NEW YORK -- Students at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School are shuffling from one class to the next.
"I'm very excited being that it's my senior year. There's a lot of new things and new beginnings for me," senior Hannah Villanueva said Thursday.
Excitement, enthusiasm, and energy fill the hall for both students and teachers.
"It's amazing," said Ivette Medina, the community school director for children's aid at Fannie Lou. "We're here for you, we welcome you. And those hugs make my day."
It's a fresh start for the 470 students that attend the Crotona Park high school, a place with a hyper focus on college prep.
"Speak to some of our seniors you talk about how they're already on the first day of school, thinking about the college process and how I want to be prepared when I go," said Principal Jeff Palladino.
A big part of student life at Fannie Lou is taking education outside of the classroom. Nearly 200 students participated in its summer youth employment program this year
Eleventh grade student Naasir Bonilla showed CBS New York the artwork he created while working with Bronx River Alliance this summer. He said the experience opened his eyes to the positive things happening in the borough.
"Being a kid from the Bronx, it's nice to see people are trying to beautify and make the Bronx beautiful," Bonilla said.
Students said the diversity of students is what makes the school whole.
"We come from different places and we are different people. We all can come here to come together and be a whole community," Villanueva said.
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