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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.

Valedictorian receiving diploma.

In front of a crowd of cheering family members, 153 students graduated from Mount Vernon STEAM Academy’s Class of 2024 on Monday, June 24, 2024. The commencement ceremony was held at Mount Vernon High School, and Stephen Ball, Harvard Law School Dean of Students, delivered the keynote speech. 

Valedictorian accepting award

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, Mount Vernon STEAM Academy held its annual Senior Award Convocation event to celebrate high-achieving seniors of the class of 2024. Awards, many of which were monetary, were given to various hard-working seniors for their commitment to academic achievement, community service and sports. Families dressed up and supported their children in being recognized for their accomplishments over the past four years.

View full photo gallery here!

MV STEAM val/sal

The highest honors a student can receive at the end of their high school career is being titled valedictorian or salutatorian, an accomplishment given to those who have worked hard to maintain one of the two highest GPAs in their graduating class. Mount Vernon STEAM Academy has named Damaris Ferrer as its valedictorian and Margaret Djamongue as its salutatorian. 

Instructor teaching students lesson.

Mount Vernon STEAM Academy students competed against each other in a series of physical fitness tests administered by members of the U.S. Army on Friday, May 31, 2024. Classes split up into groups of six, and soldiers guided participants through three workout stations. Students on the winning team were awarded with t-shirts.

Students coloring.

Calming sounds and the soothing smells of aromatherapy emanated from the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy library, as students and staff participated in mental wellness activities. For the culminating activity of Mental Health Awareness Week, the school hosted a wellness fair called the “Zenbrary,” on Friday, May 24, 2024. 

Elijah congratulations

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Elijah Buchanan, a Mount Vernon STEAM Academy senior was honored at the Student Advocacy's annual Overcoming the Odds Awards Celebration at the Barbara Walters Campus Center in Bronxville. Members of Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, along with Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Marie Gaboton-Swift, gathered to participate in the ceremony.