Alumni

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A chief goal of our academic program is to prepare our students for successful study at whatever college they choose to attend.  The college office works with students as early as their ninth grade year to establish a culture that understands the significance of the college essay, detailed resume, college selection process, and graduation requirements. Our students have attended SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton, CUNY-Baruch Honors Program, Northeastern, Fordham, Temple, University of New Haven, Johnson & Wales, University of Rochester, Sarah Lawrence, Skidmore, Wesleyan, and Columbia, among others.


Lisaúl Díaz

Class of 2014
Attending: University at Albany (SUNY)
Major: Biology

What I'm doing now: I am the World Representative for one of the living-learning communities at University at Albany. I am currently majoring in biology however; I plan on taking courses in Psychology and Business.
 
How BAL made a difference: Bronx Academy of Letters is significant to me because it taught me how to be a leader as I was the representative of Parker House for my senior year, and without that experience, I would not be as confident of a person as I am today. It also taught me that when you come from a certain region of the world, such as the Bronx, it is important to thrive in the face of adversity and show the rest of the world how unique you really are.


Chelsea Agyakwa

Class of 2014
Attending: University at Albany
Major: Biology with a Minor in Economics.

What I'm doing now: I am currently involved with Residence Hall Association (RHA). RHA is like a student government body on a quad. We make sure all the student voices are heard and plan events for the students  to take part in. I am looking to join ResLife in the next year and also trying  to join the Student Association, which is the student government  throughout the whole school. 
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL has helped me prepare  for college life in many ways. BAL is where I learned how to balance  academic, extracurricular activities, and social life at once. BAL is where I  built my passion to be involved in everything possible wherever I am at.  Most importantly, BAL has showed me how to be an excellent leader.


Fannely Valerio

Class of 2014
Attending: SUNY New Paltz

What I'm doing now: Currently doing an internship in the communications department of their student union.

How BAL made a difference: BAL opened a door of possibilities for me; it introduced me to the world of traveling. Through BALI have realized that I am interested in finding a career that will let me explore and learn. Thanks to the staff and the programs that were made available for me, I left BAL a leader.


Jomayra Peña

Class of 2012
Attending: Mercy College
Major: General Accounting

What I'm doing now : God willing I'll graduate next year and start at an accounting firm. 
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL was a home away from home for me. It helped me improve my writing which immensely helped me in college. The staff always made sure to look out for the students and to ensure that the students are always on the right path. BAL was a place I didn't want to leave because of how comfortable I was there. Everyone was a family and we always looked out for each other. BAL will always be a home to me. 


Kevin Agyakwa

Class Of 2012
Attending: SUNY Potsdam
Major: Communications with a minor in Business Administration

What I'm doing now: I’ am a writing tutor at SUNY Potsdam’s College Writing Center. I’ve also held various leadership positions on my campus as a former Vice-President of B.S.A.(Black Student Alliance) and currently the Vice-President of Bear Witness SUNY Potsdam’s Step Team.
 
Why BAL Made A Difference In Your Life: During my four years at BAL from the classroom to the basketball court I learned a lot. With teachers such as Mr. Hara, Ms. Spencer, Mr. Restrepo and Ms. Fazio the school environment showed me that there was more to the world then just the neighborhoods we all lived in. That we as students are gifted with a voice and a mind and with that anything is possible and achievable. For that I’ m thankful for BAL.  


Kimberly Mendez

Class of 2012
Attending: DePauw University
Major: Education Studies with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality

What I'm doing now: I recently pledged into the amazing sisterhood of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Some of my involvements on my campus include: Vice President of the Committee for Latino Concerns and an active member of the womxn's empowerment organization, Feminista! 
 
Why BAL made a difference in your life: If there's one thing I will always cherish about BAL, it would be the amazing teachers who prepared me for college. As I was getting ready to go off into a small liberal arts PWI, there were teachers pushing, challenging, and preparing me for the long journey I was about to take on. I stepped on to DePauw's campus ready to take on the world! No matter where I go, BAL will always be home. Shoutout to my mentor and greatest support system at BAL, Mr. Restrepo!


Precious Byrd

Class of 2011
Attending: Earlham College
Major: Human Development and Social Relations. Minor: Japanese

What I am doing now: Currently, I am a part of the Bonner Scholars Program where I volunteer ten hours a week at a local not-for-profit organization named Girl Inc as a program assistant. On campus, I am member of the Dance Team and on Steering Committee for the student run dance organization, Dance Alloy.
 
