When Tech opened for its 100th year in September, Dr. Elisa Margarita could scarcely contain her emotions about all the programs that alumni make possible for the Environmental Science major. “The support has been pivotal,” she says, a catch in her throat. Her students’ enthusiasm reminds her every day of why her work at Brooklyn Tech is so crucial.
Alumni support for Dr. Margarita’s work began nearly a decade ago with Trout in the Classroom, which provides hands-on gateway stewardship experiences to students, and connects them with the NYS watershed. The months-long program/process begins with assembling an aquarium for the salmonids, hosting the eggs and monitoring the tank conditions so that a percentage of the trout eggs survive. The students have had many years of success releasing their fingerlings into Westchester’s Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
In her first year at Tech, Dr. Margarita was awarded an external grant for the program. After its first-year success she turned to the Alumni Foundation for help, applying for a faculty grant through an annual program offered by the Foundation and Parent Association.
The faculty grant program started 35 years ago and funds educational enrichment projects and initiatives not paid for by the NYC Department of Education budget. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $2,500,000, and funded thousands of projects. Through the faculty grants, Dr. Margarita’s students have the opportunity to compete in Envirothon, participate in Trees New York’s Young Urban Forester Program, Harvard Forest programs, the Biobus, the Urban Ranger Guided Tree Walk, Urban Farm Tour, and NYC H2O programs, among many other experiences.
The Trout in the Classroom project is just one example of how the Alumni Foundation invests your donations to support the experiential learning of our students.
The Faculty Grant Program is an annual initiative that is funded by you - alumni donors: If a teacher has a great idea for their lab or classroom, your investment enables the Alumni Foundation and Parent Association to step in and fulfill those dreams.
Dr. Margarita, the recipient of a 2022 Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching in Science and Mathematics, is a long-time Alumni Foundation Weston Research Scholars Program mentor who, like many of Tech’s dedicated faculty, goes out of her way to connect talented students to internships and college scholarships. You surely have a memory of a teacher who went the extra distance and made a difference in your life during your time at Tech.
Your gift of $25, $50 or $100 helps to fund students participating in the Science Olympiad, preparing for the Shakespeare competition and practicing on the Track team. Whether you have memories of being on the Debate team, working in the greenhouse or being on the Yearbook staff, the gifts received from donors like you continue to support these same activities that you were a part of during your years at Tech.
Your investment in Tech fuels the passions of our faculty and students. Remember, no gift is too small to make a difference in helping to provide a meaningful experience. Consider continuing your support so that future generations of Technites have these and other opportunities to soar.
By connecting me with NYC H2O, Dr. Margarita influenced my personal, educational and professional development more than any other teacher I have had. My current job in the Congressional Budget Office is a direct outgrowth of all of the experience in grant writing that I gained working for H2O during four summers and many school breaks, starting the summer before my senior year in high school.”
Adam Abadi ’18 / Vassar ’22 (Phi Beta Kappa)
I am deeply grateful to alumni for making it possible for me to take part in the Harvard Tree Phenology Study. Being able to conduct research in the field gave me a taste for what might come next. I now plan to focus on environmental policy and law as an undergraduate.
Kekeli Amekudzi ’22 / Emory University ’26 (QuestBridge College Match Scholar)
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