tyreek_and_his_mentorBrooklyn Democracy Academy (BDA), a partnership between the New York City Department of Education and JCCA, is a transfer high school for students who have dropped out or fallen behind, giving them a second chance to earn their Regents diploma. The school provides students with a personalized and academically vigorous learning environment. Comprising only 200 students, the school pairs each youth with an Advocate Counselor for support and guidance. Every year, one graduating senior receives a scholarship from JCCA to apply toward higher education. This year the recipient is Tyreek Hallett.

“I did not do too well in my freshman year at one of New York’s large high schools. So it looked like I would not have enough credits to graduate. My basketball coach suggested that I apply to Brooklyn Democracy Academy. Working with Barrington Burgess, my Advocate Counselor, really helped me. He is a good mentor and has become almost like an older brother. He was supportive, and stayed on my case and made sure I finished my senior project so I could graduate. He also helped in other areas of my life. For example, I did not have a birth certificate or a Social Security card, and he helped me get them so I could get a job. The staff and teachers really care about your life outside of school and you can connect with them on the weekends if you need to. I am proud that I received a $6,000 scholarship from JCCA and got high scores on my Regents exams88 for Living Environment and 87 for U.S. History.”

According to Mr. Burgess, “Tyreek has the potential to do great things. He cared about his grades and was willing to work hard. He passed all of his classes and was made Man of the Month, a recognition based on grades, leadership, and the example set for other students.”

Tyreek will be attending the State University of New York at Cobleskill this fall.