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Hyde Leadership Charter School

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Hunts Point in the Bronx is part of the poorest congressional district in the country. It is a neighborhood better known for its crime rate than its graduation rate. But one school is trying to change that.

Inside the Hyde Leadership Charter School, excitement is in the air. Marches have been rehearsed. Caps and gowns ready to go. On Saturday, the school will graduate its first class and 94 percent of the seniors here will be getting their diplomas.

Levon Wims is off to John Jay College of Criminal Justice this fall to study political science. He and his twin brother will be the first in their family to go on to higher education. He is not the only one with big plans next year.

In New York State, about 79 percent of students are going onto college, but at Hyde Park it is 94 percent.

When Hyde Leadership opened its doors in 2006, one of the goals was to change the mindset among students that they don't want to go to college.

The school moved into a building on Hunts Point Avenue two years ago, the first new high school to be built in Hunts Point in more 30 years.

In addition to academics, the public charter school emphasizes volunteering, family involvement and attitude.

More than 2,000 students applied to attend Hyde Leadership this year to fill just 75 spots.

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