The Academy of Innovative Technology (AOIT) is a school on the Franklin K Lane campus that specializes in providing students with the training necessary to perform well in the technology field.  At AOIT you can expect to find 3 different programs, pertaining to technology, that are being taught to students.  Those programs are: computer repair, graphic design and web design.

In their freshman year of highschool students are exposed to all three programs, allowing them to gain enough experience in each, that they are able to choose which department they would like to focus on, and progress toward certification in.

The computer repair department specializes in the hardware aspects of a computer system and how to resolve the many problems that might affect a computer system’s performance, as well as its network, and printer capabilities.  

In this program students start by getting introduced to the subject of computer hardware.  They engage hands-on in hardware repair, learning what professional technicians do when working on computers.  Students also explore different job opportunities that become obtainable with certification.  A+, the computer repair certification exam,  is  included as part of the curriculum.   A passing grade on the A+ certification exam represents the student’s successful completion of the program.

           My time in the computer repair program has been very challenging, but fun.  Mr. Alphonse, who teaches computer repair, has invested a lot of hard work and effort to ensure that, as students, we receive the content necessary to study for the certification exam.  The next batch of students scheduled to take the exam will be taking it in April.  


In Robotics Class, we work together in order to create robots.  The class is divided into two collaborative groups: one is in charge of programming the robot; the other helps to build the robot. 

The students programming the robot work via computer to write the code that will control the robot. 

The builders, on the other hand, have two tasks.  The first task is to construct the arena, in which the robot will perform.  The arena, in short, is a giant square, that contains two huge wooden balls at its center; one red and one blue.  Planted between the balls is a T shaped structure with a platform built onto either end of the T.  The platforms are built with the ultimate purpose of holding the balls.  One is painted blue and is stationed above the ball of the same color.  The other platform is painted red and is stationed above the red ball.  Once the arena is completed, the builders move onto their second task, which is to build the robot. 

While this is taking place, the programmers continue to work with Java to write the code that will tell the robot what to do.  In order to help them do this, the programmers use the application: Android Studios.  This application is essential, as it is compatible with the phones, which function as remote control devices for the robots.  The programmers must code every single detail of what the robot will be capable of in order for it to function properly.  The builders must work in conjunction with the programmers to ensure that the robot is physically capable of performing the functions they are encoding it with.

 The robots are constructed according the rules set forth by FTC- First Tech Challenge, and cannot not surpass 18 inches by 18 inches.  Currently we have completed the coding and construction of two robots.  Each one has different capabilities that can garner vast amounts of points and which in turn would help us to remain in the competition for as long as possible.

For the last three months, the First Tech Challenge was the main goal of our robotics class.  Mr. Santana, a CTE Teacher, and Mr. Schmidt, a Math Teacher together head up the robotics program at AoIT and they decided that we should make 2 robots for the competition. 

Students Nyja Daniels, Matthew Nunez, Charles Williams and Elijah Rivera worked hard, under the supervision of Mr. Schmidt, in order to build the arena and robots.

Mr. Santana was in charge of the programmers group. That group was a smaller one, and consisted of myself, Samad Hussain, and Xavier Matos. 

At first, we were faced with a number programming errors, some known, some unknown.  After about a month, the engineering team had finished building their first robot and yet we had had no success with the programming.

Later, we figured out that part of the reason we were running into so many brick walls, was because the computers we had been using were too outdated for what we needed to do. 

If our goal was to be done in time to compete in the First Tech Challenge, we had to find a way to knock down some of those walls we were running into, and soon.  With time slipping away, a decision had to be made on how to tackle this major hurdle.  Ultimately, Mr. Schmidt was able to find sufficient funds to order some brand new computers, which then enabled us to properly program the robot’s functions.

Those new computers were all set but one error (which was not letting us to send the codes to the robots) was preventing our success. Then Schmidt called Mr. Aaron (programming teacher in Donohue’s class) to see if he can solve the error. Aaron gave it a hard try and he fixed it in 2 days. We started programming by making the codes to run those robots.

