Beside the cafeteria on the Bushwick High School campus in Brooklyn is a place that students say holds the key to their success. They might be right. It’s called the Student Success Center and its goal is helping the students attending the four small high schools at Bushwick get into college.
"We are excited to bring services to the campus that we think will help students and their families in pursuing their college dreams," Danilo Rincon, a senior at the Academy for Urban Planning, said.
The success center opened last week, but is the culmination of two years of work by students and community leaders who say teens need the extra support.
The center, staffed by students as well as representatives of a community partner, Make the Road New York, will provide a range of services, including help preparing for the SAT, filling out college applications, and applying for scholarships. The success center also provides a quiet place where students can do homework and where mentors can help resolve student conflicts.
"We are beginning by offering conflict mediation services, college access support for students and parents, and a mentoring program for young men," the center’s coordinator, Donald Humphrey, said. "We hope our efforts can lay the groundwork for the creation of Student Success Centers on high school campuses throughout the City."
In fact, success centers are being planned at other high school campuses in the coming years. At Bushwick, a combination of public money and private funds, including donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Deutsche Bank, pay for the program.