Local News

Stabbing leaves 1 dead in Parkchester

by EDWIN SOTO A 34-year-old man is dead and another injured after a violent stabbing on Westchester Avenue early Sunday. The other man is currently recovering at Jacobi Hospital. Police say a group of individuals got into an argument that turned deadly. The 34-year-old man was stabbed multiple times and died at Jacobi Hospital. The other man […]
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Sylvia Williams-Simmons,

Hello and welcome to the Health and Wellness section of the Parkchester Times!

By: Sylvia Williams-Simmons,   Here is where you will find information pertaining to health and wellness!  We will spotlight relevant information and news from in and around your community as well as feature interviews, healthy recipes, suggestions and personal triumphant stories all written by members of our locally founded organization Survival Instinct – The Network, Inc. So, who am I?  My […]
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Islamic Leadership School

World Trade Center Memories and Mission

Leading up to the 9/11 memorial, my feelings have begun to drastically change similar to the mix feelings I always have in past years when I reflect on what took place in our city on that unforgettable day. As remarkable as 9/11 National Memorial Museum is, it is one place I truly dread going in […]
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STEMDUP ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics. Diversity. Unity. Peace

The Big Apple, Home To Holocaust Museum, 9/11 Museum & The South Bronx, Will Be Piloting An Innovative Bilingual School of tomorrow, STEMDUP ACADEMY, to prevent violence from hatred, extremism and extreme poverty by closing the chronic academic and relations gaps. A school that equips young humanitarian scholars with competency for future diverse labor force.

Bronx, New York

The alarming rise in violent attacks on innocent individuals by domestic and transnational terrorists and hate groups who promote racial, ethnic and religious segregation coupled with widening socioeconomic gaps in New York City and beyond, calls for an innovative educational approach; smart schools of tomorrow. Schools equipped to permanently close the city’s chronic student academic gap as well as countering the persistence of homophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, islamophobia, and extremism; while embracing the beauty of diversity and peaceful coexistence among all. That school is STEMDUP ACADEMY (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, diversity, unity, and peace).

A call for integrating Diversity, Unity and Peace into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program.


When laying down the foundation for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, President Barack Obama said “Science is more than a school subject, or the periodic table or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world.”

President Obama’s statement has inspired the STEM program to be an education for global leadership. Motivated by President Obama’s statement coupled with its extensive experience with peace and diversity issues, the Adopt-A-Friend, Inc. is announcing the launch of a pilot program that integrates the tenets of diversity, unity and peace into STEM. If STEM is an approach to the world as President Obama asserts, a critical way to understand, explore and engage with the world, then STEMEDUP must exist to include diversity, unity and peace education into the mushrooming STEM program.

stemdup academy flyer

Adopt-A-Friend, Inc., founded in June 2004, post September 11, 2001 at the time when the hateful, violent extremists flew planes into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City, is the pioneering organization piloting this innovative STEMDUP program. In close consultation with its partners and other stakeholders, Adopt-A-Friend has been mobilizing resources to engage academic experts in the sciences and humanities to carry out the content analysis of the existing STEM program and identify areas where the diversity, unity and peace can be integrated.

“This innovative STEMDUP ACADEMY gives us the ability to build a ‘peace and prosperity’ curriculum that shall enable students to counter the trending violent extremism & hate crimes, and the unsustainable socioeconomic gaps being painfully experienced in New York City.” Said Shireena Drammeh, Principal & co-founder of Islamic Leadership School & a founding member of STEMDUP ACADEMY.

New York City is home to divergent extremes. For example, a $90 million dollars home was recently bought in Manhattan blocks away from the South Bronx, one of the poorest residential neighborhoods in the nation.

“We can smart-invest in innovative schools of tomorrow such as STEMDUP ACADEMY or continue to wastefully spend in reacting to violent extremism and the effect of extreme poverty. In other word, we can peace it together in a fairer, more loving borough with highly qualified and diverse professional labor force. The goal is to reverse the Bronx brain and resource drainage. You born in the Bronx, you succeed in the Bronx. You live in the Bronx, you safe in the Bronx” Said Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Publisher of Muslim Community Report & co-founder of STEMDUP ACADEMY.

As a young Muslim girl born in the Bronx and started my first school day on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, it is my honor to continue the mission of my parents who work tirelessly to eradicate extreme poverty, hatred, religious extremism and radicalization of young minds from my own religion because I understand its importance in today's society. It is a privilege to be appointed founding STEMDUP ACADEMY coordinator.” Said Ameena J. Drammeh.

STEMDUP ACADEMY founders are working with elected officials, DOE, educators, peacemakers, philanthropists, religious and community leaders, and other stakeholders in making STEMDUP ACADEMY a success. They are planning to open in the Bronx, New York City in September 2019. “It’s easier to build strong children than to fix broken men.” Fredrick Douglas.

  • STEM: Keys to all doors.

  • Diversity: The beauty in diversity.

  • Unity: The strength in unity without uniformity.

  • Peace: The dividends of peaceful coexistence.

About Adopt-A-Friend, Inc.

Adopt-A-Friend, Inc., was founded in 2004 to promote education, public safety, prosperity, neighborliness, mentorship, social services, and peaceful coexistence among all residence in the Bronx and beyond. One of the successful programs it co-founded in 2010 is Peace December International (www.peacedecember.org).