HLA student holding textbook and t-shirt
This story was written by Rocio Rayo, ECI Program Coordinator, and initially appeared on the Hostos Lincoln Academy Early College Initative’s blog.

Welcome to this extraordinary year of the masks!

Like everyone else in the city, I am worried. Worried about my health, my family. Worried about the changes that seem never-ending and often insurmountable. I am also worried about this semester, about my students and how they are handling this strange world we find ourselves in.

I organized a tabling event outside of Hostos yesterday (thank you Public Safety and Facilities!) thinly veiled as “textbook distribution.” It was an event to celebrate the students. To celebrate new beginnings (for some it was their first college semester) and to honor their resilience, their fortitude and their commitment and dedication to themselves – I also gave out and collected textbooks – but the real reason I was there was to give students and myself some semblance of normalcy. What is the beginning of the semester without me taking pictures and giving out swag?! Yesterday was even better than most first days because folks came out with their families! I met moms, dads, grandmas and sisters.
HLA student and guardianHLA student and guardian
It was worth it.

Please enjoy their radiant faces (behind masks) and bask in their glow.

Our future is bright, because our leaders are at Hostos.

For more photos from the event, read the original post here.