THE BRONX - More than 200 teachers were added to Bronx classrooms after participants in Mercy College?s New Teacher Residency Program graduated Friday.

The 240 teachers, fresh off a seven-week intensive training program, celebrated with games like tug of war, water balloon tossing and dance contests at the school?s campus.

Some of the graduates are right out of college, while others are embarking on a second career.

Dalia Vasquez says she?s ready for the challenges of teaching in the Bronx because it?s where she went to school. ?I want to inspire, motivate, create expectation and let them know if a girl from 163rd Street and Third Avenue in the South Bronx can make it even after being homeless, they can make it too,? Vasquez said.

The graduates will begin teaching in the Bronx in a few weeks. Mercy College?s program is a joint venture with the New York City Teaching Fellows program.