TransSTEM Academy Salutes 2016 Graduates and Celebrates 25 Years

The TransSTEM Academy, part of the Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus located in Northwest Washington, D.C., celebrated its 25th anniversary and the graduating class of 2016. TransSTEM Academy was established in 1991 as the first high school transportation curriculum in the District of Columbia. The mission of the academy is to expose high school students to careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields with a focus on the transportation industry. Since its inception, over 750 students have graduated from the program, with 85% of graduates going on to attend two and four year colleges and universities.

For the academy’s 25th anniversary launch, 20 seniors graduated with nearly all going on to college or military service with the intention of continuing their studies in the STEM fields. The 2016 TransSTEM Academy class include 8 of the 10 top ranked students from the overall Cardozo Education Campus graduating class.

Friends of the academy came out to salute the graduates, including Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez and Former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater giving the keynote address. (Ed. Note: Both men also recently spoke to fellows at Eno’s Leadership Development Conference earlier in June.) Secretary Slater gave an inspiring speech to the graduates, telling them that fate favors the bold and emphasized the importance of picking a career that will give their lives purpose.

Shirley McCall, director of the TransSTEM Academy, was also celebrated during the day’s festivities, as she will retire after this school year. McCall has been a driving force of the academy since its beginning, and former students came out to express their gratitude and share stories of how she positively impacted their lives. One of those alums, Edwin Rodriguez, reflected on his time entering high school shortly after immigrating to the United States from South America. He spoke of how he didn’t speak English very well but McCall still saw the potential in him, accepting him into the academy. He graduated from the academy in 1995, went on to attend University of Maryland College Park, and now works for the Federal Transit Administration.

After 25 years, TransSTEM Academy is going strong and will continue to empower students and prepare the next generation of transportation leaders through innovative STEM curriculum and career-development opportunities. Congratulations to Shirley McCall on an outstanding career in education and service to the TransSTEM Academy and to the graduating class of 2016!


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