Two public high schools in New York City held fundraisers last week — Stuyvesant High School at a sold-out event, where a Taylor Swift headband sold for $900, and the Queens High School for Research, Information and Technology, where cookies and soda sold for $1. Stuyvesant parents hoped to raise $80,000. QIRT kids were shooting for $2,000. Below are photos from the two schools, approximately 30 miles, yet worlds apart:
Teacher Jomarie Figueroa sold snacks, sodas and hot dogs for $1-2 a piece out of her classroom at the Queens High School for Information, Research and Technology, a struggling small school in Far Rockaway. Figueroa hoped to hit a target of $2,000 to take a group of 50 graduates on a field trip in May. The money is expected to cover the cost of tickets, meals and the bus trip, all of which would have otherwise been too expensive for many students at school, about a quarter of whom are recent immigrants from Central America. Some of these new students are also undocumented. Photo: Aleksandra Konstantinovic.
A hot dog machine sat empty after a day of sales. Figueroa raised $1,800, $200 short, in about a week, from March 31 – April 7, using donations of snacks from her friends and from other teachers. Her students carried boxes of snacks to sell at lunch and between periods, returning at the end of the day with stacks of bills to add to the growing count on a whiteboard inside the classroom. Photo: Aleksandra Konstantinovic.
Stuyvesant High School, the city’s most sought-after elite high school, hosted its 13th annual Spring Feast on April 8 in honor of newly admitted freshmen. This year was the first time the school sold out the venue at Jing Fong restaurant with 960 people attending. The Parents’ Association hosting the event expected to raise approximately $80,000 primarily from ticket sales. The event featured speeches from city politicians, at least one of whom was a parent of a former Stuyvesant student, Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Aleksandra Konstantinovic.
A Taylor Swift designer headband up for auction at the Stuyvesant event was sold for $900. Another item, a gold coin, went for $1,500. The school also sold raffle and drink tickets, and held an online auction. According to the Parent Association website, Stuyvesant aims to raise $500 per student annually, and hit a total of $275,000 in its Annual Appeal last year. The money funds clubs and extracurriculars, as well as tutoring and extended class and library hours for the 3,300 seat school. Next year’s freshman class is expected to have a record low number of black and Latino students from the city’s public schools; 9 of the former and 14 of the latter were accepted so far into a class of nearly 900 students. Photo: Aleksandra Konstantinovic.