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Mount Vernon STEAM Academy Honors Students at Inaugural Convocation Ceremony

Mount Vernon STEAM Academy students on Wednesday, June 2, earned honors during the school’s first Senior Convocation ceremony highlighting academic achievement, athletics, community service, and character.

It was the first event of its kind for the STEAM Academy and leads up to the school’s first graduation ceremony later this month.

“Today marks the beginning,” said Mount Vernon Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, noting that the students started and ended the school year during “an historic time.”

“You have owned it,” Hamilton said. “You have made it yours.”

The inaugural event drew an online crowd of about 60 and started with naming the school’s 2021 Valedictorian Efua Maame Forson and Salutatorian Martinez Jean Claude.

Awards included the Langston Hughes Award, Triumph Over Challenges Award, Community Service and more than a dozen others along with National Honor Society distinction.

Senior Valaine Clarke received the Athletic Award, which honors students who “fostered school spirit by dedicating their time and hard work participating in varsity athletics.” Clarke, who received a scholarship to play tennis at Xavier University in Louisiana, recently qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.

The STEAM Academy opened three years ago when the Mount Vernon City School District offered high school students the opportunity to take pathways to graduation that focused on specialty areas of art, engineering, web design, robotics, architecture, and energy systems while fulfilling state graduation requirements at three high schools of choice. The curriculum at the STEAM Academy emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Board of Education President Darcy Miller said the STEAM Academy is “a dream come true.” She told the students that as they face the future, their demonstration of grit, resilience and a sense of humor will be a true asset when looking for a job.

“You have racked up some amazing accomplishments,” said Miller. “You have a very bright future.”

District administrators praised the hard work of Principal Sharon Bradley, the school’s faculty, and parents for helping the students excel in both academics and in their work in the community, but they gave all the accolades to the students.

“You are destined to be great leaders,” Dr. Hamilton said. “We commend you, congratulate you, salute you. I know our future is in great hands.”

Academic Excellence Awards
Recognizes students who have earned the highest grade-point average in a particular academic department.

  • Art - Angelica Zelaya
  • English – Efua Forson
  • ENL - Moises Grijo Guedes
  • Language - Efua Forson
  • Math - Martinez Jean Claude
  • Music -Andy Takdharie
  • Physical Education - Efua Forson
  • Physical Education - Pedro Costa Dos Santos
  • Science - Efua Forson
  • Social Studies - Efua Forson

Most Enthusiastic Student Award
Recognizes students who have demonstrated a passion for learning in a particular department.

  • Art - Yakarly Monegro
  • English - Banesa Cardenas
  • ENL - Manuel Rodriguez Mendez
  • Language - Chrisanne Pearce
  • Math - Aisha Hernandez
  • Music - Tiyana Morgese
  • Physical Education - Amber Prasad
  • Physical Education - Alan Valencia
  • Science - Mary Carmen Herrera
  • Social Studies - Jacquelyn Barroso

Most Improved Student Award
Recognizes overcoming some initial challenges and making tremendous progress in a specific content area.

  • Art - Aljah Drakes
  • English - Rae'Once Delgado
  • ENL - Bianca Santana De La Cruz
  • Language - Sharon Josephs
  • Math - Ash Rob Joseph
  • Music - M'Kayla Kirton
  • Physical Education - Victoria Lopez Perez
  • Physical Education - Bryce Najee-ullah
  • Science - Ruth Anderson
  • Social Studies - Taylor Warner

Tau Epsilon Pi
Membership is granted to any student who has earned a 3.30 or better for their freshman or sophomore year and has attained an average of 3.85 or better in their junior and senior year. They received no grade below a 70.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Banesa Cardenas
  • Eileen Cordero
  • Pedro Costa Dos Santos
  • Efua Forson
  • Mary Carmen Herrera
  • Martinez Jean Claude
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Indya Taylor
  • Nya Lee Torres
  • Shani Tyrell

Academic Honors
Student has achieved academic honors if their grade point average (GPA) is 3.30 or better throughout their high school career.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Banesa Cardenas
  • Valaine Clarke
  • Eileen Cordero
  • Pedro Costa Dos Santos
  • Aliyha Forbes
  • Efua Forson
  • Dacir Franco
  • Moises Grijo Guedes
  • Aisha Hernandez
  • Mary Carmen Herrera
  • Cheyanne Hudgeson
  • Martinez Jean Claude
  • Sharon Josephs
  • Sherene Josephs
  • Brian Martinez-Fuentes
  • Diego Morales
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Indya Taylor
  • Nya Lee Torres
  • Shani Tyrell

National Honor Society
Membership is based upon scholarship, leadership, character, and service. In order to be eligible, students must have and maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 throughout their high school career.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Banesa Cardenas
  • Valaine Clarke
  • Eileen Cordero
  • Regina Davis
  • Aliyha Forbes
  • Efua Forson
  • Martinez Jean Claude
  • Sharon Josephs
  • Sherene Josephs
  • Brian Martinez-Fuentes
  • Tiyana Morgese
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Marcelo Soares
  • Indya Taylor
  • Nya Lee Torres
  • Shani Tyrell

