Graduating Senior Describes
Self-Improvement Journey at Huguenot Academy

When Huguenot Academy senior Troy Harris looks back on his high school career, he can hardly recognize who he was four years ago.


Today, Harris is getting ready to graduate and is making plans to pursue a career in engineering. His current goal-oriented mindset is in stark contrast to when he started at New Rochelle High School.


“There was a lot of temptation, and I was surrounded by a not-so-great group of friends,” Harris said. “I fell into a trap of skipping class, being around bad influences, getting into fights.”


During the first two months of his freshman year, Harris recalled getting into trouble at school several times for fighting.


“I would get triggered, act out, and not be who I really am,” he said.

In late October of that year, Harris was involved in a physical altercation that prompted a call to police. As a result, he was suspended for six months.


“During those six months, I felt very alone. I was thinking a lot,” he recalled. “I realized that if I wanted to go back to high school, graduate, and not become another statistic, I had to really change my surroundings to be who I wanted to be.”


When Harris returned to school in April of his freshman year, a guidance counselor told him about Huguenot Academy, a small alternative high school within the City School District of New Rochelle.


“I was interested because being at the high school brought back a lot of temptation. But I came back with my new mindset determined to succeed, so I decided to go,” he said.


Harris started his sophomore year at Huguenot Academy, and dedicated himself to improving his grades and overall state of mind.


“Things started off well, and my grades were the best they’d been. I was just making myself a better person than I was in the past, and trying to be who I wanted to be,” he said.


Harris later joined the football team, and will be playing rugby this spring.

“I learned the mind plays a big role in what you do daily,” he said. “Football helped me get to know myself. There were times I had to just stay in reality, be realistic, and accept things for what they were.”


Harris is now looking at colleges and trade schools to pursue an engineering career. He credits Huguenot Academy for not only helping him academically, but also providing mental and emotional support.


“The teachers and staff genuinely care about the students and their well-being. If you’re having a bad day, they will check on you and ask you what’s going on,” Harris said. “A big part of me being where I am today is thanks to the teachers who took the time to listen to what I had to say and answer my questions. It really helped me to develop my mind.”