What's New at BSA?

Student’s Film Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival

May 8, 2017

When eleventh grader, Mahfouz Soumaré, created a video about life at BSA, he didn’t expect it to become a winning film at the 2017 Tribeca Teaches Festival. “I created this as a personal project, which was inspired by a class assignment on the American Dream. When I found out that my film won the New York City Community Schools Student Film Contest and would be featured at Tribeca, I was completely surprised,” he said. “Now I’m planning on expanding my project!” 

His film received a $250 prize and premiered at the Tribeca Teaches Festival in April. Mahfouz’s classmates joined him at the festival for a field trip, where they were treated to breakfast and the opportunity to see Mahfouz's film.

Mahfouz came to BSA last year through The Door’s Legal Services Center after fleeing a painful life in Côte d'Ivoire. He was abandoned by his father and has endured many hardships as a newcomer to a foreign land. After losing his mother unexpectedly, Mahfouz found a new family in our school and faculty: “BSA is my home now. The teachers and staff are extremely dedicated and are always there for the students. Being here makes me happy.” He also says that his CHAMPION, Jean-Yves Lafond (the Director of Admissions at BSA), is his role model. “I look up to Mr. Lafond and hope to be like him when I grow up.”

With BSA’s support, Mahfouz has been able to persevere and thrive despite many serious setbacks. During Mahfouz’s first quarter at BSA, he landed a spot on the Honor Roll while also learning English as a new language. But he wasn’t satisfied and wanted to perform even better. He did just that during his second quarter and earned High Honor Roll by achieving the highest GPA in his grade.

Mahfouz is also on the BSA soccer team and volunteers for as many community service projects (on or off campus) that he can attend. He epitomizes the BSA P.R.I.D.E. pillars and is fully committed to the BSA community. Next year, he is determined to apply to and attend Columbia University.

Check out Mahfouz's film below: