(Image: Perry Rainey)
When Leo Herrera is at School for Excellence, a small high school in the Bronx, it can be hard to concentrate.
Sometimes, Herrera says, it’s girls. Sometimes, it’s feeling surrounded by classmates “that don’t really care and can hold you back.”
But when he’s at SAT prep or debating with peers in a classroom at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, he’s more focused than ever. Herrera is part of a city program designed to send black and Latino male students to college. And not just any college: selective, four-year schools, perhaps out of New York City altogether.
“This program is completely different than my school,” Herrera said during an SAT prep session one Wednesday this summer. “In my school, I personally have distractions that take me off sometimes. But luckily I’ve got these guys that always keep me on track and remind me where I want to go.”
The program is called Urban Ambassadors, and is focused on a small group of promising students handpicked from high schools that don’t typically send many (or any) …read more