Go Trailblazers!

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It was a great season to be a member of Inwood Academy’s Trailblazers.

The new school year brought about exciting changes to our programming along with bringing together many familiar faces while welcoming new ones. As we completed the first season our third year of athletic programming at IAL, we couldn’t be more pleased with the accomplishments of our scholar athletes and coaches.

Our Middle School (JHS) flag football, volleyball, and track teams returned this season, and we added a few new teams to the Trailblazers roster, JHS wrestling, girls High School (JV) basketball, and boys JV basketball. Combined, these teams are represented by eighty-one student athletes who all actively participate in team training and games and thirteen phenomenal coaches, four of which are our treasured volunteers.

The new Middle School building’s gym is the Trailblazers new gem. It’s allowed us to increase our practices times and our level of play. Our JHS volleyball team went undefeated in the regular season winning the Manhattan Regular Season Championship and came in second place in the Tournament Championship. Our first year JHS wrestling team produced an All-City Champion in the 210 pound weight class and is working hard to add more championships in the winter season. Both the girls and boys JV basketball teams had winning seasons, too.

As the Athletic Director, one of my proudest moments of this past fall was seeing how supportive the parents were in their child’s interest in sports. They happily came to our first athletics parent meeting, met with their child’s coaches, and made commitments to help their teams out by volunteering their time. I was also very proud to see the student athletes on our JHS and JV teams volunteering their time during IAL’s Season of Service, including their help with running a food drive in November, which distributed more than 10,000 pounds of food to families in Northern Manhattan. And the field trip the JV girls basketball team took early in the season, attending the Our Future, Our Rights – Youth Rising #UpForSchool rally, which was a United Nations event held at New York University. Our girls joined 300 other young activists demanding that world leaders keep to their promise that all children would be in school by the end of 2015.

My goal as Athletic Director isn’t simply to produce championships for our school, it’s to produce mature young people who can serve and lead others well.

By Kenneth Tejeda, kenneth.tejeda@inwoodacademy.org

Ending 2014 Strong, and Starting 2015 Right

Uptown Green

During Inwood Academy for Leadership’s first two months of Season of Service, students, families, and staff helped many of its neighbors most in need. This new IAL program also helps us reinforce a simple message to our students: that we all can be leaders by making a difference.

In November, we partnered with over twenty organizations to launch #UptownGoGreen to feed thousands of Go Green Volunteer 1families in northern Manhattan. Our middle school served as the distribution hub for over 10,000 pounds of food, 500 pounds of which were collected at our two buildings. Forty IAL students, parents, and staff joined dozens of other volunteers to prepare bags that were distributed at eight locations.

In December we held a holiday toy drive. Phase one saw over 130 new and gently used toys collected and distributed to homeless children and families during the Love Kitchen Holiday Banquet. We have another 100+ toys collected Toy Drivefor phase two: a Three Kings Toy Distribution for gravely sick children at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Another event was a comic book fundraiser held by
our IAL Middle School Students, who raised money for the purchase of warm accessories and toiletries, which were distributed to HIV patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

With every school-wide season of service event we are setting the example that our service is the best holiday gift we can share.  Season of Service will continue until Saturday, January 18, after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

Thank you to all who have contributed to the Season of Service. To get involved, please contact angelo.ortiz@inwoodacademy.org.

Click here to see pictures of one of the distribution sites.