–the National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC) and the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC). At the NCBEC convention in New Orleans, Paul Forbes, Director of ESI, and Natalie Ferrell, ESI School Design Fellow, presented on ESI and the new school design model. That presentation was given again in Jackson, Mississippi at the COSEBOC gathering where Paul was joined by ESI School Design Fellows Darius Mensah and Paul Perry.

During the COSEBOC Gathering the national audience also heard presentations from Hector Calderon, Director of Organizational Learning, (The Sankofa Curriculum: From Self-Definition to Self-Determination) and from Derek Cradle, Assistant Principal at the High School of Sports Management (Blended Learning Developed by Blended Partnerships). A total of 42 adults and 8 students from 9 ESI schools attended COSEBOC. A special recognition goes to Michael Alexander (Principal) and Joseph Andrews (Teacher) from School for Human Rights who accompanied the 8 young men below.

We are part of a historical moment and movement and we will continue to learn from and with you!

Recently, the Ed Trust released a report showing that many Black and Latino students and students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds who enter high school as top academic performers lose important ground as they progress toward graduation day. These students start secondary school at similar academic levels as their high-achieving white and more advantaged peers, but leave with lower AP exam passage rates, lower SAT/ACT scores, and lower GPAs, leading to different postsecondary outcomes. The data suggest that schools could benefit from thinking deeply about the instructional quality, support, and culture they provide–all of which influence the experiences of high-achieving students.

We ask that schools take a moment to review the report and use it to spark meaningful conversation in your school.

In this issue you will find the following features:

  • News and Updates: ESI Leadership Meeting, Summer Plans and Year Three Workplans, @ESINYC!
  • Opportunities: Parent Academy Workshops, Build a Better School Contest, SUNY Counselor Forum!
  • School Spotlight: Central Park East High School!
  • ESI in the News: Manhattan Bridges!
  • Resources: Central Park East High School!
  • Shout Outs: Queens Vocational and Technical High School and New Design High School!

News and Updates

*This feature is intended to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in ESI. 

ESI Leadership Meeting May 6

The next Leadership Meeting, designed for Principals and Assistant Principals, will take place May 6 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. At this meeting school leaders will have an opportunity to share strategies, struggles, and breakthroughs in working to prepare Black and Latino Males for college and career. Representation from every ESI school is expected at each of the Leadership Meetings.

When: May 6, 2014


Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

To RSVP, click here.

ESI Summer Workplan and Year Three Workplan Due Dates

A reminder from previous updates about Summer Plans and Year Three Workplans: Summer Plans are due by May 9. School Year Plans are due by June 2. The ESI Team has been visiting schools to support planning for this summer and Year 3. School leaders should work with their ESI Liaison to complete and submit their school’s plans by the due date. For further questions, please contact Paul Forbes at

REMINDER: College Advising Survey

The ESI Central Team is expanding its support strategies to include college advisors, guidance counselors, and social workers within the ESI network. This is also in response to the research that emphasizes the importance of providing counselors with high quality professional development that will enable them to effectively navigate students through the college admissions process. The ability to provide high quality college advising to young men of color has wide-reaching implications for school performance, particularly as it relates to the College and Career Readiness and Closing the Achievement Gap indicators on the Progress Report and other city-wide metrics. To kick off our work with this new group of school-based professionals, we are asking all ESI Liaisons to ensure that the staff member responsible for college advising at his/her school completes this quick survey.


Follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on opportunities and announcements. Click the link at the bottom of the Update or search @ESINYC and click follow to stay engaged!



For Students

Y Tu Tambien!

The Inter-Ivy League Latino Alumni Council presents an evening of mentorship for High School Students in New York City!

  • Meet distinguished alumni who interview prospective students
  • Dispel “myths” about the application process
  • Get a better understanding of the financial aid system
  • Meet former admissions officers
  • Learn from current students who are living the experience

WHEN: Saturday, May 10th 2014

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Columbia University

Appetizers and refreshments will be served. Selected students’ parents may also attend.

Promising High School students in New York City will have the opportunity to mingle with various distinguished alumni from the Ivy League.  The event will include speakers and a panel presentation so that students can get as much prep info for their college applications.  This will be an opportunity for students to get an in depth look at the Ivy League experience, and learn about various academic programs at these schools.  While the focus is the Ivy League school system, we help with all college applications!  The goal is to give students an insight into the college application process, and to encourage minorities to aim for top academic institutions.  Students will also learn about the financial aid process and adjusting to life in a new school environment.  Students who attend automatically become eligible to participate in our hands on college application workshop in October 2014, where alumni help students complete their applications. To confirm attendance and location please contact Juan Carlos Salinas at or

NYCDOE Parent Academy Workshops on College and Career Readiness

NYCDOE’s Parent Academy offers free workshops at schools and cultural centers in all five boroughs.  This year’s Parent Academy Spring Workshops are focused on College and Career readiness. The dates, times, and locations for each session are below followed by a tentative agenda.

