Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy graduates its first class of Seniors in 2015

Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy (BLCPA) will graduate its first class of Seniors in June 2015, with 98% of Seniors accepted into a 4-year college or university. To date, 40 of our 41 (98%) Seniors have been accepted at a 4-year college or university. Our college acceptances represent a wide array of college types, including the Ivy League (Cornell University), the Sister Colleges (Wellesley College, Barnard College), the Colleges That Change Lives (Ursinus College, Clark University), state universities of New York (Binghamton University, Stony Brook University), and city universities of New York (Baruch College, Hunter College), among many others. Students were exposed to many colleges through college visits and admissions representative visits to BLCPA. Students then applied to a variety of colleges, including private, SUNY, and CUNY colleges. They were strategic in applying to a variety of reach, target, and safety schools. And nearly 40 percent applied to colleges as early applicants, which in many cases, increases the likelihood of acceptance.

BLCPA is located in the South Bronx, a neighborhood that is often noted for its poverty and crime – it is part of congressional district 16, which according to the 2010 Census has the highest poverty in the country, and the 41st Precinct, which consistently records the highest violent crime rate per capita in New York City. The four-year cohort graduation rate city-wide was 68.4 percent for the class of 2014 – students who entered school in the fall of 2010 – and the district-wide (district 12) rate is even lower (54.1 percent).

Admission to BLCPA is lottery-based, and the student body represents the population of the community. Eightynine percent of students in the school receive free or reduced price lunch, and 79 percent of the Senior class will be the first generation in their families to receive a 4-year degree. BLCPA operates solely on per-pupil funding provided by law. Our unique arts-infused, K-12 college prep program allows us to achieve our results with the resources already allocated.

“We’ve been able to put our students on a different trajectory in life,” said Principal Dianne Hardcastle.

At a school assembly, she spoke about one Senior who earned over 63,000 dollars in grant and scholarship aid: “To give you all a sense of what [she] accomplished – she worked her butt off for 4 years, and now that’s adding up to just over 240,000 dollars at one of the best colleges in this country.”

One Senior, who entered BLCPA at the beginning of her Sophomore year, wrote: “At BLCPA, both the teachers and my fellow students instilled in me a totally different attitude towards academics. In the past, I would hardly do any schoolwork, but now…students were doing more than just being good scholars, they were well-rounded and active in school.” Through a dual focus on rigorous college preparatory academics and arts-infused learning, students at BLCPA make incredible strides toward their shared goal of attaining a college education.

The outstanding achievements of the BLCPA class at 2015 will be celebrated at graduation, which will be held at Fordham Rose Hill Campus, McGinley Ballroom, on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 2:00-4:00pm.