Noteworthy grads

July 6, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Jimmy Van Bramer, City Council member

Jimmy Van Bramer says his 10th-grade Global Studies teacher saved his life. She took a shy and withdrawn boy struggling with his sexuality and said: “You are smart, Jimmy. You have a voice. A voice is power. Use your voice."

May 4, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Yemaya Bordain, electrical engineer

“The teachers, to a one, told me and showed me I was special and handed me off with love to the next teacher,” says Yemaya Bordain, who in 2015 was the first black woman to receive a Ph.D in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.

March 2, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Vernon Turner, retired NFL football player

Vernon Turner endured an early life so rooted in poverty and degradation that at age 50 he remains shocked to be alive. He was saved by two miracle workers, his 2nd-grade teacher and his high school coach.

January 5, 2017

Noteworthy graduates:J. Machelle Sweeting, Civil Court judge

J. Machelle Sweeting's elementary school teachers melded sky-high expectations with tough love. The combination transformed a shy, smart child from the projects into a Civil Court judge.

November 3, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Paul Barbara, emergency room physician

Paul Barbara says his science teacher at Staten Island Technical HS "taught me how to learn what I thought I’d never understand and how to complete a task.”

September 8, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Reno Wilson, actor and screenwriter

Reno Wilson is a renowned television actor, but he hasn’t forgotten the New York City public schools that nurtured his talent.

June 2, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Martha Mooke, electro-acoustic violist

Martha Mooke has accompanied a dream team of famous musicians, but to this day, the acclaimed musical pioneer respects no one more than her Staten Island music teacher at IS 34, the late Leonard Ogren.

April 7, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Howie Rose, sports broadcaster

Howie Rose calls radio broadcasts for the Mets on WOR and televised games for the New York Islanders on MSG Plus. His job, he says, is nothing less than a dream come true for a Queens kid who used to bring along his own tape player to Madison Square Garden to practice doing play-by-play from the last row during Ranger games.

February 4, 2016

Noteworthy graduates:Jonathan Kron, software engineer

To his great good fortune, Jonathan Kron discovered and was accepted into Townsend Harris HS, a mecca for smart oddballs, nerds and cut-ups. “It felt safe to be your uncool self and explore your passions and interests without being bullied or forced to conform,” says Kron.

December 3, 2015

Noteworthy graduates: Ayisha Irfan, policy analyst

On Sept. 11, 2001, Ayisha Irfan believed herself to be just another Brooklyn-born 13-year-old. “When I woke up the next morning, everything had changed dramatically,” says Irfan, now 27, and an analyst in charge of education, justice and policing for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

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