On Friday, more than 2,000 students from 28 high schools across 14 cities gathered virtually for event, which is meant to build a college-going culture among students.
Many who attend NYC Outward Bound Schools, a citywide network of public schools that teach primarily students from undeserved neighborhoods, are the first in their families to apply to college.
“I have been waiting for this day since I was 11 years old,” said Haily Rosario, a senior at WHEELS, a school in Washington Heights. “Ever since the sixth grade, I have seen the WHEELS seniors celebrate their accomplishments together on this special day. Today is finally my turn.”
The College March began ten years ago at WHEELS, and has grown to include nine other NYC Outward Bound high schools across the city, such as the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS) in Forest Hills.
Among the elected officials who attended the virtual celebration on Friday were Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents Washington Heights, and Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger, who chairs the council’s Committee on Education.
“Our students have done such incredible work to get here,” Treyger said. “I have been so impressed, and know they are going to continue doing great things in college and beyond.”
Former New York Knicks star John Starks served as the event’s guest speaker and offered advice to the students.
“Take time to appreciate and thank everyone who has helped you get to where you are today,” Starks said. “No one does it alone, you are part of a team.”