Alumni Association

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Henry Velasquez, Salutatorian, Class of 2013

Providence (November 6, 2017)The Academy for Career Exploration (ACE) is pleased to recognize Henry Velasquez as salutatorian of the Class of 2013. Initially believed to have graduated third in this class, Mr. Velasquez wrote to ACE to request a review of his grade point average. After meeting and collaborating with the ACE administrative team, Mr. Velasquez learned that his GPA qualified him as salutatorian of his class. Head of School Dr. Mario Cirillo remarked, “We are impressed by Henry’s initiative and excited to recognize his achievement.” Mr. Velasquez will share the distinction of salutatorian with Genesis Monsanto. 

Class of 2015
Class of 2015


Notable Alumni

Catherine Garcia graduated from the Academy for Career Exploration in June 2013 and was the class Valedictorian having earned honors every semester. From a very young age her dream was to become a doctor and she took steps in her high school years to get her closer to that goal. While at ACE, Catherine participated in the Healthcare & Science Career Pathway and in her senior year, completed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training and obtained her certification. That same year she participated in the CCRI “Running Start” dual enrollment program to obtain college credits, while working toward her high school diploma.


Upon graduation, Catherine enrolled as biology major at the University of Rhode Island where she has excelled as a student. In December of 2013, she was presented with the opportunity to apply to the Brown University Early Identification Program (EIP). The EIP program provides Rhode Island residents, from unrepresented minorities, a place in their Alpert Warren Medical School upon graduation.


She reached out to the ACE team to request help in gaining clinical exposure and job shadowing hours that would improve her profile as a candidate for the EIP program. With the help of ACE staff, Catherine was placed with George R. McKendall, M.D. a cardiologist at the Rhode Island Hospital Cardiovascular Institute and an Associate Professor of Cardiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School. Once again, Catherine excelled as a student during the job shadowing and Dr. McKendall invited her to come back during her school breaks to continue to work with him and offered to write a recommendation letter to medical school.


Catherine is the only University of Rhode Island student to have been recommended by the school in 2014 for the Brown Alpert Warren Medical School’s Early Identification Program. She has been accepted into the EIP program and looks forward to entering Brown Medical School as a member of the class of 2020 and becoming a Cardiologist!

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