YONKERS, NY -- On Tuesday, May 24th STEER held its 8th annual Graduation Banquet. The evening celebrated the 10th Anniversary of STEER and brought together student-athletes, families, community partners, and STEER advisors from five different schools. Within Port Chester, Yonkers, and the Bronx, STEER serves students in Port Chester Middle School, Port Chester High School, Palisade Preparatory School, Charter School of Educational Excellence (CSEE), and Careers in Sports High School.
The evening began with introductions of the 46 student-athletes onboarded this school year. From CSEE, eight new STEER students, seven new STEER students from Palisade Prep, and thirty-one new STEER students from Port Chester schools.
Following these introductions, Dr. Hector Morales-Negron, Director of Peak Mental Game, recognized student-athletes that have completed levels 1 through 4 certifications from the Peak Mental Game program. Additionally, the top 10 highest performing PMG students and advisors were awarded gifts, prizes, and PMG-STEER swag.
The night went on to honor two members of the STEER community that has made significant contributions toward supporting STEER student-athletes this school year. The Humanitarian Awards were presented to Emily Kennan and Rachel Felenstein. Emily has worked with STEER this school year to supply sports equipment to our students, as well as connecting STEER to the Rye Big Give to provide students and families with holiday gift bags. Rachel works with Soul Ryeders to provide personalized resources, innovative programs, and community support to anyone in the New York Tri-State area impacted by any type of cancer. Rachel partnered with our STEER students to create fleece blankets and inspiration journals for cancer patients.
This year’s Byron Womack Awards for Excellence were awarded to four outstanding STEER Advisors: Laura Vushaj from Palisade Prep, Jeanine Maiolini from Port Chester, Paul Lopez from CSEE, and Joe Flucus from Careers in Sports High School. These four advisors have demonstrated their extraordinary commitment in going above and beyond to support student-athletes as well as their fellow STEER advisors.
At the center of the night’s highlights was STEER’s Class of 2022. This year’s class of fourteen seniors was comprised of students from both Port Chester and Careers in Sports High Schools. The following students graduated from the STEER program at last night’s event: Grad #83 Luis Alvarez of Port Chester (Attending SUNY Westchester), Grad #84 Sebastian Alvarez of Port Chester (Attending SUNY Cortland), Grad #85 Josselinne Ayavaca of Port Chester (Attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Grad #86 Britany Bautista (Attending SUNY Westchester), Grad #87 Brayan Coyt of Port Chester (Attending SUNY Westchester), Grad #88 Danny Davis of Port Chester (Attending Alfred State College), Grad #89 Isaiah Dempson of Port Chester (Attending Alfred State College), Grad #90 Nasir Faulknor of Careers in Sports High School (Attending University of Buffalo), Grad #91 Ashley Garcia of Port Chester (Attending Univeristy of Connecticut), Grad #92 Taylor Martin of Port Chester (Attending Morgan State University), Grad #93 Osvaldo Martinez of Careers in Sports High School (Attending Fordham University), Grad #94 Alex Morocho of Port Chester (Attending Mercy College), Grad #95 Byron Olmino of Port Chester (Attending SUNY Delhi), and Grad #96 Christian Torres of Port Chester (Attending American International College). The seniors were honored in traditional STEER fashion by receiving their alumni jackets.
Closing out the evening was the fourth annual awarding of Byron Womack scholarships through the Byron Womack Scholarship Fund. The Byron Womack Scholarship Fund was established in honor of the legacy and life work of STEER’s late executive director, Byron Womack. The fund serves to further support our student-athletes by providing scholarships for their higher education pursuits and expanding programming opportunities for them during their time enrolled in the program. Six scholarships were presented by STEER Alumni Ceci Martinez, Nani Velasquez, Rayder Sanchez, and Kim Reyes, to members of STEER’s graduating class of 2022. Josselinne Ayavaca (Port Chester) and Osvaldo Martinez (Careers in Sports) were announced as winners of the Byron Womack Academic Scholarship, Byron Olmino (Port Chester) and Nasir Faulknor (Careers in Sports) were announced as winners of the Byron Womack Leadership Scholarship, and Britany Bautista (Port Chester) and Ashley Garcia (Port Chester) were announced as winners of the Byron Womack Community Service Scholarship.
Congratulations to STEER’s Class of 2022!