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Check out the latest news from Democracy Prep Alumni Relations! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
issue VII march 7, 2016
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This month we’re shining our AR spotlight on Tayler Raysor (DP19, CUNY City Tech). She’s a city-based alum who’s rocking her college experience while remaining active in the DP community. When she first started at City Tech, Tayler was afraid she’d have a hard time meeting people; she not only met people in every class, but has made friends close enough to support her through academic and personal tribulations. Despite some rough patches, Tayler earned above a 3.0 GPA! Most importantly, she’s proud that she’s becoming a leader and expanding her social network. About her plans, Tayler says, “My career goal is to start a business with my close family members.” When not in school sharpening her leadership skills, she’s gaining important experience at DPHE. She started her internship there last December and, according to her supervisor Stephanie Pepen, “has become a key member of our operations team.” She’s moved on from small office tasks to larger projects, like planning the school’s talent show. More impressive is her direct work with DPHE’s Family Impact Coordinator. According to Stephanie Pepen, “Taylor has been working very closely with our FIC with aiding in events to incentivize and reward scholar behavior,” adding, “she has become an invaluable asset.” Props to Tayler!
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Once you walked into Badger Park, I knew you would be an amazing addition to the family. You are such a beautiful, positive, and vibrant person. Your energy bounces off you and onto others in a positive way. I really want to thank you even though I thanked you a lot for this but my mother and I really appreciate your help with FAFSA. It is not easy being a first generation student, so your support was very helpful. I cannot wait for us to collaborate on this event for sexual assaults on college campuses. I do not think people realize how much these things happen. No one realizes that it can happen to them or someone that they know. Please continue to be the wonderful person you are. You may not know this, but a lot people are thankful for you. They may not express it a lot, but trust me they do thank you. P.S. She knows who she is <3.
 
Tanaya Cardenales (DP18, Connecticut College) via grant request essay [dedicated to AR’s Cinthia Pimentel]

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Nothing Felt Better Than Cutting A Piece Of Net In My Freshman Year Of College...On That Note 2016 NECC Champs And Heading To The NCAA Tourney ‪#‎Blessed‬ ‪#‎Freshman‬ ‪#‎SVC‬ 🏀🏆🙌💍

Jackson Amankrah (DP19, SVC) via FB after winning conference championship! 
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We love when our alums are involved in extracurriculars, especially ones they’re passionate about. Music is everything for Elisha Odinga (DP18, Bard College). Eli admits he felt out of his element when he began at Bard, unable to find like-minded folks who shared his love for rap. Then he discovered Bard Bars, a club hoping to diversify the campus music scene through Hip-Hop. Now, he says, “being able to work on my music, perform, and be around other people that love Hip-Hop has been making my time at Bard go by a lot smoother.” Through Bard Bars he’s been able to perform several times on campus, and has access to recording equipment which he’s using to complete his second project – something he’s been working on since 2014, saying, “I want to take time to keep polishing my craft through experiences.” But that’s not all! Eli’s also involved in Brothers at Bard (BAB), a campus-based mentoring and tutoring program. All while managing a full load of classes. 
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After driving hundreds of miles through the northeast delivering good vibes, AR is finally taking its talents south to visit alums we almost never get to see! In April we’ll be headed for North Carolina, hitting three schools there and four others along the way. In all we’ll see seven campuses: Princeton, Rosemont, the US Naval Academy, Howard, North Carolina A&T, Duke, and Salem. Why do we want to target these areas? First to drive home the necessity and urgency of earning a high GPA to students whose scholarships depend on it. More importantly, we want to increase student engagement for and learn the academic well-being of students who still have not provided their transcripts or are less in touch with our team. In keeping with these efforts to increase student engagement, we hope to spend the whole day and stay overnight in most areas. Of the 19 alums we’ll see, 11 are freshmen –– that’s to say, ones most in need of support and familiarity. Visiting freshmen is one of AR’s priorities.

Stay tuned for a full report! 
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So far we’ve collected 75% of all alumni transcripts. The most notable glow? Average GPA is up from 2.44 last spring semester to 2.52. We even had two alums earn a perfect 4.0! It’s also important to highlight than on average alums are earning 91% of the credits they attempt. We’re continuing our data analysis, so be on the lookout for more details in coming newsletters.  
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One of my absolute favorite moments in my teaching career was during our production of RENT. I'll never forget the courage and passion the cast exhibited. I've never seen such bravery and commitment to telling a story, especially by teenagers. They exceeded my expectations in every way. I'm grateful to have been a part of it.

Jerry Phelps, Director of Arts Education
RECALL
meet the team
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Major S/O to Ant and Greg from Communications 
for their awesome work on our college prep videos, which DPCHS seniors loved to see during our senior advisory lessons.
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