From Fighting to Flourishing

When Jeremiah arrived at Manhattan Comprehensive he was 17 and it was his fourth high school. His family life was complicated. He was in foster care and within two years he had lived in 10 different homes. “The only way I knew how to release stress was by fighting. I just didn’t care.” And he didn’t think anyone noticed him. But he was assigned to one of Comprehensive Youth Development’s Student Advocates and she noticed.

Over time CYD helped Jeremiah get into the summer engineering program at The Cooper Union. “Working with CYD made me realize I wanted to go to college and study criminal justice because of my experience on the opposite side of it. I wanted to make some kind of change and work for a fair and honest system.”

In 2014 he started studying at Borough of Manhattan Community College. There he found himself in a position he would have never predicted—mentoring other students as part of CUNY’s Strive for Success Program. At BMCC Jeremiah’s dreams continued to grow. He worked hard and was able to transfer to SUNY Buffalo State with the help of the Delaney Scholarship, a generous fund established by CYD Board of Advisors’ member Bob Delaney.

In May 2017, Jeremiah earned his B.S. in Criminal Justice and Intelligence Analysis and received SUNY’s Chancellor’s Award, the highest honor for undergraduates, for his achievement, leadership, and community service. He is now enrolled in Ph.D. program in Criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.