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Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz welcomes Mayor Bloomberg to the podium after introducing him as Graduation Master of Ceremonies Ms. Gloria Longakit looks on.
New York, NY (7/24/09)—There were several standing ovations and a sea of camera flashes to greet this great city’s 108th mayor when yesterday he came to address a packed crowd of more than four thousand ASA graduates, their family and friends, ASA staff and special guests at the Wamu Theater of Madison Square Garden. “ASA really is a great place and I can’t help but be impressed with your commitment,” Mayor Bloomberg said as he praised ASA for graduating students many of whom are the first to graduate from college in their families.
Mayor Bloomberg addresses ASA’s graduates at the Wamu Theater of the Madison Square Garden.
During his speech, the Mayor also recognized three ASA graduates for the special challenges that they had to overcome to graduate. They were Ms. Minire Seferaj, a Criminal Justice graduate who before the Mayor’s speech was named Alumnus of the Year awardee. She’s a single mom who graduated while raising four kids and serving as both the President of ASA’s student organization and PTA President of one of her kids. Ms. Terri James, who’s battling all types of medical problems and also has five kids. And finally, Ms. Young Ae Song who at 62 makes her the oldest graduate. “When she’s at an age when most people are thinking about retiring, she’s thinking about starting a new career,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Bloomberg with ASA President Alex Shchegol.
The Mayor was introduced by Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz of the 45th District, who praised him for the “increase in graduation rates in the city’s school system, crime rates that are at a 30-year low, and efforts to create more than four hundred thousand jobs.”
ASA graduates getting ready to receive their diplomas.
Other dignitaries who attended the graduation ceremony included Assembly Member Alan Maisel who represents the 59th District; Ms. Vilma Huertas-Cymbrowitz, Secretary to the Board of the New York City Housing Authority; and Mr. Carl Hum, President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“This is truly a wonderful event for our graduates. They are marching on the grandest stage which is Madison Square Garden and they have none other than the Mayor of New York City as their speaker,” said Alex Shchegol, President of ASA. “He is not only a great mayor. He is also a very successful businessman and that’s what makes him a true role model for our students,” said Roberto Dumaual, ASA Vice President of Government and Community Relations.
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