Friday, June 13, 2014

2014 Peer Mentor Program

Join us celebrating our 2014 Peer Mentors who, since October, committed two lunch periods per week to mentoring 9th and 10th grade students in the iDesign, Sisterhood & ESI programs. 

Mentors spent one lunch period per week in a mentor role, co-leading activities on identity, college readiness, and relationships with underclassmen and counseling staff.  Fridays were dedicated to "Mentor Meet-Ups" where they received leadership training and reflected on their group process. 

2014 Mentors: Arleen, Kailamarie, Jamilex, Andre, Israel, Danielle, Elaina, Angelique, Zayra, Zulfiya, Christian, and Carlos

Celine Gil, Adobe Youth Voices Scholarship Winner!

New Design High School 12th grader, Celine Gil was awarded an Adobe Youth Voices Scholarship! Out of 118 applications from around the world, Celine is one of 25 talented students chosen based on her academic achievement, artistic portfolio and participation in Urban Arts Partnership's Adobe Youth Voices program.

The scholarship will cover all of Celine's post-secondary costs to SUNY Purchase College where she will be pursuing a BFA in Photography this fall.

The Adobe Youth Voices Scholarship program was established in 2012 to unlock the creative potential of students in the Adobe Youth Voices program and support them as they continue their education, pursue creative careers and find innovative ways to improve their communities.

Check out Celine's photography portfolio from the NYC SALT program here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Madness at New Design High

As the end of the school year approaches, students are meeting current challenges while looking forward to future ones. Seniors are receiving college acceptance letters and are looking forward to ending high school on the best terms, while creating their last memories with their class. Juniors are excited to become seniors in the fall. They are attending office hours as much as possible to receive extra help after school - hoping to improve both their grades and their skills. The sophomore and freshmen class are already beginning their college seeking journey. In April they are going on a trip upstate to Bard for early college awareness.

Check out some of the things going on in some of our Design classes. Students in Julie's advanced design class are creating clothing pieces using their unique drawing style:
Dave's industrial design class just finished creating lamps out of unusual materials and are now writing their project reflections.
In Ben's class, students are creating food sculptures and are later going to write about healthy eating habits.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ESI Gentlemen's Group

New Design staff members and students work together to create a better academic and social environment. One of the innovative ways in which they do this is through the Gentlemen's or "Gents" group, sponsored by the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI). Founders of the group say the main idea behind the Gents group is to build community between young men of color through shared experiences. The gents build character and increase their self esteem by attending meetings, participating in workouts and going on group trips. The Gents meet every Wednesday after school and even have their own dress code to symbolize their place in the student body. Once a week the Gents wear ties to symbolize their membership in the group and to demonstrate their professionalism. Take a look at this video to learn more about the program.  The function of the group is to build community through shared experiences as young men of color, build character, and increase self-esteem. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sisterhood and Idesign Camp Ramapo trip

On November 8th little sisters, big sisters and idesign students packed their bags and got ready to go take a hike, make smores and hang out around the camp fire. The camping trip was intended to allow students participating in the idesign program to build relationships and spend quality time together. It went just as planned. Younger students came out of their shells and got to know their mentors better – sharing both laughter and memories.  On their way back from Camp Ramapo, students made a stop at SUNY Binghamton and were taken on a tour lead by all kinds SUNY students: From freshmen through seniors, fraternities and honors students. The idea was to show all sisters and idesign mentors and mentees the true college life and give them a day in the life of a college student. Thanks to the help and support of donors from all around the globe, our trip was a great success.

