A Snapshot of Our Lives PS1

College Awareness Day

January 2020

By Annalise Knudson | aknudson@siadvance.com

Career Day at PS1, Tottenville


We're highlighting some of the activities Staten Island students are engaged in -- both inside and outside the classroom.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Kindergarten students at PS 1 were able to learn about the importance of college from four siblings who are alumni of the Tottenville elementary school.

College Awareness Day, which took place earlier this month, is an opportunity to inspire students to pursue their goals and look forward to college, no matter their age. PS 1 invited sisters Eman, Mona, Salma and Nada Metwally to speak with students.

“We want to be able to take the time and relay that message to the children,” said Eman Metwally. “No matter how young, you can still set goals and become motivated and be determined to meet those goals. And growing up, that goal can translate into going to college and setting bigger goals for yourself.”

She is a lower school learning specialist at Staten Island Academy. Her three sisters have careers in the health and medical field.

“It was a pleasure to come back to our elementary alma mater,” said the Metwally sisters in a joint statement. “We hope to instill in those children’s hearts a desire to set goals, to become motivated, to pursue their dreams with determination and to never be afraid to say, ‘I will make it to college. I will succeed.’”

Principal Graziella Pietrangelo and Assistant Principal Nicole Sini thought it would be a great idea to invite former PS 1 students who attended college back to PS 1 to serve as role models and the epitome of success to show young students that they can achieve their dreams and goals.

“It’s exciting to know that our current fifth graders will graduate high school and potentially go to college in 2027 and that means our current kindergarten students will be off to college in 2032!” Pietrangelo and Sini said in a joint statement.

Pietrangelo and Sini said it was an honor to celebrate the day with alumni at PS 1, and “share the successes of each and every individual who previously attended our school.”

“Through this event, our students were taught the importance and value of education and attending college,” the pair said in a joint statement. “It was a memorable experience for our staff, students and alumni alike and brought back much nostalgia as we toured the school building and shared in the artifacts they brought with them from report cards to tests, artwork and awards.”

And students learned important lessons during College Awareness Day.

“You need to go to college to make money and help your family," said third-grader William Garcia.

Ethan Kubasak, a third-grader, said he learned it’s important to “work hard in school and be kind in school.”

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