Annual Steps to Success graduation ceremony recognizes graduates

Colby Sutton, Staff Writer

Steps to Success is a comprehensive educational achievement program providing academic, social development and family support for low-income students and their families. On Tuesday, at the Brookline Teen Center students from grades four to 12 were recognized with various awards and accolades from advisors and teachers.

The 2017 Steps graduating class included Jack Armand, Wesley Beaumont, Imani Del Valle, Jason Desire, Duyen Ho, Marquis Miller, Mercedes Paulino Bruno, Julissa Perez, Tyra Pierre, Aaliyah Roberts, Rogelio Rodas, Luis Roman, Fozan Sadiq, Owen Saki, Questin Syed and Salina Zhou.

The Teen Center was packed with students and adults of all ages, socializing, eating dinner and enjoying the many activities. The mood was light, parents and students alike talking to different teachers and advisors.

Shoma Haque, executive director of the Steps to Success program says that this is an annual event to highlight students of all ages.

“Every year we have a recognition ceremony that recognizes all of our students and families and gives out particular awards that highlight specific students, from grades four to 12, even some college students.” Haque said.

The ceremony was hosted by senior Yama Estim and recent high school graduate Wesley Beaumont.

The presentations began with a singing performance by students from the Lower Devotion School’s 4th graders. The performance captured the attention of the audience and included hits such as Bon Jovi’s “We’re Halfway There”.

One high-profile guest to speak at the ceremony was Superintendent Andrew Bott, who gave a speech about setting and achieving goals The first round of awards were given to 8th graders from the William Lincoln, Edward Devotion, Amos A. Lawrence and John R.Pierce schools by their respective Steps to Success advisors.

A powerful speech recited at the ceremony was given by Alternative Choices in Education (ACE) teacher and “Hats Off” award winner, Kara Lopez. This award is given to the student or teacher that displays exceptional values of hard working and integrity. Lopez talked about the impact that all of her students had on her and how grateful she is to all of her student for making her a better teacher. The speech became very emotional when she began to talk directly to her student and award presenter, Alana Roach.

Another highpoint of the ceremony were the remarks of Headmaster Anthony Meyer, who talked about the successes that the program has achieved over the years that he has been at the high school.

The next round of awards were given to the high school students in the program by high school advisors, Melissa Sirin, Kendall Jones and Adebukola Ajao. These Awards were capped off by a meaningful speech from recent BHS graduate Tyra Pierre.

The ceremony wrapped up with Awards given to former Steps to Success students and college students. Anisa Noor, who is a student at UMass Boston and former Steps to Success student was the final speaker of the evenin