A. Philip Randolph Campus High School (APRCHS) celebrated its rich, historic legacy in New York City’s Harlem community on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at the Glen Harbour Island Club in New Rochelle. A. Philip Randolph High School is a beacon of academic excellence that has prepared thousands of mainly Black and Latino students for competitive colleges and universities as well as the successful careers that followed.
After several attempts to have the school closed, the school remains standing as the only historically Black and Brown high school in NYC. The Harlem High School has successfully beat the odds of closing though many other NYCDOE schools have faced challenges resulting in either unfortunate school closings or having to share space with new and smaller schools. With a dedicated Alumni Relations Director, graduates will be engaged and encouraged to help sustain and preserve the history and future of the historic Harlem landmark.
Since the late ’90s, the school continues to see a regular daily attendance rate of 90% or better throughout the academic year and more than 90% of its graduates attend college. Just last year, the class of 2019 sent graduates to Dartmouth College and Harvard University. Over the past five years, Randolph graduates have won admission into Ivy League schools including the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University and the nation’s most selective colleges and universities, including Bowdoin, Vassar, and Gettysburg.
APRCHS’ graduates most recognized nationally include USA Olympic Gold Medalist Natasha Hastings, (Class of 2004) as well as Actor and Rapper Mustafa Shakir (Class of ’94), best known as “Bushmaster” in Marvel’s “Luke Cage.” Among alumni who are currently most engaged in ongoing initiatives supporting APRCHS are Stephanie Akunvabey, Ed.D, ’03 (CUNY/Kingsborough, Director of Academic Affairs), Larry Scott Blackmon, ’92 (Fresh Direct Vice President for Community and Government Affairs), and Jenny Tsang-Quinn, M.D. ’89. While there are a multitude of alumni success stories that can serve as positive and inspirational examples to current and future students that will walk the same hallways, record keeping and lack of alumni engagement has created a disconnect with the school.
Together with non-profit organization Sound Business Inc. (SBI), APRCHS has become known as an “Inclusive Grassroots Cooperative” (IGC). On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, SBI hosted APRCHS’ 40th Anniversary Awards Benefit Dinner to help renew “Campus Cougar” pride, boost Alumni Engagement and bring awareness to the much needed historic preservation of the school. Located on the City College of New York (CCNY) campus in Harlem, the school’s Collegiate Gothic style was designed between 1924-1926 by William H. Gompert, architect & superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education. In 1997, the historic building was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The benefit dinner included alumni raising funds for a new role, Alumni Relations Director. Officially launching as the school’s Alumni Organization, the future goal includes implementing a Board of Directors and advisors to help manage the vision of work, as well as the future commitment required of the initiatives that will come from this new role.
About Asa Philip Randolph Campus High School: A. Philip Randolph Campus High School (APRCHS) is a four-year public high school in New York City. It is located in Harlem, adjacent to the City College of New York.