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IBM-Affiliated Brooklyn School Graduates Its First Students Ahead of Schedule With Both High School & College STEM Degrees

Young trailblazers pave way for national education model for tens of thousands of students
Jun 2, 2015
PR Newswire

BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Six students from Brooklyn are graduating from P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) two years early with both their high school diplomas and college degrees in computer systems technology, fast tracking through the nation's first school that blends public high school, community college, and work experience into one.

The six students have been offered job opportunities at IBM (NYSE: IBM). Three students plan to start their careers in tech and three will pursue their bachelor degrees. The students - many of whom are first in their families to graduate college - will graduate with their associate degrees from the New York City College of Technology tonight at Barclays Center and attend a ceremony hosted by IBM earlier in the afternoon.

P-TECH, an innovative education model co-developed by IBM, is helping to reinvent high school and preparing youth, particularly students of color from low-income families, to go beyond high school, earn a college degree, and enter the workforce with skills that employers need. Within six years, students can earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree. The model helps young people to be college and career-ready with STEM skills - disciplines that underpin some of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

The school's curriculum was launched in 2011 as a public-private collaboration among IBM, the New York City Department of Education, and the City University of New York. In addition to the six students graduating early, more than half of fourth-year students at P-TECH Brooklyn are currently advancing towards college degree completion either early or on time. Nationwide, only an estimated five-percent of full-time students earn an associate degree within two years.

From the first P-TECH school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the network has grown to 27 schools across three states - New York, Illinois and Connecticut -- in just four years. This fall, there will be at least 40 P-TECH schools, serving tens of thousands of students at full enrollment, and relationships with 100 companies. And by 2016, additional P-TECH schools planned in Colorado, Rhode Island, and Australia could raise the number to 100 schools across five states and two countries.

"The performance of P-TECH's first six graduates has been truly outstanding," said Stanley S. Litow, President of the IBM International Foundation and Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "College completion rates for low-income students in the U.S. have been stagnant for 40 years, but P-TECH can break that mold. Given the opportunity and a redesigned academic pathway, students who some thought could not succeed can defy stereotypes and exceed expectations. P-TECH is transforming high school, giving young people options that they could not imagine. We celebrate this important milestone as students blaze their own bright paths."

"Success is a collective effort," said Rashid F. Davis, P-TECH Founding Principal. "Families and students, educators, industries, elected officials and policy makers are collaborating through P-TECH to reimagine high school using the following 3Cs: choice, college, and careers. Our first six graduates show that homegrown American STEM talent can be produced, pointing the way to what is possible."

P-TECH's First Graduates

Cletus Andoh, 17, wants to pursue a career in information technology and will be the first in his family to graduate college. He will graduate with honors. Cletus is headed to Syracuse University.

Gabriel Rosa, 17, has a passion for creative programming and will be the first in his family to graduate college. Gabriel will begin his career at IBM as a digital commerce specialist.

Kiambu Gall, 17, is an elite sprinter and will be the first in his immediate family to graduate college. Kiambu will begin his career at IBM as an associate analyst at IBM Market Development & Insights.

Michelle Nguyen, 17, will be the first in her family to graduate high school and college. She will graduate with honors. Michelle wants to pursue a career in pharmacy and is headed to Long Island University.

Radcliffe Saddler, 18, an aspiring entrepreneur, introduced President Obama during his 2013 visit to P-TECH. Radcliffe will begin his career at IBM as an associate analyst at IBM Market Development & Insights.

Rahat Mahmud, 17, will graduate college with honors and wants to pursue a career in software engineering. Rahat is headed to Macaulay Honors College at Queens College on a full-tuition scholarship.

For more stories and photos of these early graduates, please visit

P-TECH schools are open to all students with no tests for admission, operate within existing state budgets, and are located in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The curriculum is aligned to skills that employers are looking for, combining academic rigor with career focus. Students are paired with mentors from the business community and can gain practical workplace experience with skills-based, paid internships. The groundbreaking education model is designed to help prepare young people for 21(st) century skills and help them compete for in-demand jobs in the U.S.

IBM, together with many P-TECH schools and the City University of New York, created a website (, making publicly available the formula, tools, and case studies to help other school districts, colleges, universities, and businesses establish new P-TECH schools across the nation.

For more information about the P-TECH story, journalists can visit a press kit at

Journalists can also visit for related b-roll.

Contact(s) information:
Angie Hu
IBM Media Relations

Ari Fishkind
IBM Media Relations
1 (914) 499-6420

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