FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. July 7, 2023
Esperanza Academy Graduates Excel in Hope
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Esperanza Academy Charter School, a K-12 school in the Hunting Park neighborhood, is thrilled to announce the exceptional achievements of its graduates. Esperanza Academy exists to create hope by offering quality education that meets the needs of a predominantly Latino community. As one part of Esperanza’s commitment to building an opportunity community in North Philadelphia where all can thrive, Esperanza Academy prepares students for success by developing their interests and opening pathways. Individualized programs, including academic majors, Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment and early college programs are all an essential part of making that transformation possible.
Alex Jaquez-Peralta, one of the two co-valedictorians for the class of 2023, received a full-ride scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Mr. Jaquez-Peralta was an engineering major at Esperanza Academy, where he first developed an interest in computer science. Reflecting on his time at the school, Alex shared that the engineering program “allowed me to do projects in my own way and made me think more about what I want to do.”
This year, members of the senior class were accepted to over 100 different post-secondary institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Lehigh University and Pennsylvania State University. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, the on-time college graduation rate of 92% for Esperanza Academy’s high school students is 5% above the US national average and 9% above the national percentage rate for Latino students.
Collectively, the senior class was awarded more than $9.6 million in scholarship funds. Mr. David Rossi, the Chief Executive Officer of Esperanza Academy shared that “Witnessing the many accomplishments and the hard work of our graduating class fills us with immense pride, knowing that their hard work and dedication have opened doors to a brighter future.”
Esperanza Academy students can also get a head start on their post-secondary studies while they are still in high school through the Early College Program in partnership with Esperanza College. 10% of the Class of 2023 have already earned an associate degree. The degrees they have completed include Associate of Science in Health Sciences, Associate of Science in Business Administration, Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science in Media and Technology, and Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education.
Consistent with the Academy’s mission to prepare young adults who can use English and Spanish as tools for success, and to recognize the heritage and unique strengths of our community, the school offers the opportunity for students to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award granted by the state of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education to students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by the time they graduate from high school. This special award celebrates being bilingual and all of the advantages which may come with that, such as having a more creative mind; a better understanding of other cultures; and a greater sense of empathy for others. Esperanza Academy is thrilled to share that almost 20% of this year’s graduating class have earned this esteemed recognition.
Esperanza Founder and CEO, The Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr. shares, “This is why Esperanza Academy was created: to ensure that our children and youth have access to the very best in academic and enrichment opportunities as they pursue their dreams and take up their places among the leaders of today and tomorrow in a range of industries. Despite the challenges facing young people in Hunting Park, students like Alex and the rest of our graduating class demonstrate the true possibilities when we invest into quality education.”
As Esperanza Academy celebrates the accomplishments of its students, the school remains committed to its mission of serving its community through education as a vehicle for social and economic progress. The school’s dedicated team of educators and staff, in partnership with parents and the community, continue to maximize students’ opportunities for learning and empower every student to thrive in every area of life.
About Esperanza Academy Charter School: Esperanza Academy Charter School is a K-12 charter school in the Hunting Park neighborhood of Philadelphia. Esperanza Academy Charter School is dedicated to providing a quality education that prepares critically thinking, socially capable, spiritually sensitive, and culturally aware young adults who can use English, Spanish, and technology as tools for success in the 21st century.
About Esperanza: Esperanza was founded in 1986 to serve “the least of these” (the underserved and marginalized) and to strengthen Hispanic communities and all who live within them. Over nearly four decades, Esperanza has grown into a $72 million organization with 630+ employees serving approximately 25,000 people annually through K-14 education, community and economic development, the arts, and social change programs. Esperanza is building an “opportunity community” in Hunting Park – a place marked by decent and affordable housing, increasing prosperity, growing businesses, great schools, safe streets, creative spaces, and robust community life, where anyone at any income level can thrive. For more information visit www.esperanza.us.