A Crown Heights school lauded by President Barack Obama is graduating its first class of six students with dual high school diplomas and associate of arts degrees in technology two years early.
Radcliffe Saddler, 18; Kiambu Gall, 17; Cletus Andoh, 17; Gabriel Rosa, 17; Michelle Nguyen, 17 and Rahat Mahmud, 17, graduated Tuesday from Pathways in Technology Early College High School, the first of now 27 P-TECH schools throughout the country.
The fast-track, tech-oriented Brooklyn school, which blends high school, college and work experience in a public-private collaboration among IBM, the city'd education department and CUNY, opened in 2011. It was later visited by Obama, who praised it for increasing the global competitiveness of the U.S. students and workers his 2013 State of the Union address.
All six of the new grads -- the first to graduate in a class of 90 -- have been offered jobs by IBM and three plan to take them, according to the company. The other three graduates plan to continue their educations with scholarships to four-year universities. Four of the new graduates are the first in their families to obtain college degrees.
Rosa, who hopes to start his own software company, hacked into the school's computer system when he was 14, and administrators responded by assigning him the task of reprogramming 40 of the school's laptops.
New York state has 21 schools in the P-TECH mold and six are in New York City.