The First Tech Challenge of robotics was held on sunday 01/15/17. Nyjah Daniel, Charles Williams, Mathew Nunez and myself were the drivers of the robots.  Xavier and Mr. Schmidt were the coaches. Team AoIt played like a pro, and achieved 2nd place out of 20 in the tournament.

Robotics 2.png


Friday, January 6, was Alumni Day.  A day on which past students that graduated from AoIT, came back to share their lives after high school and their college experiences, to help current students prepare for after we graduate.

It was generous of these former students to take the time out of their busy schedules to come and share their struggles with us and it was definitely something I benefitted from.  

One alumni said that college is a great experience and that everyone should take the opportunity to go, but you have to take the work seriously and be responsible because the professors won’t be on your back asking for the work, like they do in high school.  If you choose not to do the work, it’s on you, and since you’re the one paying for your education, you’ll be throwing away your money, time and opportunities with both hands.  

Another alumni said that college is one of the best times in a person’s life because you get to meet, socialize and share with so many people who are going through the same journey as you.

Many also pointed out that if even if you’re not planning on going to college you shouldn’t completely rule it out.  It’s possible to attend a two year college which doesn’t require as long of a commitment as a 4 year school and is much less expensive.  This way you can at least try it out and see if  college can be a good fit for you.  If it’s something that you decide does work for you, then you can transfer to a four year college.  

This is also a good option for students that don’t know what they want to do.  College gives you options and opens up opportunities to you that aren't available in high school.  

Even in a four year college, you have until your sophomore year to decide what you really want to major in.

Alumni day was a good experience. Hearing what the previous students had to say provided current students with the motivation they needed to do better now.  It helped us understand how to be successful when we get to college; that we need to take all the experience we can get, add hard work, and we will achieve.  

When you enter the real world, there is no going back, only moving forward.


ALUMNI DAY by Matthew Nunez


On January 6, 2017, last year’s seniors, as well as, graduates from previous years that are now attending college, came back to give some advice about their post high school journey. Their experiences gave us a better understanding of college- from living on campus to interacting with different cultures, older people and professors.  

During the event I gained more knowledge about financial aid as well as student loans.  

There was a panel of around 9 AoIT graduates who came back to share their personal experiences.  

After the event ended, I went to stand with a group of students that had crowded around Nimrod Martinez (“aka Tito”), and listen to what he had to tell us.  Tito was a former AoIT student who played football for the Franklin K. Lane Knights. He was very social and well known amongst the student body.  He had a number of close friends that he still keeps in touch with.  Tito gave us three important tips to follow in order to make a great start at college.  Tito currently attends a college in Florida.

The first piece of advice he gave was to talk with teachers.  One reason this is a good idea, he said, was because it could make our lives easier by providing extra help on a particular subject or extra time on an assignment.  

Tito also talked about living on campus and how a lot of people told him that it wasn’t a good idea to leave NY since Suny colleges are more expensive. However, he told us, one of his goals was to gain experience away from home. His philosophy is that you only live once and that if you want to reach your goal, in the process of pursuing it, you have to be willing to make some risky decisions, even if other people reject those choices.  

Another topic he talked about was about responsibility. Tito explained that becoming an adult  isn’t about turning a certain age, it’s about learning to be independent.  

Leaving your comfort zone and challenging yourself is an essential part of expanding and maneuvering your world.  You have to learn to speak with other individuals in order to feel comfortable on campus as well as learn to accept advice from them that would be helpful.  This made me reflect because, although you never know who can help you, generally, good advice comes from people who have more experience, such as, upperclassmen, and even, professors but only if you make the choice to approach and talk to them.  

I was grateful for the chance to hear what our past AoIT graduates had to say. Nimrod’s message about broadening our social circles and learning to interact outside of the classroom  with people that, normally, we wouldn’t, as well as listening and taking to heart good advice when it’s given, stuck with me.  I intend to keep this knowledge with me, knowing that I'm going to need it soon and that I will be putting it to use, not just once I get to college, but also on my journey to college.  Nimrod’s advice has definitely given me a helpful perspective, but it can also help others to make better decisions as we approach the end of high school.  


