Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott hosted a reception for this year’s Remarkable Achievement Award winners at Tweed Courthouse. This year, 200 high school graduates from the Class of 2011 won this distinction.
“Our Remarkable Achievement Award winners have demonstrated tremendous strength of character and determination to persevere in the face of adversity,” said Chancellor Walcott. “These students have overcome obstacles such as violence, abandonment, homelessness, language barriers, and illness to graduate. They are an inspiration to their peers and all New Yorkers.”
Robert Ruggeri Never Let his Trauma and Grief Stand in His Way
When Robert Ruggeri was five years old, he and his family were in a terrible car accident that killed his parents, grandfather and younger brother. Only Robert and his older brother survived the accident. Robert suffered a traumatic brain injury, a punctured lung, one broken leg and his other leg was completely shattered. Over the course of a year, he recovered from his injuries with physical, occupational and speech therapy, while mourning his family.
“The car accident almost took away my life, said Robert. “I have responsibility to live fully and succeed.”
At Ralph McKee High School in Staten Island, Robert is an active member of the school community. He maintained an A+ average, and is a member of the National Honors Society and Student Council. He also has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do.
“During high school, I always gave 110%,” Robert said. “I am really looking forward to the experience of college, learning new things and meeting new people.”
Robert lives in Staten Island. He will attend Hofstra University next fall, with a $40,000 academic scholarship.