About S/PA Graduates/Alumni
Student/Partner Alliance is very interested in all of S/PA graduates and encourages all alumni to keep in contact with S/PA, so that stories and updates about what has been happening in their lives since graduating high school may be shared with current students and other graduates who may have been their classmates. We are proud of the successes of our graduates and are pleased to share their stories. See Student/Partner Alliance Graduate Updates below.
Many older graduates, those who have finished college programs, have returned to S/PA as mentors for current students – most often at the school that they themselves graduated from. They provide a unique mentoring experience especially when familiar with the school and it’s personality. In this way, many graduates of the S/PA program are “paying it forward” by helping others.
Also read about S/PA’s Young Professionals Network (YPN), which is comprised of young professionals from the local area that are interested in sharing their experience and knowledge with high school students. Some are also graduates of the S/PA program. S/PA Alumni Mentors enjoy meeting other mentoring “young professionals” who have come to S/PA through YPN.
Student/Partner Alliance Graduate Update:
We recently reconnected with Student/Partner Alliance graduate,Aracely Tagliaventi, of Marylawn (’06) who is currently serving as the staff attorney for the Honorable Stephen L. McIntosh in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in Columbus, Ohio. She manages all of his 300-500 open cases and is responsible for researching and drafting opinions to help in his decision process. Her experience as a S/PA student continues to influence both her personal and professional life.
Aracely notes, “I am so glad that I was a S/Pa student because it made me feel like someone was invested in me. I wasn’t very confident when I entered my freshman year, but being part of the S/Pa kids made me feel like I had something to be proud of. I knew that it was a privilege to be included in the group and the fact that I was selected out of all of the students who applied made me realize that people believe in me and I can believe in myself.”
She graduated from Capital University Law School in 2013 where she was the Peer-Coordinator for the Peer Advisor Program, a mentoring program that matches upper class law students with new students. After graduating, Aracely continued to mentor law students and serves as the Co-Chair of the Minorities in the Law Committee for the Columbus Bar Association. Aracely knew she wanted to be a lawyer back when she was a S/PA student and was lucky enough to hold an internship in the Newark Superior Court. She viewed lawyers as advocates and those who could help other people in need.
Aracely keeps in touch with two other S/PA students and notes that “the experience of being a S/PA student is so unique because you develop a close bond with other students in the program through the activities such as the Food Bank and knowing that you are a part of this elite group of students.”
When she is not working or volunteering,Aracely is busy raising her 21-month old son with her husband and enjoying living in Columbus, Ohio.
ERIK ENRIQUEZ (SBP ’13)
Last spring (2017), Erik came to our “friend raiser” event to speak about his journey from Ecuador as a child – to the United States with his sister and parents – and then to high school at St. Benedict’s Prep (SBP) in Newark with the assistance of Student/Partner Alliance. Upon graduation from SBP as the Class of 2013 Valedictorian, Erik followed his interest by studying Operations Research at Cornell University. Erik was advanced enough that he was able to take just one extra semester to gain a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) before leaving Ithaca to start his career.
In a recent communication with Erik, he told us that he is currently enjoying his work at Capital One in NYC as a Software Developer. Erik wishes to once again thank Student/Partner Alliance for the opportunity to access the strong academic and character-building education that he received at St. Benedict’s Prep, without which he may never had reached these dreams!
Student/Partner Alliance Graduate Update:
LASHAWN ADAMS (SVA ’11):
While retaining her full-time job at Jersey City Medical Center as a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Counselor, LaShawn will be starting a PhD program in Clinical Psychology; Mental Health/Counseling program in the near future.
LaShawn gained her BS from Rutger’s University. Her background in counseling, women’s health and domestic violence took her to Ghana for 6 weeks during college to help women and children get health insurance and preventive health counseling.
LaShawn has not strayed far from St. Vincent Academy, however. She finds time in her busy schedule to go back to SVA to help out in the Drama department. Last spring, she helped out with a special program, Women in Shakespeare, that was performed at Drew University by SVA students. The group won first place!