Nearly 200 ninth-grade students from all eight Yonkers Public Schools were sworn in as Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) Scholars, a community of students preparing for success in college and beyond.
This year, the Induction Ceremony was held virtually with incoming Scholars and their families. Several YPIE Seniors, who have been YPIE Scholars throughout high school, shared inspiring words with this incoming class.
“...the college process was pretty daunting and stressful, but I would just like to thank YPIE for making it a little less stressful,” said Natalie. “With all the help that I have received. I feel like I definitely am going to have an amazing future.”
“When you are in high school and realize you're going through a lot of things...you feel really overwhelmed,” Hillary added. “But I have always found like a place at YPIE where I can feel safe, feel calm.”
YPIE received a record number of applicants for its YPIE Scholars program this year. After completing a detailed application and attending a virtual Open House, these YPIE Scholars were selected because of their drive, commitment, and focus on their future.
“You’re part of something special,” stated Sam Wallis, YPIE Executive Director, “You were all selected because we saw something in you. You were selected to become a YPIE Scholar for a reason. You're in exactly the right place, you belong here, and we can't wait to work with you.”
Many of the YPIE Seniors also shared their recommendations with the incoming 9th-grade Scholars:
“One piece of advice I’d like to give to the incoming freshman is to take every opportunity you get,” said Lovebright. “It doesn’t matter how small it is because it can definitely help you at some point in time in your life.”
“Never think you can’t ask your fellow upperclassmen or teachers for help and for those who think the sky is the limit, remember to shoot for the stars,” Gian added
“One piece of advice I'd like to give to our new YPIE Scholars is to be encouraged,” Jaylene stated. “These are hard times, but keep on persevering and be as ambitious as you can be because it will grow character and grit.”
The Induction Ceremony concluded with new Scholars reciting the YPIE Commitment to Excellence and enthusiastic applause as their names were presented by school on the screen.
YPIE Scholars receive rigorous academic tutoring, assistance throughout the college process, and invaluable support from YPIE staff and volunteer mentors from our community.
“I’m a first-generation student...both of my parents have never been to college,” shared Hillary, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic right before 9th Grade. “But it's the support that you receive, knowing that there are other people who are going to be listening to you...providing you with the answers that you need...I think that's something that you cannot really find somewhere else.”