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Boro high school student embodies success, hard work

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Brandon Newell is a respected student by Principal Lynn C. Callender, of the Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School in the Campus Complex in Cambria Heights. She said when she assumed the leadership of the school last September, Brandon was one of the first students who came to her with suggestions on how to help the school move forward.

She praised his “maturity and leadership, which helped get the student government up and running.” He now meets regularly with her as the student government president.

As such, he has coordinated the activities students are involved in. Working with New York Cares, the students conducted coat and canned food drives and collected toiletries for Hurricane Sandy victims. He is also working on a “Coupons for Troops” program. It seems troops can use coupons in fliers to buy things at military stores.

They were also involved in the recent cancer walk in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and are working on the annual Penny Drive. At a recent meeting in his school, he spoke about his academic experiences and the positive programs there.

He is in the innovative Virtual Enterprise International business class, where the class is set up like a virtual — that is, make believe — business. He is the sales representative in his business, took part in the business ad competition and is planning for the trade fair in the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan in the spring, where he will be in charge of hospitality due to his communication and negotiating skills.

He has obtained a paid internship through the Virtual Enterprise International office. He will be working at the Cross Island YMCA doing administrative work in its office and working with youngsters as a role model, teaching them how to learn work skills and be leaders so they will do well in junior high school.

Other school activities Brandon is involved in are service to teachers by helping them organize their classrooms and putting up bulletin boards. He is editor of the 2013 school yearbook and helps the senior adviser order senior T-shirts, plan the senior prom and trip and help organize a Black History Month for all four schools in the complex. He is also a member of his school’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter, a nationwide organization that promotes business skills knowledge, citizenship and leadership skills.

In the mornings, Brandon goes to the lunchroom of the Campus Complex and talks to freshmen to help them adjust to high school. His own experiences as a student and now as a senior help younger students get on the right track to a high school diploma.

One of his dreams is to be a professional drummer. He currently has his own band, which he is promoting. Two companies now give him a discount on their products because he promotes their products when he performs.

As student government president, he has been nominated as one of the business high school’s representatives to the Borough Student Advisory Council, and it in turn nominated him to the city schools chancellor’s Student Advisory Council. These groups are places where students can bring problems from their schools and ask for advice from the other student leaders, then bring back this information to their schools.

Often, top city Department of Education officials speak to students, giving them information and answering their questions.

Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Atina Modesto spoke of Brandon as being “a talented young man, well-spoken, who is always helpful and a talented drummer.”

Reine Nyrenda, coordinator of student affairs, said, “Brandon Newell impressed me as a ninth-grader with his enterprising attitude, consciousness, ability to work with his peers and his actions as a role model …. He is a great student.”

Academically, he is on the honor roll from his Advanced Microsoft class. He took college technology classes with his school’s accounting and business practices teacher M.L. Goldston as part of the Career Pathways Program of Queensborough Community College.

He should earn about 10 college credits by the time he graduates from the business high school. He is thinking of joining the U.S. Army Reserves and attending college. With his high school experiences, the future is wide open for him.

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