On the evening of May 15th, 2014, EduMaKate hit a milestone event with our EduMaKate Graduation Ceremony for the students at High School for Arts & Business. It’s been a long journey, but we all made it! The event, which was held at the Cafetorium of HSAB, honored the 2014 Chapter School graduates from HSAB and all of their accomplishments to date.
The ceremony, which was emceed by Co-President Arthur Gukasyan, kicked off beautifully, with speeches given by HSAB principal Zambrano and Co-President Vladimir Yelizarov, who gave an inspiring speech that described EduMaKate’s mission to help underserved youths attain knowledge on various vocational paths, the goal to keep high school students on the track to graduation and higher education, as well as the potential impact EduMaKate and its students can have on their communities. Chief Executive Officer Raul Noriega gave a rousing speech as well, telling the students that “…we wanted to give back, so we came home.”
The graduates enjoyed a lovely lunch, with Italian cuisine provided by D’Angelo’s Pizza and blue velvet and vanilla cupcakes provided by [insert bakery name]. As the students dined on their lunch, they were treated to a video presentation, prepared and edited by Arthur Gukasyan, that showcased all of the highlights for their school year. The video was funny but touching, and was enjoyed by students and parents alike.
As a special treat to the students, EduMaKate brought in an illusionist named Alex, also known as The Magnificent Alex, who performed various tricks and mental illusions, such as card tricks and shirt changing tricks. One of his most delightful and surprising tricks was having a student sign a playing card and place it back into the deck. Upon shuffling the deck and looking for the card, it magically reappeared on a closed case all the way in the back of the room.
After The Magnificent Alex performed for almost an hour, the event proceeded to the awards presentation. It began with certificates of appreciation and a Silver Star award given to Ms. Francine Norman, the facilitator for the program. She has been a wonderful and invaluable part of the process of helping EduMaKate provide knowledge and resources to the students.
In lieu of giving just one award to a student or raffling off prizes, EduMaKate presented the students with Certificates of Completion and 7” Android tablets provided by a partnership with Micro Center in Queens.
We are proud of our EduMakate HSAB Chapter School graduates and of all the hard work they have put in. We would like to give a special thanks to D’Angelos and [bakery] for their catering services, to Adam McClaren at Micro Center in Queens for helping arrange for the acquisition of the tablets, to Principal Zambrano and Francine Norman from HSAB for all their help and support. Thank you to all EduMaKate members for all their hard work. And a very special thanks to Mr. Stephen Drakes, the founding principal of HSAB, who inspired us to make a difference in our community.