AoIT STUDENT ELECTIONS by Angela Zapata & Stephanie Bonilla


The Student Elections at AoIT took place in November.  It is an event where students gather the courage to put themselves forward as candidates for positions like President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc..  They do this in order to become representatives for the student body and to lead the school’s committees in the planning of activities.

In order to run for any position students must meet and maintain the following criteria:

  • 75% attendance or better

  • On track for June Graduation with a 75 or higher GPA

  • Continually set a good example as a member of the AOIT community

  • Being able to commit to attending Student Council meetings and events


President: a president is the leader of the student body.  He/She is in charge of the student council; guides the student council in identifying objectives and goals; presents those goals to the school administration and  oversees and plans school activities to help accomplish them.  

Vice President: The Vice President helps the president with anything that needs to be dealt with and takes over just in case the president is not available.

Treasurer: The treasurer keeps records of all financial transactions; gives a financial report at each Student Council/ Class meeting; aids fundraising possibilities for the Student Council/Class.

Secretary: Maintains the Student Council/Class files for future reference; keeps records of meeting minutes,agendas and attendance. Advises,coordinates, and works with all committees such as senior activities committee, yearbook committee, prom committee, fundraising committee, graduation committee, senior trip committee, etc.



Each Student gave a speech in front of the senior class.  They spoke on why they thought they would be the best person for the job.  As part of their campaigns they also put up flyers throughout the school publicizing their candidacy and their vision in hopes of  persuading others to vote for them.


Nominees for president were:


Anthony Gomez

Charles Williams

Ashanique Palmer

Elected Student Body President - Matthew Nunez

“My daily life has been a major struggle, but I will keep struggling until I achieve my goal!”



Latiq Pratt

JAZMIN REID (winner)



  • Candidates running for Secretary

Ashanique Palmer (winner)

Jazmin Reid


  • Candidates running for Treasurer

Joseph Ortiz

Latiq Pratt (winner)

Jazmin Reid


  • Candidates running for Representative

(Top 6 who garner the most vost will become Reps)

Ashanique Palmer

Wander Gomez

Yery Genao

Angela Zapata (winner)

Carlos Martinez (winner)

Khalique SimsMcfarlane (winner)

Nyjah Daniel

Serina Debidin (winner)

Joseph Ortiz

Anthony Gomez

Lily Rose Ahmed (winner)

Keyana Cruz (winner)

Adrian Pena (winner)



“Bloodless Revolution” is a term I first heard and learned about back in middle school, in my Social Studies class.  It is another way to describe the peaceful exchange of power that is meant to take place with each new president.  

A revolution is exactly what took place on November 8, 2016.  The same as one took place on November 8, 2008 when Barack Obama was elected. These “Bloodless Revolutions” are built into our system of government.  Presidential Elections are by design supposed to shake up our country and everyone’s individual world within this country.  The point of an election is Revolution, not Complacency.  But it is meant to be a peaceful uprising, accomplished with ‘ballots not bullets.’  

This past election, Donald Trump was elected president, and the system worked.  Both revolution and peace have been accomplished and maintained.  We should be proud.  Pride in our democracy, however, does not mean that you cannot also be disappointed, depending on which side of the battle you were on.  Not everyone is supposed to be happy with the outcome of an election.  Revolution, not complacency.  

Elections don’t just result in choosing new leaders.  They also shed light on the kaleidoscope of ideas, opinions and beliefs that compose the rainbow or “melting pot” that is the American People.  To deny the fact that others do not agree with you or me does not stop it from being a fact.  To deny it simply makes you blind to it, which in turn makes you vulnerable to it.  Not being able to see the car in the next lane because it’s in our blind spot doesn’t stop the crash that comes when we attempt to shift lanes and continue on our journey; it causes the crash.

