Bronx Prep annual college “mail-out” day

Seniors at Bronx Preparatory Charter School got into the spirit as they mailed off their college applications during a pep rally outside the school in what has become a rather unique ritual for the graduating class.

The ‘mail-out-day’ included a D.J., cheerleading performances, and joyous classmates in at 3872 Third Avenue on Friday, November 18, with 56 graduating seniors running down the building’s front steps amid high fives. The seniors walked two blocks to a post office to mail out the college applications.

The 12th grade students from Bronx Prep, which enrolls grades 5 through 12, have applied to several top tier colleges, according to the school.

The ‘mail-out-day’ has become an annual tradition. Classrooms in the schools are named after colleges and universities, and students begin taking tours of institutions of higher learning in the fifth grade, said head of school Edwina Branch-Smith.

“From the fifth grade on, every student knows that this day is coming and that college is the goal,” Branch-Smith said.

Most people are aware of the challenges facing students headed to college, but the school has established a track record of successfully sending the students to institutions of higher learning, Branch-Smith stated.

Those mailing the applications were not only cheered on by their classmates, but also by teachers, parents, and siblings in what was a day that students interviewed said was full of hope for the future.

“The most exciting part is knowing that you are moving onto the next step, the college step,” said graduating senior Atiania Aviles, 18. “Knowing that you are leaving the school is hard because you have this bond, but it is time to move forward.”

The school provides an extended yearly schedule with a large workload and expects students to manage it, which is good preparation for college, said 12th grade student Fausto Ildefonso, 18. Ildefonso was applying to several schools on the east coast and the midwest, including Syracuse University, Ohio State and Bowdion College.

“There was no sleep for the past week,” Ildefonso said in the post office. “I wanted to make sure that everything was correct and that there were no grammatical errors on the supplements.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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