On Tuesday, December 20th, YPIE hosted its first in-person Induction Ceremony since the before the pandemic. We were thrilled to welcome more than 200 9th-graders from across all eight Yonkers public high schools as our newest class of YPIE Scholars.
Held at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, students, family members, and YPIE staff joined to celebrate the newest YPIE Scholars as they embark on their journeys to college.
YPIE’s Executive Director Sam Wallis, welcomed students to YPIE, commending them for taking the first step towards achieving their goals by applying for the program. “This group is even more extraordinary,” he shared, “because you have made this commitment to yourself amidst the most challenging times. Amidst such a tough time, you found it within yourself to think about your future.”
YPIE was grateful to have Mayor Mike Spano and Superintendent Dr. Edwin M. Quezada in attendance, both sharing inspiring words with the community.
Current Yonkers 12th grade YPIE Scholars, Hector and Josue, shared their experiences with the incoming class of freshmen. Both students discussed the ways YPIE has helped them decide what they want to pursue in college by providing additional opportunities for learning and exploration.
Josue was inspired to become an English teacher and has developed his public speaking skills in the YPIE Debate major. Hector spoke of YPIE staff directing him to All Star Code, a highly competitive program that has been his first step on the path to studying Computer Science in college.
“I’m a YPIE Scholar Year of 2027 and I’d like to welcome you into the YPIE family, every single one of you, even the parents,” said Hector. “I can’t be more grateful for everything YPIE has done for me and everything we experienced together.”
“YPIE helped me with college, not just helping me to fill in the application, but making sure that I didn’t feel stressed,” Josue said. “The extra peer support from YPIE will really help you.”
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. “We are a community of Scholars on the path to college,” students repeated in unison after Josue, reciting the YPIE Commitment to Excellence.
The YPIE team looks forward to being there to support this newest class of YPIE Scholars throughout their journey to and through college!
See video of Sam and Josue before the ceremony started.