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Celebrating the HOPE Program’s Graduates and Rising Seniors

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Hope 2024 3
(Left to right) Trinity Roman, Cadence Pichardo and Katelynn Bair, all juniors from Longwood High School, don their new blue jackets at the HOPE Moving-Up and Graduation Ceremony.

Stony Brook Medicine celebrated 55 high school juniors and seniors from Brentwood, Longwood and Wyandanch schools at the 2024 Health Occupations Partnership for Excellence (HOPE) Program Moving-Up and Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, May 7. Six of the 20 graduating seniors will attend Stony Brook University in the fall.

More than 140 people, including the students and their families, teachers, administrators, and HOPE program facilitators attended the event, which was held at the Student Activities Center.

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Serenity McCracken, a senior at Brentwood High School, discusses her Vision Board with Carol Gomes, Stony Brook University Hospital CEO and COO.

William Wertheim, interim executive vice president for Stony Brook Medicine; Carol Gomes, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Stony Brook University Hospital; and Judith Brown Clarke, Stony Brook’s vice president for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, delivered remarks and presented the students with their certificates and awards.

Since 2005, the HOPE program has offered insight and mentorship to high school students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare and medicine. To date, the program has launched the college careers of more than 235 students from underrepresented and underserved communities on Long Island.

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Amir Daloia, a junior at Longwood High School, shakes hands with Stony Brook Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Judith Brown Clarke.

The event began with a Vision Board Showcase presented by the HOPE seniors. Each Vision Board featured a visual narrative of the students’ dreams and ambitions, designed with images and words symbolizing their career paths, educational pursuits, and personal reflections. Afterwards, the seniors shared a six-word memoir, an activity inspired by the Six-Word Memoir ® Project, which encourages participants to tell a story in six words. The 35 HOPE juniors, who will continue with the HOPE program next year, received blue lab coats and a certificate to signify the completion of their first year.

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Carlos Diaz Sanchez (right), a senior at Wyandanch High School, discusses his Vision Board with fellow HOPE students (left to right) Anna Etienne, Farah Alzafarani and Zohia Tahir, all juniors from Brentwood High School.

The HOPE program is planned and managed by the University and Hospital Community Relations Office. Departments and groups from across Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine led presentations, tours and training during the 2023-24 school year.

Presenters included faculty, staff and students from Admissions; Career Center; Biomedical Engineering; Alda Center for Communicating Science; Internal Medicine; Pediatrics; Psychiatry and Psychology; Renaissance School of Medicine’s Black Men in White Coats; School of Dental Medicine; School of Health Professions; School of Nursing; School of Social Welfare; Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Radiology & Biomedical Informatics; Sports Medicine; Stony Brook Health Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) Clinic; Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SBVAC); and University Police Department.

— Katie Hsu

HOPE Seniors 2023-24

Brentwood High School
Alisha Ahsan
Aribah Farooq
Hooriya Tariq
Jessica Ventura
Katherine Santamaria
Kendell Reyes
Melissa Mejia Benitez
Michelle Vigil
Narely Ortega
Serenity McCracken

Longwood High School
Aleksandra Ogrodniczak
Evelyn Velasquez
Jenny Lin
Juleen Santana
Kayla Gray
Marc Anthony Placido
Pamela Fernandez Adames
Rianna Madr

Wyandanch High School
Carlos Diaz Sanchez
Demegly Osier

HOPE Juniors 2023-24

Brentwood High School
Alejandra Diaz Lopez
Anna Etienne
Cynthia Ventura
Elizabeth Benitez
Elizabeth Cruz
Erika Abigail Chavez
Farah Alzafarani
Jaeda Quinones
Joel Espinoza
Lucero Martinez
Michelle Leal
Nica Fairweather
Olivia Montoya
Samuel Hasfal
Sophia Hernandez
Zohia Tahir
Zuleyka Rivera

Longwood High School
Amir Daloia
Avi Patel
Cadence Pichardo
Dominique-Ashley Wills
Emily Yalcin
Erica Spady
Kamsiyochukwu Okocha
Katelynn Bair
Maira Nabi
Marcy Pauleus
Margaret Tagger
Nicholas Nieves
Philip Kesse III
Royce Conlon
Stephanie Galvez
Trinity Roman

Wyandanch High School
Julieth Sarmiento Vasquez
Kyvena Canal

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