It's a new tradition — students marching off to mail in their college applications — as fellow students cheer them on. Friday was the day for this year's "College March." And NY1's Roger Clark explains what it's all about.
Seniors at the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies in Carroll Gardens get a rousing roar of approval from fellow students as they headed off to the post office in nearby Red Hook.
It wasn't long before they reached their destination, to mail their college applications. Their public school is one of 11 in the city operated by NYC Outward Bound Schools — an arm of the Outward Bound outdoor education organization.
"The academics are really demanding and challenging, like on an Outward Bound Course, and there's a real focus on community and character," said President of NYC Outward Bound Schools, Richard Stopol.
The College Marches first began four years ago, and this year 800 seniors made their way from schools to post offices citywide, with thousands of others cheering them on. Many are the first generation in their families to apply to college.
"I have two older brothers, and I'm going to be the first one to go off to college," said Jonathan Diaz, a senior at Brooklyn Collaborative School. "So it's a big deal for me and my family that I'm going. And it means a lot to them and me."
The march is a celebration of the hard work of Outward Bound students and their successes — 97% of its graduates in the city last June were accepted to college. Brooklyn Collaborative expects all of its current seniors to get admission offers. The school gets a waiver from the state to allow them to emphasize performance-based assessment tests rather than regents exams to review student achievement.
"It's a graduation requirement that you present before a panel and it's very aligned with the work you would do in college," Stopol said.
So now these kids are ready, the march a great way to spread the word in the community about their success.
"I think it's something that I'm really proud of," said student Anahi Sandoval.
"Having everybody out here to support is amazing," Diaz said. "And it makes you feel really great."
The college marches were not just limited to here in New York City but all around the country. In total 1,600 students in 11 cities participated.