Students receive top marks at Holy Cross


Making the dean’s list anywhere is no mean feat. But when it happens at one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, it’s all the more cause for celebration.

Two local students were among nearly 1,500 Holy Cross students making the list last fall: Julianne Esteves and Justin Hudson. Esteves is a junior majoring in biology, while Hudson, a sophomore, hasn’t declared a major quite yet.

In order to make the dean’s list at Holy Cross, students must pass four or more classes and accumulate a GPA of 3.5 or higher during the semester.

Espaillat announces challenge winners

STEM and coding are quickly becoming the way of the future. And to encourage that, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosted the Congressional App Challenge to test the computer science skills of middle and high school students from New York’s 13th Congressional District.

Each participant submitted a video demonstrating how their app works, which is then judged by a panel of educators and entrepreneurs.

This year, the winning team was a group of students from Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering. Their app’s goal was to help high school and college students apply active learning to their study habits.

The second-place winners, a team of twin brothers who also attend Columbia Secondary School, created an app to spread information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic quickly and accurately.

The third-place winner, Aviva Schwarz, is a senior at the Bronx High School of Science. She also created an app related to COVID-19, making information both easily accessible and available through video feeds of popular city destinations.

Bowman wants debt cancellation

Seemingly everyone with a dog in the fight wants to get their two cents in on what President Joe Biden should do in his first 100 days in office. And New York-based lawmakers want college students — past and present — to be included in those plans.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined newly minted U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones to call on the Biden administration to forgive up to $50,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers across America.

The student debt crisis continues to grow each year, with Bowman noting the sum had reached $1.6 trillion. And nearly $90 billion of that debt belongs to students in New York.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported the average student loan balance here was $34,600, and the average New York City resident owes more than $38,000 in student debt. Both are higher than the national average of $32,700.

Bowman noted Biden could implement this loan forgiveness program through executive action — and Bowman urged him to do exactly that.

“Forgiving $50,000 in student debt will change young people’s lives, particularly for Black young people, who hold far more debt than their white peers,” Bowman said. “It’s the right thing to do. And I urge the Biden administration to act.”