IN-Tech Academy celebrates seniors with march

The inaugural event helps bolster seniors’ excitement


IN-Tech Academy seniors went back in time last Friday as Principal David Weissberg guided them on the school’s first college and career march.

The event harkens back to a time when some schools would march all the seniors to the local post office to mail their college applications in the days before virtual applications.

Weissberg modeled this event off that idea and intends for it to be a yearly celebration in honor of the hard work the seniors have put in.

The senior class all wore black crewneck sweaters with white lettering on the back – “College Career March 2023 — Futures Ignite.”

Underclassmen have joined the celebration, holding up signs that read “You will change the world” and “Dream big. Dreams come true.”

Isabelle Veloz, a senior at the school, found the event to be a delightful surprise.

She did not imagine so many students, parents, and faculty were going to show up. Veloz describes the event as a celebration she is happy to attend.  She said she has already received responses from some of the 26 schools she applied for — all acceptances.

A group of guidance counselors stood among the students, chatting and laughing.

“It makes them feel appreciated and seen.

“That’s always important because our students and the demographics that we serve sometimes go unnoticed. I think it’s important for us to celebrate them as much as we can,” said Constance Boakye, one of the school’s guidance counselors who specializes in post-secondary counseling.

Rosanne Matos has been working at IN-Tech as a guidance counselor for 16 years.

She thinks events like this one make clear to the children that they have the support of not only their school but the surrounding community as well.

IN-Tech Academy is a school for grades six through 12. Many of the students have walked these halls prior to high school.

Ibrahim Muniru, a graduating senior, has been attending IN-Tech since the seventh grade. Muniru said that he feels proud to have made it to this moment.

He’s hoping to graduate and pursue a career as an engineer.

“They’re giving us our flowers. Preparing us for the outside world,” said senior Julane Hines.

According to Hines, the school has been vastly supportive of the college application process.

She said her guidance counselor is always present when she needs her and they email back and forth frequently.

She also credits the school for offering her pre-college opportunities.

Junior classman India Chambers joined the day’s celebration and said she was happy to support her upperclassmen. When Chambers graduates in another year she will be a full graduate of IN-Tech, having started at the school in her sixth-grade year.

“I want this to happen for me”, she said of the celebration.

As the class left campus on their march they were cheered on by elementary school students from neighboring Multiple Intelligence School.

The younger students waved banners, blew noisemakers, and shouted in celebration of the older students.

The class marched in a loop to the Milton Fein School.

When the students marched back to campus they were greeted by the sounds of the school’s band. They play songs like “Hey Ya” by Outkast and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

When the band finished their performance the crowd cheered for an encore until they played a compilation of Bruno Mars songs.

The ceremony concluded with speeches.

“Don’t let anybody try to hold you down. You rise up to the occasion,” state Sen. Robert Jackson said.

Gil Vazquez, president and executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation, delivered an address to the class. He confesses that he is not a college graduate.

“Education is about a hunger for knowledge and a commitment to lifelong learning,” he continued.

“Education is the passport to the future. It opens doors, it brings down barriers, and it empowers you to take change.”

Principal Weissberg then called up Madelaine De La Cruz, the school’s bilingual psychologist and a graduate of the first class to graduate from IN-Tech Academy.

She told the class that being able to stand in front of them has fulfilled a goal of hers, to come back to the same school she once loved and help guide the students as the school once did for her.

Other teachers and local advocates took the stage to send their well wishes and encouragement to the seniors.

The rest of the day included lunch and games for the graduating class.

Weissberg said IN-Tech is anticipating an 86 percent graduation rate for the Class of 2024.

Of the colleges applied to they have applied for more than 17 colleges and universities in New York State.

Among the majority of colleges students have applied to are Lehman College, Bronx Community College, City College, the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, Manhattan College, Alfred University, and Farmingdale State College.

IN-Tech Academy, seniors, march, David Weissberg