The motto of Philippa Schuyler Middle School, which I attended and where I learned about our government was “To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.”  The people of this country have been endowed with a wonderful gift-  by History, by Revolutionaries, by Intrepid Ancestors, by God - the freedom to choose their leaders.  And with that is a responsibility to accept the outcome even if you don’t agree with it.  To accept that there is no single point of view in a country that spans over three thousand miles from coast to coast and is populated by over three hundred million people from diverse cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, and needs.  And that’s okay.  It’s not a cause for despair, it’s confirmation that we are doing something right because we have so many differences, and yet are still - politically speaking- at peace.  It is this simultaneous allowance for revolution and stability that has helped build this country’s prosperity and influence, as well as its abiding talent and capacity for change, for remaking itself.  As disappointed as some may be with this presidential election, let us all hope that our democratic tradition is not disrupted.  

And if you are unhappy with the selection of our voters, then that is your cue to prepare and work towards victory in the next bloodless revolution.  




The United States presidential election 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th presidential election. Voters will cast ballots for their candidate of choice in an attempt to make that person the 45th president of the United States. This year, the two candidates, Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican), couldn’t be more opposite from each other.

Businessman and reality TV personality Donald Trump became the republican party’s presidential nominee on July 19, 2016. If elected, one of Trump’s main goals is to build a wall to stop the illegal immigration along our Southern border.

Former Secretary of State and U.S Senator from New York Hillary Clinton became the Democrat party’s presidential nominee on July 26, 2016.  If elected, Clinton will be the first female president of the U.S and one of her promises is to provide a pathway for those families all ready here illegally to become legitimate citizens rather than have them deported. 

Many voters have interpreted Mr. Trump's comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico and about Muslim refugees to the U.S as racist.  He has said that those coming from Mexico are some of the worst criminals, and has insisted that the country needs to scrutinize or better "vet" Muslims coming to the U.S to ensure the exclusion of terrorists. 

Hillary Clinton has been trying to take advantage of the negative publicity Trump has generated with his comments to add to the ranks of her supporters.  She has also been trying to contrast her policies from his shying away from generalizations and focusing on detailed plans for government policy regarding such issues as affordable health care, lowering middle class taxes, and equal pay etc. The recent accusations of sexual harassment against Trump have given Clinton more ammunition to use in her campaign against him.  

On the other hand many voters have expressed serious issues with Clinton's trustworthiness and lack of transparency.  This is in part due to the FBI's announcement just 11 days before the election, that it is renewing its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email during her time as Secretary of State.  The announcement came about because of new emails found on a laptop belonging to the Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton's longtime advisor, Huma Abadin.  This all has the public wondering if Hillary Clinton is guilty of anything criminal.

Nationally the competition is tied. According to polling data, as of 10/28/16, both Hillary andTrump are at 44%. Many feel that we do not have the right candidate from either party. Regardless of the percentage of the voting population that has aligned itself with one candidate or the other, it is the number of votes from the electoral college that decides who becomes president.  Citizens of the United States do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they choose "electors," who pledge to vote for the particular candidate that wins in each state. The number of electoral votes each state commands, depends on its population; 270 electoral votes are required to become president.

The economy and terrorism have come up as the top two issues for voters this fall. “Overall, 84% of registered voters say that the issue of the economy will be very important to them in making their decision about who to vote for in the 2016 presidential election; slightly fewer (80%) say the issue of terrorism will be very important to their vote. In 2008, far more said the economy would be very important to their vote (87%) than the issue of terrorism (68%).”

This year immigration has been added to the list of most important issues affecting the vote.

When it comes to which candidate would do the better job handling key issues, voters give the edge to Clinton over Trump in several areas, including making wise foreign policy decisions and dealing with immigration.  This is based on the fact that she has more experience with politics and working in government.  

It is important to keep in mind however, that just as many voters feel that Trump's lack of connection with the political establishment is a positive, and a key reason as to why they support him.  

By the time this post will be published, the election will be over and the United States will have a new president.  If you can, vote, and be a part of that important decision.