Join in and Care for Neighborhood Trees! 

After a hot dry summer, our street trees need our help!

We will:
clean litter, cultivate the soil, plant daffodil bulbs, add mulch and water! 

Saturday, October 17th

10:00am – 12:00pm

Meeting place:

84 Street & Amsterdam Ave 

Come join the fun, meet your neighbors and find out more about your neighborhood trees!

So that we can be prepared with tools and gloves for you, please rsvp:
UAGC Students & Staff contact: See Ms. Francis
Community contact: 

From Industry to the Classroom for a Better Planet

UAGC CTE Teachers (L-R): Popi Begum, Stephanie Francis, Chris Sedita

In Summer 2013, we made incredible efforts to completely redesign and refocus our career and technical education program, shifting away from a 20th Century "shop" model to the 21st Century, sustainability-minded  technical science program we had originally intended. Hiring Chris Sedita, in August 2014, was an integral step in that process. Mr. Sedita, formerly an architect and Field Superintendent for Sciame Construction, revamped our Green Buildings curriculum to focus on "green" design and building. In Mr. Sedita's classes, students learned the fundamental principles of building design and construction, how a building works as a whole system, and hands-on methods for redesigning and retrofitting a building to make them perform at higher levels of effectiveness and environmental efficiency without sacrificing occupant comfort.

Further advancing our technical science curriculum, we made two key hires this summer, for both our Green Building and Horticulture Programs. Joining Green Buildings to teach design and AutoCAD, is Popi Begum. Working with the Army Corps of Engineers for the last five years, Ms. Begum (or, Lt. Begum!), a trained architect, was responsible for major projects, both new construction and restoration, domestically and abroad--designing and building obstacle courses and training towers for soldiers, as well as schools, houses and furniture. "Architecture combines art and design, which are my passions," says Ms. Begum, "but it's more hands-on. ...I want my students here to experience as much hands-on as possible. I want them to see the thought and design process from paper to finished product. I want them to develop their knowledge of AutoCAD (an automated computer-aided design and drafting program) so that they can design structures, from a classroom to a skyscraper. With a command of AutoCAD, if they’re interested in any aspect of this field, they can join a design or architecture firm as a draftsman, and work on up." In terms of major concepts and lasting skills, Ms. Begum will teach her students to understand construction documents, such as blue prints and graphic presentations, how to read, create, and present them for critique. "Design and drafting is a professional skill that [my students] can use as a baseline in any field within the building industry, whether architecture, plumbing, electrical, or engineering. If they learn how to read and create construction documents and graphic presentations, they will become advanced candidates for a position within the industry."

Ms. Begum (right), overseeing the construction of a soldier training course in Germany.

Taking the lead of our Horticulture Program, is Stephanie Francis. Initially joining our staff late last spring as a long term substitute teacher when one of our other Buildings teachers left us to return to the industry, Ms. Francis taught wildly popular seed-to-table culinary courses to 9th and 12th graders. When our Horticulture position opened up at the end of the school year, we had the opportunity to bring Ms. Francis on full time.

Ms. Francis, a former Social Studies teacher, left teaching in 2009 to focus on other passions. Cofounding Harlem Seeds in 2010, Ms. Francis, who ran Harlem Seeds as executive director for the last five years, merged her experience as a teacher and her "passion for food, nature and kids" to provide "garden-based education, culinary education and social justice." Harlem Seeds executed this mission through neighborhood workshops, guided tours of community gardens and CSAs, and hands-on demonstrations on how and why to shop for and prepare simple, healthy meals to fight childhood obesity and diabetes through food education and food justice.

Ms. Francis (second from left), with four of her summer gardening interns, on to a trip to the New York Botanic Gardens in August. Darrel Morrison (third from right), esteemed landscape architect and friend of UAGC, accompanies the site visit.

Stepping away from Harlem Seeds, Ms. Francis ran the UAGC Summer Gardening Internship this July and August, teaching ten students how to maintain and profit from UAGC's school garden.  By teaching students to engage with the horticulture curriculum through the lens of scientist, entrepreneur, and manager, our interns harvested the kale, collards, tomatoes, peppers, beets, cucumbers, string beans, and pumpkins planted earlier in the spring by their peers in the  Horticulture program, and sold them to both local farm-to-table restaurant Jacob's Pickles, as well as to neighbors within the community.

Ms. Francis is returning to the classroom to teach her students how to be successful within the industry. "[Horticulture] is an amazing field where someone can do so much," says Francis. "Giving my students the tools necessary will help them succeed in horticulture and life. In order to compete with others in this industry, [my students] must learn and understand the major components of design (i.e., landscaping), operations (i.e., pest management, financial management), production (i.e., seed development, soil care, growing food), and maintenance (i.e., groundskeeper, composting). These components will help them land internships, entry-level positions and entrance into a college with horticulture, environmental science or plant science as a major. This is an ever-growing, highly popular field, and I want to help my students earn their certifications in this field so they can be most competitive [on the market]."

From the September 2015 issue of AP Luke Janka's Community Newsletter. To download this issue, or to read back issues about exciting events at UAGC, use the Parents & Community link above or click here.

To increase student safety, all exterior doors in the Brandeis Campus are now armed with alarms. Students, parents, and staff may ONLY ENTER AND EXIT through the main entrance by security. Thank you for your cooperation.
Open House School Tours
for Prospective Students
and their Parents

UAGC is hosting a series of ten morning and afternoon open house school days for eighth graders and their parents throughout September, October and November. The open houses will provide prospective families with an opportunity to learn about our mission, core values and academic program, and to tour a variety of classrooms. Click the Prospective Students link below to RSVP for a date/time that works for your schedule.
UAGC in the Media

Candy Gonzalez, Class of 2016 working with the Central Park Conservancy

Green Careers Lab Program

Central Park Conservancy is recruiting students to participate in our 2016 Green Careers Lab program. This is a 6-week career exploration workshop for students interested in the field of urban parks and urban green space. Green Careers Lab offers 10 high school students the chance to meet and interview professionals from a number of parks and green space organizations. Students learn about the career journeys of professionals, meet other like-minded students, get to know unique green spaces throughout New York City, develop public speaking skills, AND make connections in the field of urban park management!

Join this is exciting new program if you are passionate about green space, thinking about career options, and willing to dedicate 6 Saturdays to an eye-opening program. A digital application is attached here. You may submit applications digitally or in hard copy, but they must be received by November 30th.
Green Careers Lab Application.pdf

"It's Really Amazing How Prepared I Am"

Paulette Moctezuma, class of 2015, is now in her first year studying Criminal Justice, specializing in Forensics, at
LaGuardia. She recently visited UAGC and sat down for an interview about her transition to college:

"We have to work in groups . . . you learn from each other, explaining why you saw it that way, and they explain how they saw it. It really takes me back to Green Careers."
"Breaching really prepared me to participate in these discussions because it makes you think about a text and have something to say about it."
Read the full interview here.

UAGC Featured at the Innovative Schools Network Conference

As part of a three-day conference being held in NYC for innovative educators, the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers will host guests from across the country and allow participants to explore how the cultural systems of school can be radically restructured to ramp up learning and engagement through classroom visits and break-out sessions featuring demonstrations of Learning Cultures practices.

UAGC Community News May2015.pdf