485 Days and Counting: NYC's Education Department Stymies Public Records Requests, Both Big and Small

The 74 Interview: Alexis Morin on Students For Education Reform, Youth Power & Achieving Educational Justice

How Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Traumatizing Students Across the U.S. — Including Many Born Here

10 Keys to How the Class of 2021 Views the World: They Never Used Landlines or Desktops—But Are Emoji Experts

Success Academy Students Outscore Every District in New York State on Annual English and Math Exams

10 Tips for Immigrant Students, Families to Be Safe Part of LAUSD’s New ‘We Are One’ Guide

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools: AMPing Up Its Alumni Network to Track & Guide Students Through College

New Study: KIPP Pre-K Has Big — and Possibly Lasting — Impact on Early Student Achievement

My First Solar Eclipse! 17 Eye-Opening Photos of Kids Experiencing Science Along the Path of Totality

Bullying on the Rise in NYC Middle and High Schools, NYDN Analysis of Student Surveys Shows

Immigration Agents Inside Schools? Why Some Activists Are Warning Undocumented Students About Trump’s Policy Shifts

NYC Numbers Show City’s Unassigned Teachers Paid $10,000 More on Average Than Those Teaching Kids Full Time

As Immigrant Students Worry About a New School Year, Districts & Educators Unveil Plans to Protect Their Safety (and Privacy)

A D.C. Breakthrough as Traditional Public School Students Post Gains on PARCC Test, Outperforming Charters

This Week in ESSA: Final 4 First-Round States Get Federal Feedback, 6 States Now Approved, Chiefs for Change Weighs In

‘No One Is Above the Law’: Divisive Trump Surrogate Carl Paladino Removed From Buffalo School Board

Veto Override Uncertain as Fight Over Funding Illinois Schools Moves to the House

Noble Network of Charter Schools: It’s Not Just About Going to College, but About Global Perspective & Leaving Chicago

74 Interview: David Hardy on Putting Purpose Before Politics and Kids Before Adults in Leading Ohio’s 2nd State-Takeover District

For Schools, an Eclipse Conundrum: To Open or Close? For Fun or for Science?

Grad of the Week: A Bronx Immigrant Graduates to Fordham — Eyes Fixed on a Career in Social Justice

June 19, 2016

Talking Points

Meet our new graduate of the week: NYC's Emely Cuello, headed to Fordham to pursue a career in social justice

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We will be celebrating a graduating high school senior every weekday this month on our Facebook page. (Like us here) A handful of graduates will also be profiled in greater depth right here on the site. Sign up for our newsletter to see all 21!
Growing up in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 18-year-old Emely Cuello quickly learned that the surest way to get access to even the most basic services (health care, etc.) was to have connections.
She did, and she knows she was lucky. “My parents had friends who worked at the hospital so when we were sick we could get the help we needed,” she told The 74. Others, though, were not so lucky: “One time I saw a kid choking on something stuck in his throat, and nobody at the hospital was doing anything. It wasn’t fair.”
The injustice of this system made a lasting impression on her, and she’s been determined to become a “voice for the voiceless” ever since.
Cuello arrived in New York City in 2009, committed to her schooling and is now graduating from St. Raymond Academy in the Bronx, which she attended through Student Sponsor Partners, a New York City based high school scholarship and mentoring program.
This fall she will attend nearby Fordham University where she hopes to initially study social work as an undergraduate, and then ultimately go on to law school and become a lawyer to achieve her dream of helping others find justice.
She says she’ll be the first in her family to attend college. Her parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, and she was raised learning that for her to do well in life, she needed to focus on her education.
“That is something I have known since I can remember,” she recalls, “so my graduating and going to college is amazing for my family.”
Cuello has always been seen as a leader in her family — and a protector to those less able than she. “I’m both the youngest and the oldest sibling,” she says. Her brother is older than she is, but has Down Syndrome, and Cuello sees herself as his advocate and protector.
“My mom would tell me that he may be older but I’m his big sister and have to protect him,” she says “I took care of him while my parents worked, and it’s helped me develop a sense of responsibility for the people around me.”
Previous grads of the week:
Oakland’s Lorena Ortega-Guerrero, headed to Yale
Colorado’s Aislinn Vences, headed to Vassar
Pennsylvania’s Frank Lopez, headed to the Army