Tag Archives: information technology high school

LIC students unveil Marco Polo mural in Brooklyn

| editorial@homereporter.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Anthony Izaguirre


A mural painted by a group of high school art students from Queens that depicts the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo was unveiled at Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens on May 21.

Six students from Information Technology High School in Long Island City started the acrylic painting last November and said they used historical documents to create a portrait of Polo along with scenes of his legendary exploits.

“I love it. It came out incredible,” said Marco Chirico, chef at the longstanding restaurant. “A hand painting was missing. We needed some color.”

Soufian Mankour, a sophomore, said that working on the large painting has given him a new appreciation for art.

“This has opened me up to paintings. I was never interested, but now I really like it,” he said. “It was a fun experience.”

Another student, Kevin Astudillo, said he enjoyed spending time with his classmates in the after-school sessions when they worked on the project.

“It was my first time working with paint,” the 12th grader said. “I made friends while working on this project.”

Chirico said the painting would soon be moved to a permanent spot inside the restaurant.

“We’re extremely fortunate,” said Jorge Luis Cordero, the art teacher who supervised the creation of the mural. “Marco and his father have always taken an interest in art and we thought it would be a great idea.”

Freshmen Tasnia Hussain and Mary Jane Faderan; and sophomores Ivon Ramirez and Taynia Sharma also contributed to the large-scale painting.

Marco Polo Ristorante will be donating $800 to the high school’s art program as well as two $100 awards to Faderan and Astudillo for their hard work on the project, Chirico said.


LIC nonprofit Local Project turns to Kickstarter to survive

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Local Project

After having to move out of the building that housed 5Pointz, one nonprofit is turning to Kickstarter to help stay at the site it has called home for the past few months.

Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, has offered exhibitions, mentoring programs, classes, co-working space, residencies for artists and much more since starting in 2003. It previously had its headquarters and gallery at 45-10 Davis St. in Long Island City inside the warehouse of the graffiti mecca.

After the property’s owners decided to sell the location to construct two high-rise apartment buildings, members of Local Project were left wondering where to go and were excited when they found a new location at 11-27 44th Rd.

Local Project’s new location at 11-27 44th Rd. (Photo by Carolina Peñafiel)

However, after having to deal with a 50 percent rent increase, the nonprofit needs help raising money to pay two months of rent in order to continue being part of the community.

“It’s a New York problem, paying rent,” said Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project. “We’re hoping to be able to breathe. We didn’t expect it to be so hard to get back on track. ”

The organization started a Kickstarter “Buy a Brick” campaign Thursday with a goal to raise $6,100 by July 12. As of Friday afternoon, $1,045 has been raised.

Supporters will receive gifts after donating on Kickstarter including a personalized brick on Local Project’s supporters’ wall, with a $25 pledge or more.

“It’s a new location, it’s a different crowd, there’s no 5Pointz in here that can back us up,” Peñafiel said. “Now we’re building this up again. Everyone that comes in lives in the area and they appreciate what we are doing.”

Once Local Project meets their goal Peñafiel said the organization would then be able to have time to create a strategic plan and put it into place to ensure it thrives for more years to come.

Future plans for Local Project include year-long exhibitions, events, a co-working space, mentoring for new curators and artists, a continuing partnership and student internships with the Information Technology High School in Long Island City and MoMA, and creative affordable workshops.

“We’re looking at this very positive,” Peñafiel said. “The horizon looks awesome and there are all of these opportunity and all of these great things we want to get back to work on.”

To donate to the Kickstarter, click here.



Astoria teen juggles way to becoming pediatrician

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Natalia Piskorski

Even with a lot on her plate, Natalia Piskorski is on the right path to success.

The 16-year-old junior at Information Technology High School in Long Island City is working hard in hopes of getting into a good university and one day become a pediatrician. She is currently eyeing schools like Columbia and New York University, where she plans to study medicine.

“I’ve always had this love for kids, and I didn’t want to become a teacher,” said Piskorski.

At first, Piskorski, born and raised in Astoria, wanted to go into criminal justice and political science.

While maintaining a 97 grade point average, becoming the student government junior representative and being inducted into the National Honor Society, Piskorski is also interning for Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

She began her internship in February, after hearing about it from her global teacher. As an intern, she works behind the scenes of local politics — something she said she really enjoys. That motivated her to join her own student government.

As an elected representative, Piskorski represents her junior class and the school. In her position, she gets to plan all school events, plan spirit weeks, help pick senior trips and prom locations, and arrange school activities.

“I’m balancing everything. It gets pretty hectic but it’s totally worth it at the end,” she said.

Piskorski said her family is very supportive of her decision to become a pediatrician. She hopes to volunteer at a hospital, if time permits, participate in a pre-med program for pediatricians, and then go to medical school.

“They are all for it. They’d love to see a doctor in the family,” she said. “They support me in whatever I want to do.”

Even as a 13-year-old middle school student, Piskorski achieved success and was recognized by her school, winning a women’s leadership award signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“It felt amazing, it made me feel like I’m on a high point [at] some level,” she said. “I know I’ve done something right.”

Living near Kaufman Astoria Studios, Piskorski said she loves seeing her neighborhood blossom and enjoys spending her time at local restaurants and museums.



Weekend Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Quinn leads crowded field for 2013 mayoral nod

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remained at the head of the field in the 2013 mayoral race, though her once wide margin has shrunk. NY1-Marist Poll released a poll surveying registered city voters on next year’s race for mayor with Quinn coming out on top with the support of 23 percent of Democrats. Read more: Queens Courier

Witness has two versions of NYPD detective’s fatal shooting of unarmed National Guardsman

A key witness in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed National Guardsman told cops that she took her eyes off the victim’s hands just before the gunfire erupted, the Daily News has learned. Witness Diane DeFerrari’s statement, contained in an Oct. 4 police report, contradicts her later assertions that Noel Polanco had both hands on the wheel when he was shot on the Grand Central Parkway. Read more: Daily News

Queens principal forced to retire over offensive remarks

A Queens high-school principal made a host of discriminatory remarks against Jews, blacks and gays — as well as off-color quips about sex and sexual favors among co-workers, city investigators found. Nancy Casella was forced to retire from Information Technology HS in Long Island City this month after the jarring comments were confirmed by the city Department of Education. Read more: NY Post

1 dead in head-on crash in Queens

An investigation is underway after one person was killed in a crash in Queens. It happened Friday night at 48th Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard in the Sunnyside section. Two cars collided head-on. Read more: ABC

Mexico cops hunt Orlando Orea, suspect in Union Square soccer coach Mike Jones slaying

The hunt for the fugitive who escaped to Mexico after the stabbing death of soccer coach Mike Jones has begun in earnest after the NYPD won cooperation from authorities there. Interpol has flagged the suspect, Orlando Orea, meaning if he attempts to flee to a third country he will be stopped, said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman. Read more: Daily News

Queens beauty school sued by attorney general

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued a Queens beauty school, claiming it convinced hundreds of students to pay course fees but failed to train them as nail specialists. The suit, filed this week, names Tinny Beauty Inc. and two of its officers, saying it used ads in Chinese-language newspapers and word-of-mouth to find and mislead students about obtaining nail specialty licenses. Read more: ABC

7-inch iPad tablet to hit stores on Nov. 2

The long-rumored downsized clone of Apple’s iPad tablet is set to hit stores on Nov. 2, according to technology blog TechCruch. Apple is hosting an event in San Jose on Tuesday, and while the company hasn’t released details, it’s widely expected to unveil a 7-inch tablet that’s being called the iPad Mini. Read more: Daily News