Assembly speaker inspires Albany High leaders

Assembly speaker inspires Albany High leaders

Fifteen student leaders from Albany High School had a private audience Monday with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who inspired and was a role model for them.

The students – primarily sophomores and juniors -- are part of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at Albany High. The school's program is part of a nationwide initiative started by former President Barak Obama to expand opportunities for young men of color.

Heastie talked with students about his motivation for entering politics, why he wanted to be part of My Brother’s Keeper and how he promoted legislation specifically for the program which resulted in New York being the only state with a line-item in its budget devoted to it.

After hosting the students in his private conference room, Heastie brought the students to the Assembly floor, where he and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy discussed the legislative process.

They also received visits from Assemblyman John McDonald and Senator Neil Breslin, who congratulated the students on being part of the My Brother's Keeper program.

Joining the students in their visit were Malcolm Gandy and Deon Thomas, home school coordinators at Albany High and advisors to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, and Eric Adams, a program mentor through Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

In addition to providing the students with lessons on college and career, financial readiness and personal empowerment, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance encourages the young men of color in their community.

Starting next year, the students will mentor young men of color attending Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence, who in turn will mentor younger black males attending Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy.

The students who attended the meeting with Heastie are:

  • Muiz Bayewu
  • Daunte Franklin
  • Danvass Gekonge
  • Robert Glover
  • David Kiruhura
  • Rahmene McDuffie
  • Keduse Morgan
  • Homer Morris
  • Jareem Morris
  • Themba Pieterse
  • Daniel Pollydore
  • Maxwell Roper
  • Toussaint Santicola-Jones
  • Henry Sowah
  • Dabar Zarzuela

Check out Facebook photos from their visit here. (A Facebook account is not necessary to view the linked content above. A window may display the text "To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account," but this can be dismissed by clicking "not now.")

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves nearly 9,300 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.