It is a long tradition that a Sacred Heart alumna is invited to be the Commencement speaker at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. On Thursday, June 7, Enuma Menkiti ’97 will deliver the 132nd Commencement address to the fifty-nine members of the Class of 2012.
Enuma Menkiti ’97 is the Director of Guidance at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School in Brooklyn, New York. A 2001 graduate of Williams College with a double major in English and American Studies, Enuma was a member of Teach for America for three years in New Jersey before working with YMCA of Greater New York to develop a high school curriculum that incorporates civil rights with socio-emotional learning and community activism. At this time she earned a Masters of Social Work at Columbia University and a Masters in Educational Leadership at St. Peter’s College in NJ.
In 2006, Enuma became the Director of College Placement at North Star Academy Charter School in NJ where the initiatives she developed around college partnerships and scholarships, in particular, returned a one-hundred per cent four year college acceptance and matriculation rate.
Two years later Enuma was selected by the Cristo Rey Network as one of six Guidance Directors charged with creating yearly benchmarks and a standard-based college prep curriculum to be used throughout the 24 schools of the Cristo Rey National Network. In pursuing this directive, Enuma first worked as the Director of College Guidance in the East Harlem School before moving as part of a team entrusted to turn around the Brooklyn school that had fallen below its expected standard and was facing closure. Her team is responsible for substantial measures of success that include college acceptances and impressive scholarships for all 27 members of this year’s graduating class.
Engagement in social research around issues of poverty and social justice has always been a part of Enuma’s life, and has involved published work and wider travel since graduating from Newton Country Day. She has traveled and studied in Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa, and was a member of an immersion team that studied the effects of race, poverty, and social injustice on victims of Hurricane Katrina. Upon her return from devastated areas in Mississippi, she presented her findings to the Newton Country Day Upper School and faculty.
Enuma has been involved with youth groups in academic venues, inspiring them to social activism, academic achievement, community outreach work, and personal growth. The founder of P.R.I.S.M. (People for a Racially Inclusive Society of Multiculturalism) at Newton Country Day and the 1997 Commencement recipient of the Saint Madeleine Sophie Award given to the student who exemplifies excellence in all aspects of Sacred Heart education, Enuma continues to embody and extend to all people the values she took from her Sacred Heart education.
Newton Country Day School is delighted to have Enuma Menkiti ’97 as its 132nd Commencement Speaker.