* (angi_is_altered) wrote in ontd_political,

Rosa Bracero goes from sad to grad after homeless teen wins Regents battle

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Nothing can hold this girl back.

Rosa Bracero, the student whose homelessness prevented her from taking a test she needed to graduate, will finally get her diploma next week.


The 18-year-old passed the English Regents exam that she couldn't take in February because she was forced to sit through a shelter intake process instead.

"I was so excited, I started jumping up and down," Bracero said. "I started handing out invitations to my graduation to everyone in my family - my brother, my sister, my aunts, uncles, cousins, a lot of people."

Bracero woke up the morning she was slated to take her English Regents exam - her final test before graduation - to find her family was being evicted.

A Department of Homeless Services policy forced her to stay for the seven-hour intake process in order to get shelter for her family, including two baby nieces, so she missed the exam.

While Bracero's school, the High School for Civil Rights in East New York, Brooklyn, allowed her to take the exam three days later, state Education Department officials refused to score it, citing regulations meant to prevent cheating.

However, after the Daily News told her story, the city changed its policy and now allows students to leave the shelter intake process to take mandated exams.

The aspiring automotive technician has been doing well at Lincoln Technical Institute in Union, N.J., which allowed her to enroll despite not having a diploma.

She leaves the Brooklyn shelter every morning at 5:30 a.m. to get to school by 7:30 a.m.

Her family has applied for an apartment in Maspeth, Queens, and Bracero has interviewed for several after-school jobs, including one as a security guard and another at Modell's Sporting Goods.

A job would allow her to earn some extra money to help out with the rent.

Bracero will proudly walk next week in a graduation ceremony with her classmates.

"I am so happy," she said. "I knew I could pass it."



Tags: education, new york

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