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MV STEAM Academy seniors receive scholarship for organizing blood drive

MV STEAM Academy seniors receive scholarship for organizing blood drive

Luis Barajas Alvarez and Evelyn Oseguera, seniors at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, organized two blood drives in November 2022 and April 2023 and collected 65 pints of blood. They each received a $250 scholarship from the American Red Cross for their efforts. 

Both students shadowed the two seniors who organized the blood drive last year. Their teacher, Jessica Pizzuti, asks 11th grade teachers to choose two outgoing, college bound students each year to be involved with the blood drive. They shadow the 12th grade students running their blood drive and then run it themselves during their senior year with two 11th graders shadowing them.

“I want to let students know that they shouldn’t be scared of donating blood,” said Evelyn. “It just takes some encouragement. I really enjoyed this experience, and I would love to do it in college too.”

Luis and Evelyn went around their school to promote the blood drive and encourage other students to donate their blood. Many were scared to give blood, but they were able to convince a total of 117 people to come and donate.

Fifty-nine people came to the November drive and 32 pints were collected. At the April drive, 58 people attended and 33 pints of blood were donated. A total of 65 pints were collected.

“I felt like I wanted to do something so that I could help people,” said Luis. “I knew that although some people were scared, they would want to help but needed someone like Evelyn or I to persuade them.”

While they have done community service before, this was their first time organizing a service project on this scale, and they thought it was a huge success. 

Evelyn is using her scholarship to help with tuition at Mercy College, where she will study psychology. Luis is using the $250 to help him pay for Westchester Community College but is undecided on his major.

Administrators and teachers at steam

Flags, Hispanic food and colorful cultural attire filled the library at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy as students and staff celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. STEAM held its annual Spanish Heritage Festival on Friday, October 20, 2023. 

Senior Rayanu Adam wearing a Cornell sweatshirt.

Rayanu Adam, Senior at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, received the Gates Scholarship, a last-dollar scholarship that will cover the entire four years of college, including tuition, books, room, and board. This prestigious scholarship is only presented to 300 students per year. Rayanu will be attending Cornell University in the Fall of 2023 and plans to major in electrical engineering with a minor in robotics.