Watch CBS News

Students at Edward R. Murrow High School learn to shine from the studio to stage

Students learn to shine at Edward R. Murrow High School
Students learn to shine at Edward R. Murrow High School 04:04

NEW YORK -- Our latest Class Act with Chris Wragge is a perfect fit -- a school named after legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow.

Wragge felt right at home talking with some of the brilliant students from the nationally recognized high school.

"I'm going to be real with you -- honestly, it's a hidden gem in New York City, like it really does not get enough recognition," Ava Puccio said. "I love this high school."

With an enrollment of close to 400 students, Murrow is widely known as the most diverse high school in the five boroughs. The mission is to produce a culturally and academically empowered student, and they do.

Destiny Browne is the president of the Council for Unity.

"I think it's really good to have all these people by not only my side but they also have each other's backs and help each other when there's any issues, any problems that need to be fixed," she said.

Each student, one after the other, was impressive and mature beyond their years.

"I'm planning on focusing on mythology in my portfolio, and I noticed that a lot of Persephone's myth is focused on Hades and Persephone, but I wanted to focus more on her relationship with her mother. So I painted me and my mom," said art student Valerie Rabkin.

The art department is what sets Murrow on a different trajectory. Led by Mr. Carlos Rosado for the last 20 years, there is an abundance of talent.

"When I came here, the kids were talking as if they were on a college campus, it was sophisticated. I mean, they were just refined, their taste were refined," Rosado said.

World famous graffiti artist Jean Michel Basquiat is an Edward R. Murrow alum and an inspiration to the entire school. Another famous alum is Oscar-winning actress Marissa Tomei. 

Puccio and Lindsey Weiner are part of the school's acting program. 

"We really worked as a true ensemble, and that's something I didn't get to do in any capacity for a year and a half. So coming back in and being able to work like we got to was such a great experience," Weiner said.

"I feel grateful for even getting to work with Lindsey. This is my second show with her this year," Puccio added.

The students do it all -- from the lighting to the sound and the stage managing. 

"They were amazing, very communicative, which was really important when it comes to running shows," said the stage manager.

If music is your thing, you have come to the right school. The Music Tech Lab was donated by none other than Alecia Keys, and this program hits all the right notes, churning out singers, rappers, musicians and DJs of all kinds. 

It's also home to the legendary Beastie Boys founding member, the late Adam Yauck, who made his mark at Murrow before getting his "License to Ill."

Murrow is a school that offers a lot for everyone, including boys and girls wrestling.

"We did a lot of these demonstrations to kind of help destigmatize the sport, and I was interested in leading a healthier lifestyle, and so I kind of thought maybe I should give it a try and I stuck with it," said wrestling captain Julia Hurynoich.

"I'm also part of the theater program here, so it was really great being able to do both volleyball and theater," added Anna Makarouna. "So it's a lot of great opportunity."

From badminton to table tennis, the kids are motivated and smart.

"The range of academics are amazing. I think right after playing, I'm going to my AP chemistry class," Wyatt Kozack said. 

The school even has its own planetarium, and an out-of-this-world selection of clubs. 

"It was just about seeing people who look like me, especially as a minority, just seeing representation and just having a place we feel loved and supported every single day. It's coming in every single Monday afternoon after school, even when I'm a little tired sometimes, can't lie," Muhammad Sheriff, of My Brother's Keeper, told Wragge. "We just have great representation and a great loving community, and that's what we want to build."  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.