YONKERS, NY -- On Wednesday, May 15th STEER held its 5th annual Graduation Banquet. The evening brought together student-athletes, families, community partners, and STEER advisors from three different school districts. Within Port Chester, Yonkers, and the Bronx, STEER serves five schools: Port Chester Middle School, Port Chester High School, Palisade Preparatory School, Careers in Sports High School and Wings Academy.
The evening began with introductions of the 16 student athletes onboarded in New York this spring. From Port Chester seven new student-athletes were presented: Sebastian Alvarez, Rabel Badia, Kelly Barrera, Brayan Coyt, Nicholas Dorazio, Steven Hightower, and Camila Napoli. From Palisade Preparatory six new student-athletes were presented: Daniela Blum, Raheim Bryant, Rayshawn Bryant, Jalen Higgins, Jadin Pereyra, and Daniela Santana. From Careers in Sports three new student-athletes were presented: Yeneli Payano, Elizabeth Martinez, and Jeral Mendoza.
Following these introductions, Dr. Hector Morales-Negron, Director of Peak Mental Game recognized student athletes that have completed the online course by presenting them with certificates and medals.
The night went on to honor two members of the STEER community that have made significant contributions towards supporting the student-athletes this previous year. The Humanitarian Award was presented to Kelly LeGaye, a founding member of STEER’s Advisory Council for Empowering Girls. Throughout the past year, Mrs. LeGaye has helped develop the council’s programming efforts including coordinating an interviewing workshop in partnership with Goldman Sachs. This year’s Byron Womack Award for Excellence was awarded to Coach Sean Stahn, Palisade Preparatory’s STEER Captain. Coach Stahn has consistently gone above and beyond to support his student-athletes as well as his fellow STEER advisors at Palisade Preparatory. Coach Stahn was also recognized earlier in the evening for completing each course level of the Peak Mental Game program, taking the courses alongside the student-athletes.
At the center of the night’s highlights was STEER’s Class of 2019. This year’s class of twenty-three seniors is the largest to date for the organization. In addition, this is also the first class to include graduates from all four high schools STEER operates in: Port Chester, Palisade Preparatory, Careers in Sports, and Wings Acaedmy. The seniors were honored in traditional STEER fashion by receiving their alumni jackets.
Closing out the evening was the inaugural 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 will serve to further support our student-athletes by providing scholarships towards their higher education pursuits and expanding programming opportunities for them during their time enrolled in the program. Six scholarships were presented to members of STEER’s graduating class. Denika Foster, an incoming student at SUNY Cortland, was awarded the Byron Womack Community Service Scholarship. Ayenaliz Velasquez, an incoming student at Ithaca College, was awarded the Byron Womack Academic Scholarship. Tyla Dupree (College of St. Rose) and Adrian Rosario Beato (Ithaca College) were both awarded the Byron Womack Leadership Scholarship. Lizandro Espinosa (Monroe College) and Luis Martinez (SUNY Mohawk Valley) were both awarded the Byron Womack Advocate Award.
Congratulations to STEER’s Class of 2019!