One local high school is churning out entrepenerurs who put down their roots in Throggs Neck.
Four alumni from Monsignor Scanlan High School recently reconnected after discovering they each owned a business on East Tremont Avenue within a few blocks of one another.
In the past year, three members of the class of 2000 have opened their businesses on the thoroughfare: Roseana Fernandez of Rosy’s Manor, Brian Martinez of the Travesias restaurant, and Chanelly Hernandez of Glamcode Beauty Bar. Class of 2002 member Mercedes Dukes owns Just 4 Kids daycares, which opened in 2007.
While each had their own reasons for trying their hand at entrepreneurship, they share an affection for their high school, which they said was home to some of the best years of their life.
In addition to strong memories, Dukes has a current connection to the campus, where she recently opened the fourth location of Just 4 Kids and where she coaches basketball.
She credits being a scholar-athlete at Scanlan for the opportunity to go to college on a basketball scholarship.
“It’s an honor to go back to my alma mater and provide the same care and affection they gave me,” said Dukes.
She hopes that if students see her and her classmates opening businesses and pursuing their goals, they’ll be inspired to go after their own.
The foursome hope to give back to the school in other ways, whether it be through internships or career fair visits.
They credit part of their success to the quality of education at Scanlan, and said it laid the foundation for everything that came after.
“You learned what hard work actually meant,” said Fernandez.
Coming from a rough neighborhood, Monsignor Scanlan offered an escape, said Hernandez, and she opened her business with the hope of creating financial stability for herself and her family.
She chose Throggs Neck for its family-oriented atmosphere.
Hailing from different neighborhoods in the Bronx, each of the entrepreneurs were drawn back to Throggs Neck for similar reasons, finding the neighborhood to be an inviting place.
“The Throggs Neck community has been so supportive,” said Dukes.
They also feel that while well established, the neighborhood has untapped potential and is up-and-coming, especially with the recent development of major projects in the area like the Trump Golf Links.
“I think this was the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Martinez.
They’re all optimistic about the future; the future of the neighborhood, the future of their businesses, and the future of the alma mater that shaped their lives.