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'Your future starts today:' Another way for Staten Island students to graduate from high school

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STATEN ISLAND, NY — Every year, hundreds of Staten Island students enroll in a program that gives them a second chance at earning their high school equivalency diploma.

That’s why 18-year-old Anthony Andrade enrolled in Pathways to Graduation-Staten Island (P2G-SI), which provides New York students with the preparation and tools for a successful future by helping them earn their high school equivalency diploma. A free, full-time program, locations are located throughout the city and open to students ages 17-21, including those from Staten Island.

Andrade only needed to run part of the exam to graduate and turned to P2G – taking classes at a satellite campus while working as a barber at Stapleton.

After only three months, he passed the exam to graduate. He credited the flexibility and support of school staff for helping him achieve this goal.

“My whole family was so happy I graduated,” he said. “I just bounced back… Mr. N [Ndzibah] helped me so much. I could ask questions and he would explain everything to me. Whenever I needed to go somewhere he understood and helped me do my job. If I had to do homework online, he was flexible. Sometimes I had other commitments, but they were open-minded here about it.

With the goal of becoming an electrician, Andrade regularly visits P2G’s main site, the St. George Hub, to meet with advisors to discuss career fairs and professional programs like Co-Op Tech, which offers a hands-on training in business and technology.

“At other schools, after graduation, you go your own way,” he said. “Here I still have support.”

Pathways to Graduation-Staten Island

Principal Donny Swanson oversees Pathways to Graduation-Staten Island (P2G-SI). Students can enroll in the program at any time. (Staten Island Advance/Annalize Knudson)

ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM

Staten Island program director Donny Swanson explained that P2G is part of District 79 with the New York City Department of Education (DOE). It is one of five borough programs that collectively constitute the citywide Pathways to Graduation school.

“Pathways to graduation is an alternative learning program with the New York City Department of Education,” Swanson said. “We welcome all students, regardless of background, to make sure they feel welcome and supported. And we are definitely involved in working with our community to leverage opportunities and resources to reinvent our school experience for our students. »

Students learn from certified teachers in all five sections of the high school equivalency exam, including reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

With rolling admission, students can join the program at any time. There is no credit requirement to register.

Students work towards earning their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma by passing all four sections of the GED exam – Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. If a student has completed one or more of their Regents assessments prior to enrolling, they are exempt from writing those sections of the GED exam to graduate.

To date, 21 P2G-SI students have obtained their HSE diploma since the start of the school year.

SITES IN THE DISTRICT

There are many programs located across the borough that partner with P2G.

P2G-SI programs include: the St. George Hub; Staten Island College; Neighborhood Opportunity Network in collaboration with New York City Probation; Municipal Department of Sanitation; the School of Cooperative Technical Education located at Concord High School; Tottenville High School and the organization YouthBuild Impact.

Some program sites, such as the St. George Hub, Tottenville Secondary School and Port Richmond Secondary School, offer evening classes from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – so students have the opportunity to work or take care of their family during the day.

“The goal of Pathways to Graduation is, even the goal of District 79, that we are a district that truly believes your future begins today,” said Esperance Segues, District 79 Superintendent. . You come, it’s voluntary and our aim is to ensure that everyone has a different story and that we provide individualized care and advice, to support your social-emotional learning, as well as your studies.

Pathways to Graduation-Staten Island

District 79 Superintendent Esperance Segues, who oversees alternative degree programs like Pathways to Graduation-Staten Island (P2G-SI), speaks at a recent event. (Staten Island Advance/Annalize Knudson)

Students come from all walks of life – some have failed in a traditional K-12 model or felt overwhelmed upon completing their degree, while others are from another country and can earn a high school equivalency faster.

The P2G program goes even further on Staten Island – there are multiple partnerships with the community and other organizations to provide opportunities for students.

“I know it sounds cliché, but it takes a whole village,” Segues said. “And so, whether it’s a partnership with a community or with a college, so that students know that when they leave here, there’s a place they can go straight…So that they know that the tools they get could be applied to somewhere in a workforce, where they can go immediately, or apprenticeships and so on.

About 129 students started the school year in September in a P2G program at Staten Island, with that number growing to more than 220 students by December.

HOW TO REGISTER

Enrolling in a Pathways to Graduation program is easy and students can apply at any time to start classes.

First, you need to find the referral center closest to you to register. After meeting with a guidance counselor or experienced social worker and taking a placement test, staff will help you register at one of 65 sites spread across the five boroughs.

Visit the St. George Hub at 450 St. Marks Place or call 718-273-3225. Interested people can also call 929-352-2206 or fill out the form for a referral center at http://p2g.nyc/contact/.

Classes are held during the day, although there are evening and late afternoon options. Students provide a personal statement, CV, cover letter, academic project and individualized learning plan.

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