Principal Philip Santos has called The Friends of Leadership “a blessing” for its support of the high school.

Over the years, we have received many expressions of gratitude from Leadership Juniors to whom we have awarded Scholarships in order to participate in Syracuse University Summer College for 6 weeks on the upstate NY campus and acquire 6 college credits.

Following their participation in 2015 SU Summer College, students wrote to us about their entire experience. Here are some excerpts from what they wrote:

Evelyn Angamarca (who graduated in June 2016 as Valedictorian of her Leadership class & will be matriculating at SU in the fall!)

Dear Friends of Leadership,

I would like to express my gratitude for the scholarship I was granted, to attend the summer program at Syracuse. Your great generosity was more than beneficial to my academic career.

At Syracuse, I was able to explore new things and mold new friendships, all while getting ahead in my education. The classes I took were all very rigorous and challenging. . . .

Besides the enlightening classes, the friendships I made at Syracuse became very special to me. The most exciting part was that they were from places all over, like Boston, Turkey, Chicago and Connecticut. . . .

An unforgettable experience, the time I spent at Syracuse this past summer would not have been possible without your financial support. I am eternally grateful for your help in my academic and personal achievements.

Celeste Hernandez (who graduated Leadership in June 2016 as the class Salutatorian and will also be attending SU in the fall!)

Dear Friends of Leadership,

First off, I want to thank you for giving me the best summer that I have ever experienced. Besides allowing me to take college classes, you have also allowed me to come out of my shell and meet incredible people that I have become friends with. The idea of taking college classes at first intimidated me because I thought I wasn’t ready. But having the opportunity gave me a boost of confidence that I never knew I needed. . . .

Secondly, the summer at Syracuse has made me want to work harder in my AP classes and all my classes in general. . . .

Out of this experience, I received closer friendships, a new view on life and new confidence in myself.

Brianna Sims (who also graduated in the Leadership class of 2016 and will be attending college in the fall)

Dear Friends of Leadership,

Summer College was a surreal experience for me. Coming from the city, where I don’t have much space of my own, Syracuse gave me the space to breath. I learned that it was possible to be academically challenged and still have fun. I learned new things about myself and others, developed new study habits, learned time management skills, and how not to get caught in the shower during a fire drill; and that was just over the course of 6 weeks. It was a glimpse into what my next years could look like, and I really liked what I saw in that short time. I came back to high school with fresh motivation. I owe you my gratitude for giving me this amazing opportunity.

Dania Rodriquez, one of our Scholarship recipients

The first week is almost over and there has been so much going on already! My classes are great and the campus is so exciting, I’m not quite sure I’m going to want to leave! Our first trip is tomorrow to Ithaca and Cornell! Thank you so much for not only the trips but for giving us the wonderful opportunity for attending Summer College this summer! I definitely feel more sure and super excited to go away for college next year. I’m looking forward to the next 5 weeks!

Valerine Gomez, one of our Scholarship recipients

Everything is going very well. All the students here are so friendly and we have made lots of friends! Some students come from different places, including Miami, China, California and even Turkey! It is great! I also want to say thank you very much for the trip opportunities and I already signed up to take advantage of them. My classes are definitely challenging, but so interesting. I also have an appointment on Sunday for the writing center, so I’ll definitely take advantage of that as well.