Brooklyn All-Girls School Celebrates First Graduating Class with 100% Acceptance Rate
The Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA) Charter School, an all-girls high school in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, is celebrating its first graduating class in the school’s history. Every single graduate has been accepted into college.
The school was launched in 2017 aimed at helping overcome educational inequalities for Black and Brown students by empowering “each woman to be the best version of herself.”
BELA’s class of 2021 consists of 90% Black and more than 75% first-generation college students. The students applied to over 150 different colleges and received approximately $1 million in merit-based scholarships.
For one senior, higher education means re-imagining public transportation and housing infrastructure in her mother’s home country of Nigeria. She also plans to address similar issues in New York City.
“I would just go straight back to Nigeria and work at a non-profit and then like basically work on their transportation systems and making sure it was good. I want to make an infrastructure to help those who are in need like the disabled,” said graduating senior Mariam Sikiru to The Patch.
The school recently held a “college shower” to honor the graduates and prepare them for the next step in their education journey. All 50 students were “showered” with college gear, duffle bags, dorm supplies and a pair of wireless headphones.
“Today, you are rewriting history and contributing to the legacy of District 16 and Bedford-Stuyvesant,” said BELA co-founder and head of school Nicia Fullwood to The Patch. “We’ve always said that you all were destined for greatness, that you’d change the world in ways we could never imagine. Despite your non-traditional senior year, today, we celebrate all of you.”
Image source: BELA