Community Spotlight

Written and managed by BGA senior, Elaina, the Community Spotlight features BGA students and staff who are doing great things.

This week’s Community Spotlight:

Levante A.
BGA student, Class of 2014
(a sampling of Levante’s photos below)

Levante is a senior here at BGA. Levante is known for his outstanding photography, and his photography X Block course. Levante began teaching photography to about ten students, and now teaches four students the different types of photography that he knows. Even though he was discouraged about having so few students, Levante found the positives in his teaching. He was able to stay optimistic, and make personal connections with his students that motivate him in his own photography. His talent and motivation comes from feeling like he stands out and is different because he isn’t just an average student here.

Growing up, Levante never felt that he had a specific talent like other kids. In November of 2011, he began taking his own pictures. His first photo was taken using an Ipod Touch. After realizing taking pictures and using a camera were his talents, Levante worked to have a newer camera and made sure all photos met his standards. He says, “stepping outside of your comfort zone is not natural for most people.” Levante really blossomed and transitioned into adulthood when he began teaching his X Block Photography course.

Being a leader, teaching students how to express themselves through pictures and how to step out of their comfort zones, Levante was learning himself. Because he has a competitive personality and a great deal of drive, he has entered many photo competitions with known veteran photographers. Although he has yet to win a competition, he was still able to learn from other photographers and was able to build off of others’ ideas. Levante is able to use his creativity and hobby to reach out to others, and also make himself happy. He likes to observe rather than speak himself, and he lets his photos do the talking. The way he reaches out is certainly different from most here at BGA, but it is much appreciated. 


Ms. Vicky Rivera
BGA’s College & Career Counselor
(Below left with seniors Edith & Moesha)
Vicky with studentsMs. Rivera is the College and Career Counselor at BGA.  Her main efforts are working with seniors to help them get organized and make plans for after high school.

Since it is the college season for many senior students, Ms. Rivera meets with seniors individually to explore possibilities and narrow down their college choices. Also, in the first semester she and Ms. Ennis, her “partner in crime,” do their best to get colleges to visit and have information sessions at BGA. Her day-to-day involvement in the first semester is primarily to help seniors discover their passions and think about their future aspirations.

Although she says she does not have a typical day, her norms include meeting with students, visiting colleges, and connecting with universities and outside organizations that provide opportunities for the students here at BGA. Together, during the second semester, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Ennis will begin teaching the college and career workshop during X Block for juniors, so the juniors are able to begin to think about their life after high school. 

Throughout the year Ms. Rivera helps ninth and tenth graders discover interesting summer and year round programs like Urban Scholars. Ms. Rivera strongly believes that it is beneficial to students to reach out to outside organizations, to volunteer, intern, or do job shadowing.  Also, it is important for students to develop a resume at this time.

Pro-active students are taking advantage of many of these opportunities.  Ms. Rivera says, “I hope more students approach me so that we can figure out together what their plan of action will be.” Also, when asked if she loves her job, Ms. Rivera stated, “Every student that walks through my door is a new adventure. My job is not monotonous, and I love it.” Ms. Rivera loves having new students come see her to share the incredible resources here at BGA.