HomeTop StoriesStudents at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS in the Bronx are starting...

Students at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS in the Bronx are starting the school year strong

NEW YORK — Students at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School shuffle from one grade to the next.

“I’m really excited because this is my senior year. There are a lot of new things and new beginnings for me,” senior Hannah Villanueva said Thursday.

Excitement, enthusiasm and energy fill the room for students and teachers alike.

“It’s amazing,” said Ivette Medina, director of child support at Fannie Lou. “We’re here for you, we welcome you. And those hugs make my day.”

It’s a fresh start for the 470 students who attend high school in Crotona Park, a place where there’s a huge emphasis on college preparation.

“Talk to some of our seniors. You talk about how they’re already on the first day of school, think about the college process and how I want to be prepared when I go,” said principal Jeff Palladino.

A big part of student life at Fannie Lou is learning outside of the classroom. Nearly 200 students participated in the summer youth employment program this year

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Eleventh grade student Naasir Bonilla showed CBS New York the artwork he created this summer while working with the Bronx River Alliance. He said the experience opened his eyes to the positive things happening in the congregation.

“As a kid from the Bronx, it’s nice to see people trying to embellish and make the Bronx beautiful,” said Bonilla.

According to the students, the diversity of the students is what makes the school complete.

“We come from different places and we are different people. We can all come here to come together and be a whole community,” Villanueva said.

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