Check out the latest news from Democracy Prep Alumni Relations! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
issue V DECEMBER 18, 2015
AR loves when alums are active, engaged, and socially conscious! This month we’re highlighting Taraun Frontis (DP19, Boston College). Not only is Taraun truly representing GRIT, but more impressive is that he’s doing so during his first semester in college! He’s on the executive board for the Black United Front; he’s active in BC’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GLC); he’s part of the Black History Month Planning Committee, where he’s in charge of planning the opening ceremony; he’s a mentee in the Ella Baker Mentorship; and he’s a member of a students of color collective tasked with meeting every department’s dean to create equal opportunities for all people of color on campus. All this while managing his first-semester’s class-load AND absolutely killin’ it in his role as an AR Alumni Captain! Here’s to Taraun and his dedication! 
"congratulations to the dp seniors on getting into harvard and brown so far, and on the many other great acceptances yet to come!! best of luck to all of you guys. you can do it! ‪#‎proudalum‬ 💕💕"

Cynthia Katwaru (DP19, Mt. Holyoke)
via FB post

"I came into college thinking I would meet great individuals like the ones in this photo, but that isn't the case. You guys are irreplaceable, and although we don't talk everyday you guys are all still a great part of my life (there are way more ppl lol I just felt like posting this pic) 💗"

– Kiaina Gomez (DP17, Brandeis University)
via FB post, refering to photo of DP kids
Tanaya Cardenales (DP18, Connecticut College) is the treasurer of her school’s Black Student Union, which meets weekly to discuss “Hot Topics.” Tanaya realized these “Hot Topics” always involved young men of color, but never young women. Concerned, she’s created a new group that addresses this lack of representation. She says, “The group’s mission will be to provide a safe environment promoting self-love, confidence, and acceptance of imperfections for young women of color.” She hopes to give young women an opportunity to give back to their communities through good deeds and service-work. The group will meet weekly this winter, and while it’s currently comprised almost entirely of other DP alums, Tanaya wants it to grow into something much larger. “I am so excited because I love hearing other people's stories,” she says. 
Every winter break, DP alums gather for an AR-sponsored event where they can have fun and catch up. Last January, we played dodgeball. This January we’re having two events, one playful and one serious. “We Can Skate” is scheduled for January 7 at Riverbank State Park, where we’ll ice-skate and eat lunch together. Alums must bring at least one canned good to donate to a local shelter. The following Monday, we’ll meet at Badger Park for an evening event called “Can We Talk About This?” Alums will engage in intimate, much-needed discourse on race and racism at college; we’ll watch videos, have break-out groups, and leave with useful action-steps –– all, of course, over a good meal in a safe and supportive space. 
Each fall AR sends college-enrolled DP alums a survey to assess their performance across four pillars of college success: academic, financial, social, and advocacy. The survey identifies areas of achievement and growth and reveals patterns that help us target our support and develop programming. For this most recent survey, 98% of alumni completed the survey versus 86% in 2014 and 75% in 2013. This increase is notable because we have a more complete set of responses and because it signals how effectively our team has engaged alums.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of chaperoning high school scholars on a trip to Washington DC. I'll never forget when Abraham Dokie asked me when he would have time to do souvenir shopping. Exasperated, I reminded him that the purpose of the trip was not shopping but to visit colleges and provide public oral testimony for the opening of Democracy Prep Congress Heights. How surprised and moved was I when he told me he wanted to get his younger sibling a DC momento, so that they could also look forward to a similar college trip. 

Flash forward two years to his first semester at Brooklyn College when he appeared in a full suit in our CMO office, preparing for an interview and talking to me about mentoring younger Democracy Prep scholars.

Viviana Perez, Civics Program Specialist
meet the team
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Major SHOUTOUT to the amazing Mark Cheng from Data Team. With his guidance, we were finally able to disaggregate a lot of important information into useful Pivot Tables! Thanks, Mark!
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