Hayesman Wins Prestigious Scholarship
Michael Perdomo has a great deal to smile about these days. This September, he became the third Cardinal Hayes student to be awarded the Peter Flanigan Scholarship by the Student Sponsor Partners (SSP) program. The $40,000 scholarship will go towards his college education.
Bronx, New York: Michael Perdomo has a great deal to smile about these days. This September, he became the third Cardinal Hayes student to be awarded the Peter Flanigan Scholarship by the Student Sponsor Partners (SSP) program. The $40,000 scholarship will go towards his college education. According to Perdomo, he has come a long way from the introverted kid he was before Cardinal Hayes. “At first, it was really hard for me socially. I didn’t interact much with the other kids until a couple of months into my freshman year. I started talking with new people and began to form friendships with really cool students.”
What was most impactful about his time at Hayes was the bond that he formed with his teachers. “I don’t think I gained as much as I wanted academically during middle school. When I came to Hayes, the school helped me develop my math and english skills. Ms. Colleen Walsh and Mr. Rui Guimaraes were instrumental in strenghtening my literary style. Ms. Walsh was the first teacher that stepped up my writing and Mr. Guimaraes took that to a whole new level. He was really strict. I appreciated his approach because he was preparing us for college. Mr. John Brosnan was my homeroom teacher who taught me math. I feel like he helped me understand the fundamentals of the subject.”
One other institution that played a pivotal role in his development was SSP. With the program, Perdomo found a new sense of independence. SSP partnered Perdomo with his mentor Elon Pankin. “My mentor exposed me to different cultural activities including trips to museums throughout the city. He was very supportive and motivated me to do my best. He ocassionally offered to review some of my essay assignments. The guidance that I received from him was invaluable.”
Jasmine Alfonseca, Senior Manager of the College and Career Success Program at SSP has seen Perdomo evolve into a confident young man in the past four years. “Michael has worked incredibly hard this school year. He has taken ownership of his journey and his own voice. Even though he was nervous before the scholarship interview, the moment he entered that room you could tell that he had done the work. He was grateful, well spoken and truly shined. It was the accumulation of everything he has done.”
The Peter M. Flanigan Scholarship application process is highly competitive. Out of 279 SSP juniors, 47 students were invited to apply for the scholarship. Students must hold no less than a 90 grade point average in order to be eligible. This group represents the top ten percent of SSP juniors. After a lengthy process, a panel of judges interviewed 13 students and four students were awarded scholarships. In 1986, founder Peter Flanigan created the program to combat the dwindling graduation rates in New York City. Flanigan a former investment banker and political advisor provided an environment where students from New York City area Catholic schools were exposed to academic and social opportunities.
Although Flanigan passed away in 2013, his legacy continues to impact students and provide them with a pathway to success. SSP offers a variety of services including college readiness workshops, mentoring and career counseling. In 2017, the SSP graduating class were awarded over $24 million in scholarships, grants and financial aid.
This fall Perdomo plans to study computer science in college. “I’ve always loved science as a kid and how computers function. It’s very fascinating how in a couple of decades we have been able to expand technologically.” The self-proclaimed science nerd has already set his sights on working for Google after college. As he approaches the final few months of his senior year, Perdomo beams with excitement about the time he spent at Hayes and the bright future ahead. “ The school helped me changed who I was. Originally, I was too nervous to do certain things. Hayes brought a lot change and inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone.”
Cardinal Hayes is an all-boys, college preparatory Catholic High School serving the Bronx and upper Manhattan communities since 1941. It has steadfastly provided young men from diverse backgrounds access to a transformative education and a pathway to lifelong success.
For further information, contact:
Jackina Farshtey – Director of Communications and Marketing
Cardinal Hayes High School