Borough: Manhattan Workshop

Date: Saturday, May 10th

Time: 11am – 3pm

Location: Bread and Roses H.S. 6 Edgecombe Avenue | Manhattan, NY 10030

Borough: Bronx Workshop

Date: Saturday, June 7th

Time: 10am – 2pm

Location: P.S./M.S. 29 (Melrose School); 758 Courtlandt Ave | Bronx, New York, NY 10451

Borough: Staten Island Workshop

Date: Thursday, June 12th

Time: 4pm – 8pm

Location: Staten Island Technical High School, 485 Clawson Street | Staten Island, NY 10306

Tentative Agenda

  • Welcome
  • College Readiness 101: Resources and Tools
  • Defeating Test Anxiety
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Saving for College 529 & Financial Aid
  • WRAP UP—Raffle

Click here to register.

Build a Better School Contest – Deadline Extended

NYC middle and high schools have the chance to win $10,000 to help students achieve their academic goals and improve the school. Whatever it is that your school needs, the Build a Better School contest can help: musical instruments, classroom painting, more books for a library, gym equipment, art supplies – you name it!

How to participate:

To win, principals are invited to work with middle and high school students to submit a three-minute video explaining why their school is in need of additional funding and what improvement they can undertake to build a better school. The winners will be selected based on their school’s need, the spirit of student collaboration demonstrated in the video, project creativity, and the project’s connection to an academic goal.

What to do to enter:

This submission form must be completed along with all video submissions to the address identified on the attached form. Completed entries must be mailed.


Submissions are due by Friday, May 9, 2014.

For more information, check out this flyer or send inquires to

Youth Engaged 4 Change Competition

Can you think of a time when you were eager to make a difference? How did you turn your passion into action? Share your advice with other youth and young adults who want to make a difference and are figuring out where to start. Your experience can motivate others to take action.
·         Did you develop a plan?
·         Did you develop a new way to get others involved in your cause?
·         Did you discover a way to stay focused, even when change was slow?
Submit your own original poster or photo(s) that share the advice you would offer friends, classmates, and teens around the nation who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Your artwork will be featured on Youth Engaged 4 Change (YE4C), a site for young people interested in personal, local, and national change efforts.

Submissions should be creative and give your peers real ideas about how they can take action to make things better for those around them. Submissions are being accepted until May 11, 2014, 11:59PM EST.


The first, second, and third place winners will have their artwork posted on YE4C and will receive the following prizes:
·         First Place: $500
·         Second Place: $250
·         Third Place: $100

For more information, click here. To submit an entry, click here.

Bottom Line

ESI is partnering with Bottom Line to support outgoing high school seniors as they transition to college. We are looking for male students who will be attending college in New York State (click here for a full list of target colleges). Our goal is to receive at least 20 applications across the ESI network.

Bottom Line is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged students get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life. They achieve this mission by providing low-income and first-generation students with one-on-one guidance through the application process and during college.

Through their Success Program, students receive personalized guidance for up to 6 years or until they earn their degrees. Bottom Line helps college students:

  • Transition to campus
  • Pick classes
  • Select a major
  • Find jobs and internships
  • Maintain their financial aid
  • Solve problems and stay enrolled!

Interested students can find out more here, and also click here to apply. ESI schools are encouraged to apply by May 15.

Sustainable Summer Fellowship Opportunities

Sustainable Summer is a unique learning experience designed to prepare today’s high school students to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders. The organization is committed to providing exciting educational travel opportunities to a diverse group of high school students interested in environmental sustainability.

Sustainable Summer has open fellowship opportunities for summer of 2014. These fellowships offer merit-based scholarships of 20 – 50% of tuition to students who wish to apply their talent for photography, film or journalism as participants in their programs in Ecuador or Costa Rica.

The following opportunities are available:

Bridge to the Future Program in Costa Rica (June 30-July 20):
Photography Fellowship
Film Fellowship
Seeds of Change Program in Ecuador (June 29-July 20):
Journalism Fellowship
Into Yasuni Program in Ecuador (July 21-August 5)
Photography Fellowship

Journalism Fellowship 

Interested students can learn more on here. To apply, click here.

Association for Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools College Access Workshop & Fair

The Association for Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools (ABAFAOILSS) invites you to attend their College Access Workshop & Fair. College representatives from highly selective institutions will provide invaluable insight and advice on the college application and financial aid process. Interested students are strongly encouraged to RSVP by May 7th.

Bring friends and family members and get ready to ask lots of questions!

Date:  Saturday, May 10th

Time:  9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Check-in and Registration

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Barnard Hall, 1st Floor Lobby

3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

2014 NYPD Summer Youth Academy

The New York City Police Department seeks to provide innovative and effective programs for the City’s young people. The Community Affairs Bureau’s, Youth Police Academy, is such a program. It is designed to establish a positive relationship between the Police Department and the City’s youth.

New York City residents, attending school, between the ages of 10 and 16 are eligible to attend. The Youth Police Academy will provide those participating in the program with lunch and uniform shirts.

