The Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA) in the Bed-Stuy district of Brooklyn, NY, is an all-girls charter high school who has just made history after announcing that the class of 2021 has a 100 percent college acceptance rate.
The Brooklyn Patch is reporting that BELA — as it’s known — released the information as part of its “college shower.” It was the first-of-its-kind, and it celebrated the fact that all 50 of the high school students got accepted into a college or university of some kind. The school gifted the graduates with a “swag bag” filled with necessities like duffel bags, dorm supplies and wireless headphones.
And that’s not all.
The Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy class of 2021 applied to more than 150 different colleges and universities and received nearly $1 million in merit-based scholarships. More than 75 percent of the graduating class are first-generation college students, and 90 percent of the senior class identifies as Black.
“Today, you are rewriting history and contributing to the legacy of District 16 of Bedford-Stuyvesant,” BELA co-founder and head of school Nicia Fullwood said to the graduating students at the college shower. “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.”
The students will be attending a variety of universities — the valedictorian, for example, will be heading off to Sarah Lawrence College. Others will be heading to schools like Barnard College and New York University. It’s unclear, however, if any of the students will be attending any Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy was founded in 2017. Its mission, according to its official website, is to overcome “educational inequities long faced by Black and Brown youth by empowering each young woman to be the best version of herself.”
Congratulations are in order to Brooklyn’s finest, aka the BELA girls!