Last week, 2,000 students across the five boroughs graduated from Pathways to Graduation at Washington Height’s United Palace.
“They go through a lot of things, so when they finally get to this point, it’s so incredible, ” said Morris, who watched Carrillo along with his fellow Pathways students from the five boroughs receive their diplomas last week.
The crowed erupted in applause as one woman walked across the stage while holding a young child on her hip. Another student, 21-year-old Angela Rapp, needed the program in order to conclude her years of homeschooling and received an academic award in doing so. Rapp said she took advantage of Pathways’ internship opportunities after passing her exam a month after her enrollment in the program. She is set to study sociology at Brooklyn College this fall.
Lisante plans to broaden the program in time for this September by incorporating more nighttime options for students who enroll in Pathways, as well as offering the program to students up to the age of 24.
Pathways has been steadily growing throughout the years, according to Lisante. He recalled how usually an auditorium at Hunter College would serve as big enough for the graduation ceremony to be held in past years, but because of the growing amount of graduates, a location change was needed.
“Now it looks like we’re outgrowing this,” Lisante said as the graduates crossed the stage.
As for the student who had once deemed the institution of education as a total lost cause for him, Carrillo earned himself a special award for his progress through the program and is now at LaGuardia Community College studying audio engineering. He says he owes much of his success to his teachers at Pathways who “embraced” the person he was — something he had not previously experienced.