Her Honor Program
Her Honor is a work-based mentoring program founded by Nicole Sheindlin with Judith Sheindlin (Judge Judy). This program provides young women with an opportunity to explore diverse careers and gain the confidence necessary to meet the demands of our 21st-century workforce.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Eileen Cordero
  • Efua Forson
  • Cheyanne Hudgeson
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Indya Taylor
  • Nancy Torres Veliz
  • Shani Tyrell

My Brother's Keeper
Founded by Barack Obama in 2018 with the purpose of providing rising 12th-grade high school students, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color, with opportunities to gain authentic leadership experience(s) and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in. The MBK fellows program seeks to close the gaps and help students reach their true potential.

  • Martinez Jean Claude

Donovan Xavier Brown Scholarship
Established in March 2018 to support the financial needs of graduating seniors from his alma mater, Nellie Thornton High School. Donovan was committed to community service, helping others, and worked to inspire and empower others to pursue their personal, educational, and professional dreams in the face of adversity. This award seeks to honor the applicant who best demonstrates the courage, determination, motivation, and dedication that Donovan displayed during his lifetime.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Efua Forson

Jeff Cooney Memorial Scholarship
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, these student-athletes distinguished themselves in our Destination: College programs. The Cooney Scholarship provides each student with $1,000 for college-related expenses. We will also be encouraging them to join our College Success Mentor program which provides individual attention and guidance throughout the first two years of college.

  • Briana Chavez
  • Nya Lee Torres

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Zeta Nu Omega Chapter Community Service Fund, Inc.
A volunteer program sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. This scholarship was established to recognize high school students who have excelled academically and who have participated in school and community activities and projects.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Efua Forson

2021 W. Elise “I am” Scholarship
The 'I Am' Scholarships recognize and encourage the academic achievements of graduating high school seniors in the Mount Vernon City School district who will pursue a college degree AND/OR seek to finance a currently operating entrepreneurial/business endeavor. The application process included an essay answering the question "WHO are you and what do you want to do with your future?”.

  • Efua Forson

The Southern Westchester Opportunity Scholarship
Awarded by the Lower Hudson Valley Council of School Superintendents. The organization recognizes students who exemplify outstanding scholar and an unparalleled record of service to others. They represent the extraordinary power of public education.

  • Efua Forson

Triple "C" Awards
Recognizes the “Character, Courage and Commitment” of New York’s hard-working students. It honors citizens who show a commitment to learning, to their community, and to their fellow classmates.

  • Ruth Anderson
  • Regina Davis
  • Bianca Santana De La Cruz

Against All Odds Award
This award is given to a senior who has shown outstanding determination during his/her four years to overcome adversity in achieving their goals.

  • Treasure Bourdeau
  • Michael Doggett Jr
  • Yakarly Monegro

Athletics Award
This award honors students who fostered school spirit by dedicating their time and hard work participating in Varsity Athletics.

  • Valaine Clarke

Citizenship Award
This award honors a student who is a positive role model, a solid student, and a great volunteer in the community.

  • Milouse Brice
  • Eileen Cordero
  • Cheyanne Hudgeson
  • Sharon Josephs
  • Sherene Josephs
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Indya Taylor
  • Nya Lee Torres
  • Shani Tyrell

Community Service Award
Presented to senior students who best exemplify the volunteer spirit that is so crucial in helping our community prosper.

  • Banesa Cardenas
  • Pedro Costa Dos Santos
  • Sharon Josephs
  • Sherene Josephs
  • Chrisanne Pearce
  • Amber Prasad
  • Kelvin Ruiz-Jimenez
  • Andy Takdharie
  • Indya Taylor

Langston Hughes Award
Awarded to a male student who represented the spirit of Langston Hughes and his love of writing.

  • Andy Takdharie

Michelle Obama Award
Given to a female student who espouses the unselfish actions of our former First Lady by tackling all she can to make the world a better place

  • Milouse Brice

Military Award
This award goes to the outstanding MV STEAM Academy Graduates who have 
chosen to enter our Nation’s Armed Forces.

  • David Pinto

President Barack Obama Award
Presented to a male student who has set himself apart from the crowd and is a true leader. One, who thinks for himself, is committed to his education, is committed to making a difference in the community and has the potential to impact the world at large as never before.

  • Martinez Jean Claude

Student Advocacy Overcoming the Odds Award
Presented to a student in honor of their extraordinary effort to overcome the odds and pursue their education.

  • Manuel Rodriguez Mendez
  • Bianca Santana De La Cruz
  • Marcelo Soares

Triumph Over Challenges Award
Honors a senior who consistently persevered through significant challenges on his or her journey through their high school years.

  • Taylor Warner