StuyPrep: A Deeper and More Meaningful Experience

The Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association is committed to making the specialized high schools, especially Stuyvesant, more accessible through StuyPrep with tutoring, more visible through outreach, and generally a more attractive alternative for underrepresented families. This year’s StuyPrep program continued in a virtual format, but expanded the support we provided students by introducing the program to them earlier in their academic career. The Alumni Association, in partnership with Kweller Prep, welcomed 24 seventh-grade students to participate in free tutoring and test prep, which started in May and culminated in October, for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Registered eighth-grade students who took the exam in late November will receive their test results in Spring 2023.

SHSAA’s Executive Director, Diego S. Segalini ‘98, reported, “We were able to support a wonderful mix of students from schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens with over two-thirds of the cohort identifying as Black or Latinx. And while it may seem like we are serving fewer students than in prior years, we are providing a deeper and more meaningful experience for these middle-schoolers with an intensive summer session, in-person gatherings, and special Open House visits to Stuy.” He continued, “We believe that for this initiative to succeed, it’s critically important that our support of one community does not come at the cost of another.” The Alumni Association envisions Stuyvesant High School as the #1 choice for all NYC students seeking an incomparable education in STEM, the Arts and Humanities, and more. But unfortunately, many families still don’t know that the specialized high schools exist, and many don’t sign up to take the entrance exam.

Diego Segalini ’98 (right) with prospective Stuy students and chaperone

Over the summer we held an in-person meet and greet with students and their families at Kweller Prep’s facility in Forest Hills and at Stuyvesant High School. One of our tutors, Jakob Gorisek-Gazze ’21, who is a Stuy alum himself said, “I’m so glad to have participated in this year’s StuyPrep program. It’s been incredibly meaningful to me to support the (hopefully) next generation of Stuy.” As part of the program, Alumni Association staff built a rapport with parents and guardians of students that participated in the program. Our hope is that it fosters a deeper connection with families in our effort of making Stuyvesant more accessible in addition to helping us understand the results of our initiative. One StuyPrep student noted, “I appreciated the fact that the [StuyPrep] staff and teachers really cared about you and how they want to push you to do your best. It’s my dream to attend Stuyvesant.” Speaking with a StuyPrep parent, we learned how much they appreciated the help and support StuyPrep provided, recounting “Watching my child grow through the program has been amazing. StuyPrep has helped so much and gave so much confidence to her. I will apply for my son who is in 6th grade right now, and would definitely recommend this program to other families.”

Now that the program is back up and running, the Alumni Office has been meeting with other potential providers to increase our pool of partners working in StuyPrep. For example, with three providers each serving three classes of 24 students, we could reach over 200 students and also think about ways in which we can group students, and strike a balance between a general approach and a slightly more customized approach. To support our initiative, please donate today and earmark your gift towards “StuyPrep.”

“[This year], we are providing a deeper and more meaningful experience for [StuyPrep’s] middle-schoolers with an intensive summer session, in-person gatherings, and special Open House visits to Stuy.”

Applications for 2023 are open now. More details here.