On Thursday June 27th 2019, the second annual 8th Grade Graduation for Challenge Charter Schools was held at Far Rockaway High School. The theme for the ceremony was, “I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot!” Music Banks accompanied the processional, followed by the pledge led by the Color Guard, and the National Anthem sung by Favour Avero. Principal Gordon brought greetings to the families, staff, government officials, and graduates as the program commenced with songs, recitations, and several addresses before awards and certificates were presented.
Salutatorian, Arvin Gaul spoke about his mom encouraging him to stand out, and he thanked his parents for their support saying, “My mom is the key to my success…and my dad is the head of our household and our strength.” He also thanked Principal Gordon, Coach McConnell and Dr. Mullings along with other key influencers.
Valedictorian, Danielle Monti had attended Challenge since the first grade. She reflected on the changes she had seen during that time while the vision of Dr. Mullings remained strong. She thanked Mrs. Samuels and Security Guard, Ms. Donna for their support along with test prep from Principal Gordon saying, “Those tests were no joke!”
Dr. Mullings addressed the proud families and encouraged them saying, “Take a good look at our graduates. They will change the world. I have to give thanks to Principal Gordon. She has worked wonders. If you don’t believe me, take a look at our test scores and where our graduates are going to high school.”
Principal Gordon continued in a similar spirit speaking about worth and that every scholar has been worthy from the beginning of their Challenge journeys and will continue to carry that worth as they go.
She proudly admonished the 8th graders saying, “You are sparkling, indestructible diamonds. Remember you are precious and act as such.”
She also shared that this year’s graduates achieved 100% High School Placement in the first round.
Special Guest and Board Chair, Frederica Jeffries encouraged the scholars to ask themselves what it will take to achieve the vision that each of them carries.
“Count the sacrifice and discipline; stay the course no matter the obstacles you face. This is a time for you to serve as a sentinel over your future,” she said.
Along with city and state awards, Senator James Sanders presented qualifying scholars with the New York State Senator Award. The Attorney General’s Triple “C” Awards, Principal’s Award, and CEO/Founder’s Award were also presented.
A gallery of professional photos from the event can be found below.