NYC schools chancellor visits successful transfer school

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THE BRONX -

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina stopped by a transfer school in the Bronx Monday to speak to students about the work they are doing.

Students at Mott Haven Community High School are currently working on wiring an entire home during two class periods every day. The school says this career-driven technical class sets students up for construction jobs.

Farina says the class makes sense given all the construction going on in the borough.

"There are at least six students who graduated last year who are in the unions now, and that's really the goal for kids. Go to college or get a good wage job or both," says Farina.

Students are not only limited to building homes, they are also able to make music. The school features its own recording studio, complete with turntables and professional gear. Students use the studio for learning but also use it for "rap therapy" to talk about issues they are having.

"We also have a social worker there who can help with any problems that we're going through. Here we feel like we can talk to anyone," says student Kelly Castillo.

As a transfer school, Mott Haven Community is a small, academically rigorous school designed to re-engage students who have dropped out or have fallen behind in credits.

School officials say they hope to continue expanding the program in the Bronx and throughout the city, giving students a second chance while getting them ready for the workforce.

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