The Foundation Academy Collegiate Class of 2022 includes more than 70 students, all living in Trenton. Every graduating senior has been accepted into a college or university, including New Jersey Institute of Technology, Howard University, The Juilliard School, Harvard University, The College of New Jersey and Mercer County Community College among others. Plans include a future pursuing engineering, barbering, business, automotive technology, computer science, nursing and psychology.“These students are making Trenton proud and proving that hard work pays off,” said Foundation Academies Chief Academic Officer Sheria McRae. “I will miss each of them and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish next.” McRae will become Chief Executive Officer at Foundation Academies in July, when Graig Weiss steps down after 13 years of leading the public charter school. McRae joined FA in 2010. She is a Trenton native who lives in the city, a Teach for America alumna and a former English teacher. Foundation Academies confirmed 100% college acceptance for all graduating seniors for the eighth year in a row. By tradition, FA seniors announce their “next steps” alongside family and friends during the annual Senior Signing Day event, held this year in FA Collegiate Athletic Center near the campus at 22 Grand Street. Gathering in person after two years of pandemic restrictions made this event extra-special, said Collegiate Principal Isabel Goss. “These seniors have persevered through challenging circumstances to reach their goals. I am so proud of who they are – and who they will become.” John Salvetta, FA Collegiate College and Career Advisor, begins working with students in 11th grade to help them explore options, pursue scholarships and choose a path that fits their personal goals. “Through working hard to maintain strong grades and finding the right matching colleges and universities, the Class of 2022 has collectively earned more than $15 million in academic scholarships and grants,” he said. “THAT is an amazing accomplishment!” That total includes scholarships and awards based on merit from colleges and universities, as well as individual scholarship awards from community organizations and Friends of Foundation Academies. Salvetta presented the Jonathan D. Krist Scholarship to Olanyi Fernandez. The scholarship, in memory of a talented musician who was killed in a car accident, is supported by his family which partners with FA’s music program. Seniors also received community scholarships. Anna Bull of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority announced awards to FA seniors Leah Gause and Aniya Stewart. Randy Morrison from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity awarded the Talent Hunt Scholarship to Aaliyah Jenkins. The nonprofit Friends of Foundation Academies also awarded several scholarships. Gifts to the Friends of FA provide each graduate enrolled in postsecondary studies with a Persistence Grant of $250 to help defray costs of books, transportation, and educational supplies. In addition, the Friends Board announced four $10,000 Round Table Scholarships supported by The Knight Fund to support FA Collegiate graduates “to and through” college. 2022 Round Table recipients include Aaliyah Jenkins, Terrill Briggs, Raymarie Martinez and Nomy Yanes-Castro. The Ronald C. Brady Award, named for FA’s founder, is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated grit and resilience to overcome obstacles and achieve his or her goals. This year’s award recipient is Vicky Weng. The Artisan Award recognizes a graduate who exemplifies persistence, passion, and commitment to a trade or vocation. This year’s recipient is Erick Corona, who will be studying automotive technology. This year, the Friends of Foundation Academies renamed the annual Alumni Changemaker Award for an alum committed to a career serving “the greater good,” to honor FA’s departing CEO, a changemaker who has left a lasting impact on our school community. The Graig Weiss Alumni Changemaker Award was awarded to Elijah Edu, Class of 2019. Senior Signing Day special guests included representatives from Montclair State University, Rider University, Stockton University, the Trenton Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Trenton Chapter. The event was supported by community organizations, business owners and residents who joined a virtual “cheering section.” FA thanks lead sponsor CBIZ Bordman Perlman, along with Bits N’ Pieces, the Henriques Family, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc- Trenton Sigmas, Boutique by Julies, Home Rubber Co., Spring Forward, the Falconi Family, Karl Weidel Inc., Eugene Underwood, Hatfield Schwartz Law Group, and One Up One Down Coffee.
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