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Defying COVID: Every Student In Bronx Charter School's Senior Class Gets Accepted To College

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A charter school in the Bronx is celebrating the graduating class of 2021. All 65 seniors have been accepted to colleges.

It's a monumental achievement at International Leadership Charter High School after an unforgettable year.

One by one, every senior in the class of 2021 announced their plans for the future to the applause of their classmates, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

"I'm so proud. This year was unlike any other. Everything was done virtual. They've made amazing decisions with very little interaction with in-person experiences, so it was a lot to overcome this year," said Adriana Cameli, the school's director of college prep.

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Cameli beamed with pride as the students revealed their schools and majors during a celebratory breakfast held in their honor. Despite all the challenges the coronavirus pandemic presented, this year's 65 seniors received a total of 281 college acceptances.

"Most schools weren't counting the SATs or the ACTs, so they were taking closer looks at us as a student and as a person," Joel Eeltre added.

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International Leadership Charter High School was one of the first to resume in-person classes during the pandemic. Students said it was that close in-person connection and support that helped them persevere and succeed.

"When you have counselors and family and friends backing you and reminding you what you want and the vision, you should be good," Alejandra Espaillat said.

"We were always there for each other," Eeltre added.

As for what they are looking forward to the most in their futures, they said the pandemic hasn't dampened their dreams one bit.

"I look forward to helping people. That's what it's all about," Milan Brown said.

"My plans for the future is to get my degree and start working right away, start my career," Eeltre said.

"Honestly, I just can't wait to meet new people, travel around the world and, you know, start my life," Maraluna Medina added.

Some of the majors the students hope to pursue include computer programing, nursing, and communications.

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report

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