The goals of the academy are:

  • To enhance responsible citizenship.
  • To provide positive interaction with police officers and to educate young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work.
  • To encourage young people to take part in other youth programs offered by the Police Department such as: the Law Enforcement Explorers, Police Cadet Corps and the Police Athletic League.

The 2014 Youth Police Academy is a six week program that will hold sessions five days a week. The Academy opens at 8:30 a.m. and dismissal is at 2:00 p.m. Students will attend classroom sessions with lectures, role-plays, and topical demonstrations by police officers in the areas of law, behavioral science, drug prevention, and gang resistance. Field trips are also part of the curriculum. Transportation to and from the field trips will be provided. Each site is accessible by public transportation.

The Academy runs from Monday, July 7th to Friday, August 15th.

To download the application, click here. For more information, click here.

All applications are must be received by June 27, 2014. Completed applications must be mailed to:

N.Y.P.D. Youth Services Section

YPA 2014

189 Montague Street

Brooklyn NY 11201

For Staff Members

SUNY School Counselor Forum

Each spring SUNY campuses and SUNY System Administration invite NYC school counselors and college advisors to a counselor forum designed for interaction and discussion. At the SUNY School Counselor Forum, attendees learn more about SUNY’s 64 campuses.

WHEN: May 9

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: SUNY Center for Student Recruitment (CSR)

College of Optometry, Schwarz Theater

33 West 42nd Street, New York, NY

Click here to register by May 5th.

Overcoming Obstacles Special Topics Workshop

Overcoming Obstacles is now offering “Special Topics” workshops aimed at meeting the diverse development needs of our schools serving middle and high school students. The first “Special Topics” session, presented by Overcoming Obstacles and the NYCDOE Office of Guidance and School Counseling is titled Fostering Student Leadership though Service Learning.

This workshop provides a complete resource for educators to help youth to develop leadership skills and execute successful service learning projects. Service learning is an educational process through which students learn by participat­ing in a project that meets a need in their communities. Experts believe that motivated, young people who have been prepared for life in the world beyond school are most likely to succeed when they begin their first jobs, college, and other meaningful postsecondary endeavors.

WHEN:    May 9

9:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


100 HESTER STREET, Manhattan, NY 10002

To register, complete and submit this form according to the instructions provided on the form.



School Spotlight

Location: East Harlem, New York

Principal: Bennett Lieberman

Total student enrollment: 465 

Percent Latino/Latina: 65% 

Percent Black: 27% 

Promising Practices:

Recently, Paul Forbes visited Central Park East HS in East Harlem to see the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program in action. PGC program is a model where juniors and seniors complete a yearlong, credit-bearing leadership course where they practice group exercises and discussions. Once a week these upperclassmen (young men and women) meet with 9th graders to complete the exercises that they practiced in their class. There was excitement and positive energy in each session that was visited but a greater “buzz” was created because star wide-receiver from the New York Giants, Victor Cruz, was in the building to promote and support one of the programs in the school, College Bound Initiative.

The Principal, Bennett Lieberman, discussed the added value that partnering with College Board Initiative has brought to his school’s community:

Having created CPEHS’ College Office from the ground up over the past nine years we were extremely proud of all of our post-secondary planning accomplishments. When a transition happened with personnel in our Guidance Office we explored an opportunity to partner with College Bound Initiative (CBI) to have them run and manage our College Office. CBI is a year-round comprehensive college guidance program that works with students from the 6th – 12th grades to ensure that they have access to and can afford a college education.

Prior to the school year, CBI recruited, hired, trained, and placed a full-time college guidance expert at CPEHS that seamlessly integrated with our school community.

After almost a full first year as partners we can clearly see that the level of information gathering, data analysis, access, and opportunity afforded to both the students at CPEHS as well as the adults will increase and improve our post-secondary outcomes tremendously.

Our CBI Director of College Counseling is supported by an organization whose sole mission is to increase post-secondary opportunity for our low-income students. This partnership is an irreplaceable asset to our school.



ESI Schools in the News

Recently, US News & World Report released their 2014 report on the nation’s Best High Schools Rankings. Manhattan Bridges High School earned the Gold Seal attained by only 3% of U.S. Public High Schools. They ranked # 51 in the country from more than 19,400 public high schools, # 7 in New York State from 1,147 public high schools, and # 7 in NYC from 407 public high schools. Click here to view the rankings.



The NACAC Directory of College Access & Success Programs offers information and contacts for hundreds of programs throughout the United States that help underrepresented students to prepare for, gain admission to, and graduate from college.  The directory can be a resource to college admission professional seeking to recruit well-prepared students from underrepresented populations as well as families looking to find extra preparation and support for their children in the college transition process.

100+ Resources for project-based-learning (PBL). 




Shout-Outs to Queens Vocational and Technical High School and New Design High School!

College visits are a great activity for students and school staff that contributes to creating a college-going culture for young men of color. The ESI Team is excited to see so many schools invested in this practice. As part of a recent college tour, Queens Vocational and Technical High School visited Boston College, MIT, and Harvard.

Additionally, New Design High School recently took their young men to visit Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting historically black university.



“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

–Jackie Robinson




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