How BAL made a difference in my life: Bronx Academy of Letter is one of my very vivid and positive experience in my life. I had academic and emotional support systems that always there for me when I needed them. The oppurtunities that BAL offered gave me the ability to explore different places and things that I would not have been able to before. The difference BAL made in my life is that I am not afraid of taking risk and advantage of the opportunities that come my way. 


Ashley M. Lora

Class of 2011
Attending: Pace University
Major: History and Political Science

What I'm doing now:  Current President of the Pace Radio Station and Disk Jockey. Also finishing off the year as a Head Delegate and Executive Board member of my college's award-winning Model United Nations Team.
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL gave me the tools and support I needed to go after the things I wanted.  I entered college better prepared and more confident for the workload and social life and I knew I was making the right decision.  I definitely had a better grasp at what I wanted from my college experience even though I am the first in my family to go to college.  For that, my college career was everything I wanted and more. 


Mariah Texidor

Class of 2011
Attending: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Photographic Illustration

What I'm doing now:  While at RIT I have been proudly a part of Residence Life, theatre via a deaf thatre group, and Photo House, a special interest group on campus.
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL provided me a foundation that I would not have gotten otherwise. It gave me teachers that cared about my education and well being, and relationships that have lasted and taught me different lessons until this day. BAL also gave me opportunities to shape my summers to gain experience in things that interested me, furthering my love for photography as well.


Malika Hinds


Class of 2009
Attending: Pace University
Major: Mental Health Counseling (Masters Program)

What I'm doing now:  Graduate assistant for both the Office of Multicultural affairs and diversity, and the LGBTQ center at Pace.

How BAL made a difference: BAL made a difference in my life by providing educational benefits for the community and its students. BAL prepared me for college and also allowed me to have a head start, this school has thought me that hard work doesn't go unnoticed. When I first started Pace University, I felt like I could accomplish anything, BAL prepared me for the long class hours, the intense writing and much more, when I had my first English paper I was surprised on how it was easy for me to finish and still have time to get it revised. Now, that I am completing my masters I am thankful that I went to BAL, and got to attend the annually trips to forest valley and visit colleges and universities because it helped me understand which school was the right one for me when it was time to apply. Also, my involvement at BAL, motivated me to stay involved in my undergraduate years and even now. In my undergraduate years I was involved on campus I was a member of the Black student union, student of Caribbean awareness and programming. 


Feldon Richards Jr.

Class of 2008
Attended: Monroe College
Major: Business Administration

What I'm doing now: I am currently working as a personal banker at JP Morgan Chase Bank. I love my job because I enjoy helping people manage their finances.
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL helped shape me into the man I am today. Attending BAL allowed me to experience a diverse culture and meet people from many different backgrounds. BAL also taught me to speak confidently and write exceptionally well. The staff from BAL has always acted in my best interest and that is why I am proud to be a member of the alumni.


Alana Ransom

Class of 2008
Attending: Buffalo State College
Major: Communications

What I'm doing now:  Currently in graduate school studying social work at Long Island University Brooklyn. I currently work as a paraprofessional for the board of education in school PS 191.
 
How BAL made a difference: BAL  showed me no matter how tough situations and school can be, I must continue to achieve and never give up and follow what I believe in and always strive to do my best.  I was an honor student every year in BAL and continued that path in college. Education is the passport to the future! 


Shanieka Nelson 


Class of 2007
Attended: Temple University
Major: Political Science with a Minor in Criminal Justice

What I'm doing now: I am now employed as a Case manager at Federal Guidance and Employment Services while attending graduate school. 
 
How BAL made a difference: Bronx Letter taught me to expect more of myself than the world expects of me. 


Steven Polanco

Class of 2007
Attended: Northeastern University

What I'm doing now: After graduating from Northeastern, I worked in a technology role managing and consulting clients on technology strategy. More recently I accepted a role as a Technology Consultant for Steelcase Inc working with their enterprise clients on integrating technology within the work space, focusing on collaboration solutions.   

How BAL made a difference: By providing me access to brilliant teachers and faculty that you normally would not find in a school in the South Bronx. The founders of BAL created an environment and culture that enabled students to believe that we can achieve the goals and dreams we created for ourselves.