Cabin at Camp Ramapo 
Moments of laughter 

iDesign Males Mentors and Mentees  

All participating Big and Little Sisters group picture 
Bingmanton Students talking to Ndhs about their experience getting into college and living on campus  
After working together to accomplish a trust game
Big sister and Little sister
Meeting Camp Ramapo staff
Students helping their Sister Hood founders and leaders Sarah Gluck  and Arihana  Allensworth 
Getting ready to help each other climb to the top and conquer their fears in height and trusting others big and little sister 

Monday, December 16, 2013



             Last month New Design High School held its annual Newspaper Fashion Show. A small group of students began the tradition in 2007. During the show students walk down the runway wearing outfits made out recycled materials: mostly newspaper and tape. Students compete with each other in front of a group of judges based on categories such as “best walk” or “most creative” etc., and model outfits made by themselves or their friends.
       The host, our own Michael Casiano, charmed the crowd with his colorful commentaries and Victoria Ruiz, a senior was, like always, a big highlight of this year’s show. She entertained the audience with her charismatic personality, her many expressions, her walk and an amazing newspaper outfit. Anthony Sierra and Ana Quiroz also stole the show this year with their "Alison and wonder land" theme. The pair wore stunning matching outfits and had perfectly styled. The pair won best in show. Last but not least, Donis Almanzar’s paper outfit left the crowd amazed with his piece inspired by the designer Givenchy. The outfit was voted best in menswear.
        This year’s judges included real industry insiders. We had Magen Tou of Bonton brands, Katie Hart of Free People , costume designer Kate Cusak, Lana Russo of Glamour , Steven Dool of PR agency and finally our own Dr. Scott Conti principal of New Design High School. Students are also given a grade in their design class for participating in show.
       Our winners came all from different grades and were awarded in different categories.
Best in Show, as already mentioned, went to Anthony Sierra and Ana Quiroz. Best Menswear was awarded to Donis Almanzar and Best Accessories and Styling went Emmanuel Campana. Most Entertaining went to Andrew Arce; Ann Christine Velazquez won Best Use of Color and Pattern while Alexa Garcia won most wearable.

                                                              Victoria Ruiz

                                 Celine Gil, Donis Almanzar and Sierra Ramos 

Anthony Sierra and Ana Quiroz 

Emmanuel Capana and Nicolle Minaya

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Future is Now Family Day

(Pictured Above: NDHS alumni panelists share their college experiences with attendees)

On SaturdayNovember 2nd, New Design hosted the second annual “Future is Now” Family Day. In a collective effort, representatives from New Design, Urban Arts Partnership, the Parent Association, Community of Unity and the Expanded Success Initiative facilitated a series of workshops about preparing for life after high school. Workshops covered topics ranging from the application process, financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Attendees also got a chance to meet with reps from local youth organizations about extracurricular opportunities. The day ended with a panel discussion featuring recent NDHS graduates representing Dowling College, Five Towns College, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY Purchase, City Tech and Brooklyn College. 

“This is my second child going to college, and I made some mistakes the first time, so all the information is helpful.” – NDHS parent
“This college event is really important because it gives families perspectives from people who have gone to this high school and how their transition to college went.” – Kwan, NDHS graduate
“I received a lot of information about colleges that I didn’t know, like about CUNY and SUNY schools and what they offer and their living options.” – Thermond, NDHS 11th grader
“It’s great that students are getting the preparation early in 9th and 10th grade because it’s a lot to handle in your last two years of high school.  The earlier students get prepared for college – building up their resumes, figuring out what types of colleges they’re interested in and they might want to study – it just helps them to make the transition a whole lot easier.” – Nicole Smith, ESI coordinator
(Photos & interviews by 11th grader, Danielle Lunas)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rosie Shouts Out New Design

Actress Rosie Perez was interviewed by the New York Times last weekend.  The Times asked her to talk about the legacy of Mayor Bloomberg.  Perez, a frequent visitor to New Design, is the Chairwomen of the Artistic Board of Urban Arts Partnership.  She applauded Mr. Bloomberg for opening up more small schools such as New Design replacing failing large schools.  In the article she says, 
When I walk down the hallway of New Design High School, one of the five small schools Urban Arts has helped to found in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the kids come up to me, look me in the eye, shake my hand. I listen to their dreams and ask them where they’re going to college.
It’s very hard for a kid to be anonymous in a small school like New Design. I can’t tell you how many kids I have seen go from a scowling ninth grader to an accomplished senior, winning scholarships to prestigious colleges. The arts have the ability to make these kinds of transformations in students, and there is a special relationship between the arts and the small schools movement.
Thanks for the love Rosie.  You can read the entire interview here.