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Robert Treat Academy Class of 2015 Graduates with $5.5 Million in Scholarships

Read this article as it originally appeared on NewarkInc.com

Robert Treat Academy Charter School's Class of 2015 received more than $5.5 million in scholarship offers to attend some of the most prestige high schools in the nation.

The scholarships were announced during the school's 11th graduation ceremony in the dramatic setting of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark on June 25.

For the 49 graduates, the ceremony marked the culmination of a rigorous educational journey at the Blue Ribbon school that began in kindergarten in 2006.

"The hardest part for me is saying goodbye," said Principal Theresa Adubato. "I will tell you the same thing I have told every graduating class: You will always have a home at Robert Treat Academy and I will always be there if you need me. You are loved and will be missed."

SaVonne Anderson, who gave the alumna address, told the students that she was at a low point in her life before her graduation from Robert Treat in 2009. Six months before graduation, she said her mother passed away.

"So there I was, a black girl from Newark, now being raised by a single father and it seemed as though the odds were stacked against me," Anderson said. "I was scared and confused about how to move forward from such a low point. But I had a support system at Robert Treat that refused to let me fail because of these conditions."

Anderson, who was the valedictorian at Robert Treat, continued her education at Newark Academy on a full scholarship and is currently a junior at Fordham University, also on a full scholarship.

"At Robert Treat, I learned that school can be more than a place to learn academics – the people here care about me, just like they care about you," Anderson said.

In his keynote address to the graduating class, Willard L. Taylor, the director of admissions at Newark Academy, challenged the students to take the knowledge and opportunity they have been given at Robert Treat and do something with it.

"Doesn't sound like much, does it? Well, I think you will find it a significant challenge," Taylor said. "The temptation to do less will be great. The 'easy way' will present itself early and often on the next leg of your journey."

Adubato said Newark Academy and Robert Treat share a special relationship. More graduates of Robert Treat have been accepted at Newark Academy than any other private school.

Taylor said Robert Treat consistently produces young scholars who are the best and brightest.

"This success at admission to and scholarships from, some of the elite and most difficult schools in the country to gain entry to, is not by accident," Taylor said. "I have had the privilege, in small doses, to watch your education in action. I have seen first hand the commitment your administrators and teachers have to you and your success."

Since its first class graduated in 2005, Robert Treat's graduates have been accepted to the most prestigious day and boarding schools in the nation on full scholarships, including Choate Rosemary Hall, Kent School, The Hotchkiss School, Suffield Academy and The Taft School in Connecticut, Deerfield Academy, The Groton School, Phillips Academy Andover and the Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts and St. Paul's School and Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

In addition, graduates have been accepted to private, public magnet and independent day schools, including Montclair Kimberley Academy, Delbarton, Lawrenceville, Pingry and Morristown Beard.

Since 2005, graduates have earned more than $35 million in scholarship offers. The Class of 2015's $5.5 million in scholarship offers was the second highest of the 11 graduating classes.

Stephen N. Adubato, who founded the school in 1997 and who has attended every graduation, said he felt blessed to bear witness to the graduation ceremony.

"The students and staff of Robert Treat have taken my dream and turned it into a reality that far exceeded my expectations," said Adubato, who also founded The North Ward Center.

Robert Detore, the Chair of Robert Treat's Board of Trustees, said the graduates prove every year that Newark students can excel.

"Today's graduates are living proof that our children in Newark can achieve academic excellence," Detore said.