2023 GRADUATE BANQUET
Yonkers, NY: STEER for Student Athletes sent sixteen graduates to colleges and universities nationwide last night. We continued our 100% graduation rate from high school with nine graduates from Port Chester High School, six from Barack Obama School for Social Justice, and one from Careers in Sports High School. The banquet brought together five different schools, student-athletes, families, community partners, and STEER advisors. Within Port Chester, Yonkers, and the Bronx, STEER serves students in Port Chester Middle School, Port Chester High School, Barack Obama School for Social Justice, Charter School of Educational Excellence (CSEE), and Careers in Sports High School.
Banquet highlights include:
New Student-Athlete Introductions
The banquet began with introductions of 29 new student-athletes who joined the STEER family this school year. We welcomed five students from the Barack Obama School for Social Justice, three from Careers in Sports High School, five from the Charter School of Educational Excellence, eight from Port Chester High School, and eight from Sleepy Hollow High School.
Peak Mental Game Awards
The top 10 highest-performing PMG students were awarded gift cards and certificates: Kayla Rodriguez, Yolanda Colleen Warner, Richard Montique, Odalys Perez, Xavier Pablo, Daniela Lopez, Skylar Sams, Emily Garcia, Catalina Paniagua, Guillermo Zabala, and Jevon Bolt.
This is an honor for two members of the STEER community that have made significant contributions toward supporting STEER student-athletes this school year. The Humanitarian Awards were presented to Cara Kennedy, Supervisor of Special Education at Greenburgh-Graham Union Free School District, and Dr. Susan Antolin, Director of Community and Mentorship at the 30 Birds Foundation.
Byron Womack Award for Excellence
This year's Byron Womack Awards for Excellence were awarded to two outstanding STEER Advisors: Mike DeSimone and Juanita Mitchell. These advisors have demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to going above and beyond to support student-athletes and their fellow STEER advisors.
Nicole Barros was this year's keynote speaker. She majored in Culture, Crime, and Deviance at John Jay College this May. Her speech touched on her upbringing and her time at STEER, which included completing an apprenticeship with STEER. She emphasized, "Networking is key. Building your network is probably one of the most important things you can do starting now." After her college career, she thanks Joe Durney for the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship at STEER and for teaching her a ton professionally but also personally.
Byron Womack Scholarship Awards
Six scholarship awards were delivered to graduating students who submitted rigorous applications to the STEER Scholarship Committee. Each award totaled $1,250 and will be applied to the following students' educational pursuits:
Academic Award - Jevon Bolt & Yelanni Diaz
Community Service Award - Daisy Ayavaca
Leadership Award - Ariana da Silva & Isabella Farias
Advocate Award - Erik Coria
About the STEER Graduation Banquet
This annual event illustrates the hard work and dedication of the student-athletes, parents, mentors, student support administrators, front office staff, and all stakeholders involved in getting every student across the finish line. As the African proverb states, "It takes a village to raise a child," which conveys the message that it takes many people ("the village") to provide a safe, healthy environment for children, where children are given the security they need to develop and flourish, and to be able to realize their hopes and aspirations. STEER is another member of that community and a family for students as they continue their journey into higher education and the workforce
Port Chester, NY – This April, STEER was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Panera Foundation to support 10 new student-athletes. The grant process was highly competitive and eligible to qualified nonprofits that work toward a world in which young people can unlock their full potential and dare to dream — a world in which opportunity and economic mobility are accessible and equitable for all, was selected.
Programs funded by the 2023 grant awards include college readiness training including campus visits, application assistance, and financial aid planning; STEAM programs to inspire youth to become leaders in science, technology, engineering, art, and math; career readiness including internship programs and community job placement; afterschool and summer programs focused on robotics and computer programming; one-to-one mentoring for students and their families on a post-high school plan, and more.
It is only with a significant commitment to our youth that we are able to attain this type of funding ensuring the same impact and quality for new students onboarded to the organization. We wish to express a special thank you to the Panera Foundation for their support of our mission!
Port Chester, NY – STEER has partnered with Good Sports for 2023 and 2024 to provide high-quality new sports equipment and athletic gear to our student-athletes.
Good Sports' mission is to drive equitable access to youth sports and physical activity by supporting children in high-need communities to achieve their greatest potential, on the field and in life.
Through this partnership, STEER and Good Sports will ensure sport is accessible to BIPOC youth and other traditionally under-resourced populations by providing our youth with equipment to play. STEER will use this funding to provide various sports equipment to support our students in Port Chester, Tarrytown, Yonkers, and the Bronx each year. The partnership between STEER and Good Sports demonstrates our shared commitment to our youth, community, and future.