Bronx Science Homecoming: A Home Away From Home

Bronx Science hosted its annual Homecoming on November 24th, 2021. Many alumni attended, in order to spend time with current students, former teachers, and to enjoy a number of performances.

Michael Toscano ’21 (left), Amelia Volpe ’21 (second left), Rachel Dong ’21 (middle), Aria Jannat ’21 (second right), KM Kamal ’21 (right), are all recent graduates who came back to visit Bronx Science. Masks were removed for a few seconds to take this portrait photo.

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021. 

There’s a chill in the air, and anticipation is building up as I hold a Nikon camera close to my chest. Students wave to each other in the Bronx High School of Science courtyard, footballs fly through the air, and speakers blare music. 

Out of nowhere, small crowds trickle in. Groups of excited alumni appear, anxiously looking around to find their friends. I get on a bench to get a clearer look at the scene, and I see reunions happening all over the courtyard.

Old friends sprint across opposite ends of the courtyard to greet one another. 

The Bronx Science alumni pour in to celebrate the school’s annual homecoming celebration. 

A flurry of red, pink, and orange clothes rush out of the cafeteria doors and into the courtyard. Faint shouts of excitement emerge from the crowd; you can hear comments such as, “That’s them! There are our kids!” One would think these were proud parents but at a second glance, they’d notice the speakers themselves were barely older than the students around them. These are recent graduates, coming back to check up on their favorite teachers and friends.

The colorful array of teenagers assemble in the middle of the courtyard and the crowd disperses to give them space. The first performance of the evening is about to begin; NASHA of Culture comes to the outdoor stage. NASHA is a club dedicated to developing a safe community for students of South Asian heritage and is a safe space to appreciate a variety of cultures. 

Excited alumni and the friends of the performers take their phones out, ready to record the performance. You can feel the excitement and the nerves visible on the performers’ faces as they give each other confident smiles. Then with backs turned to the audience, the music begins playing over the crowd. With every beat, each row turns around in sync, and they start dancing. 

The rows of red, pink, orange, gold, and black lehengas and kurtas spin and jump; they form inner and outer circles, come back into a row, create a triangle, and then return to circles. Bronx Science’s South-Asian heritage club displays the pride of their culture,0 as older generations and current students sing along.

Just like that, as soon as it started, it was over. NASHA of Culture hits their finishing pose and the crowd erupts into cheers. Maheen Rassell ’23, the 21-22 secretary of NASHA said, Seeing the new NASHA family grow up and make their own performances, almost in a nostalgic way, showed older generations what their life was like and how it’s changing for the better.” The recent graduates ran onto the makeshift stage and greet the performers. Hugs, handshakes, and choruses of “I’m so proud of you” run rampant; friends engage in silly celebratory dances, making their friends laugh joyfully.

NASHA runs off to leave space for yet another performing group to take the stage: The Lunar New Year Production at Bronx Science. Lunar is a culture club; the participants of this club celebrate East Asian heritage. They put on show-stopping performances showcasing important cultural dances infused with their own creative moves. 

The Lunar performers get into formation in black clothes and prepare for their music to start. As their mix starts playing, Lunar shows off their dancing skills as they move as one. They slide into well-choreographed Western dance moves to East Asian pop music. Cheers run through the crowd as friends root for the performers. Jialing Liu ’24, a member of Lunar said, “We are able to let more people recognize our group, as well as telling the alumni that the club has been doing well after they graduated.” 

The music comes to a stop and Lunar strikes their finishing move. As the performers jump and congratulate each other, another group arrives to give the final performance of the evening, The Cheer Squad.

A small group in uniform white and black clothes take their stances with green and yellow pom-poms. Displaying the school colors and matching clothes, they represent the unity that Homecoming brings to everyone. The Cheer Squad is ready to begin.

Their mix starts and they begin dancing their hearts out and displaying their teamwork with in-sync movements. It is a short performance, but the crowd is most appreciative. Julia Gallent ’22, president of Cheer Squad said, “It was so wonderful to see my friends who had recently graduated. Performing here really meant a lot to me and the cheer club, as it was our first performance ever!”

Just when you think the performances are done for the evening, our school mascot runs in. If you haven’t been to a Bronx Science sports game, you might have never met Vector the Wolverine. This is the first sighting for many new students as well as a very nostalgic moment for the alumni.

Members of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team run onto the makeshift stage, proudly displaying their “2021-2022 GIRLS VOLLEYBALL ‘A’ PSAL Champions” banner. They have just won their second consecutive City Championship. People pause to take pictures of their school’s reigning champs and the mascot.

As the performances of the evening come to a close, the students and alumni mingle for the rest of the event. Selfies are taken, conversations happen, and teachers greet their former students, now recent graduates. 

Homecoming is a prized and honored annual event at Bronx Science that never fails to celebrate the school’s unity. It is a time of togetherness that truly embodies the Thanksgiving spirit. It is a chance for college students to wind down and visit their old school, teachers, and friends. Yasin Karim ’21 said, “It serves as a real nice reminder of the friends, family, and loved ones you have right before break. You really understand how tight some bonds are and makes you feel thankful that this community will always be there for you.”

Alumni and current students make plans to hang out after homecoming and promises are made to show up at the school’s next event. Tearful  goodbyes, and comments such as “I miss you” are made. Most people leave the Bronx Science campus that day with fond memories and a sense of nostalgia. 

For many, Bronx Science is not only a school but also a home.

Homecoming is a prized and honored annual event at Bronx Science that never fails to celebrate the school’s unity.