Bidding Farewell to the Class of 2017

On Thursday, June 29, we celebrated the success of 63 Broome Street Academy seniors at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center as they head off to the schools of their dreams and opportunities of a lifetime. Nearly 80% of graduates have been accepted to college, with more than $100,000 in scholarships awarded just for them. They will soon attend some of the top schools in the country, with one graduate even shipping overseas to study at the University of East London!

BSA Board President David Zurndorfer opened the ceremony by reading a letter from Governor Cuomo congratulating the students and the school on their successes. While Rahzel Muschamp, our valedictorian and senior class president, moved the audience with her stirring speech.

Rahzel is a remarkable student who overcame personal hardships and academic obstacles with her tireless work ethic and support from BSA. She enrolled in the most rigorous classes available, participated in various afterschool clubs, and volunteered for numerous community service projects. She was also one of the first students in the Hamilton Education Program, and has even met Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Even though BSA is a small school, it has provided me with amazing opportunities and support. Plus it’s in the epicenter of New York City.” With a few college credits already under her belt, Rahzel will attend the prestigious New York University next year on a full scholarship.

The ceremony was designed to give students the chance to celebrate their well-deserved achievement with friends and family, and with the teachers and staff members who helped them throughout the years. Each graduate was presented with a diploma by his or her CHAMPION, the BSA staff member who provided them with one-on-one support and encouragement every step of the way.

Bryan Terrell Clark, who currently stars as George Washington in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, delivered a rousing keynote address and spoke about the limitless potential of our students: “I want you to understand that where you are as a young person right now doesn’t define who you are. Some of you have gone through some things that no one else would ever understand. But those circumstances don’t define you.  You define you!  You can take the good and the bad in your life…and build on those things to become who you really want to be.”

A committed supporter of BSA, he also served as our MC at last year’s gala. “When I came to BSA, I was blown away by the impact that this school has on the lives of young people. Education and the arts shaped my future. BSA makes sure that every student, regardless of their circumstances, has both available to them. I jumped at the chance to be involved in any way. ”

BSA students succeed because of supporters like you who help us provide intensive, individualized resources for each student until the day they graduate. We hope that you’ll make a gift to BSA, so we can continue to offer our students the educational rigor and social support they deserve.

Be sure to also check out more photos from the big day on our Facebook page!