Students impacted by Sandy persevere

December 19, 2012 3:08:45 PM PST
Parade season is over, but students of Channel View High School found a reason to strike up the band.

"If you want to get to a higher career, more money, you need to go to college and get a degree," graduating senior Jordan Flanagan said.

And to kick off a pep rally, seniors stopped at a specially arranged postal service truck to mail their college applications. They have been guided through high school by the not-for-profit Outward Bound.

"I think there's a really strong focus on demanding academics, on making sure that the kids have an academic program that pushes them and challenges them and stretches them to do more than they thought they could," Richard Stopol, Outward Bound president, said.

It was only one of several events across the city, as students involved in the Outward Bound programs celebrate the importance of college and celebrate their joy at being on the path to higher education.

But the path led through hardship and loss for Channel View seniors, as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

"Our families have lost power, heat, and in some cases,cars and even homes," graduating senior Justin Zemser said.

Students have been bused every day to the Franklin J. Lane campus, unable to attend their damaged school in the Rockaways.

"It really stopped all processes of going to college. They are without computers, power, electric; some of them have even lost essential items such as birth certificates and social security numbers," counselor Jennifer Walters said.

The seniors have turned their challenges into strength.

"Sandy can't stop us. I mean, we may have a little sand in our shoes, but we just keep walking. I mean, we're Rockaway-strong so a little wind and rain doesn't hurt us," Krristine Supple said.

Ninety-three per cent of outward bound graduates were accepted to colleges this year.

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