Soaring from The Eagle Academy to the NYPD

From Left: Ariel Gonzales (Bronx ‘10), Jose Nunez (Bronx ‘16), Donald M. Ruff, Jr. (President and CEO), Juan Peralta (Bronx ‘10), Jassiem Jenkins (Bronx ‘13).

Soaring from The Eagle Academy to the NYPD

“Eagle Academy holds a special place in my heart. Brothers keepers was a motto back then and still applicable now. It was a privilege and honor to attend the Career Pathway Expo this past week. I am thankful I was able to guide today’s youth in securing a greater future through education and policing.” – NYPD Officer Juan Peralta

NYPD Officers

Ariel Gonzales (Bronx ‘10)
Jose Nunez (Bronx ‘16)

Juan Peralta (Bronx ‘10)
Jassiem Jenkins (Bronx ‘13)


Ivan Jackson

Ivan Jackson - Eagle Academy Alumni - Eagle Academy Foundation - EAF

From his impactful years at Eagle Academy to his academic pursuits at Wheelock College and Purdue, Ivan’s journey exemplifies dedication and an appetite for knowledge. Eagle Academy, with its emphasis on leadership and resilience, prepared him for the challenges he would face in higher education. Overcoming racial issues and championing diversity at Wheelock, Ivan’s determination never waned. Pursuing a Master’s in American Studies at Purdue, he enriched his understanding of American culture and its intricate dynamics. Today, he’s returned to Eagle Academy, not just as an alumnus, but as a beacon, guiding the next generation of scholars and educators. His mission is clear: to improve education for those who look like him and leverage cultural tools, like hip-hop, for connectivity and understanding.

Kobe’s journey from the corridors of Eagle Academy to the professional echelons of New York City is one of dedication, resilience, and a deep-rooted commitment to community. His tenure as vice president and later, president of the student body, reflects his natural leadership and drive to make a difference. His involvement in initiatives like the Broke’s and Peers programs underscores his dedication to mentorship and empowerment. Today, as an Insurance Associate at Marsh McLennan Agency, Kobe leverages his expertise to offer premium risk management advice. But his impact doesn’t stop there. At the NYC School Construction Authority, Kobe championed the fair awarding of contracts to marginalized business enterprises, ensuring equity in opportunities.

Kobe Evans


Mekhi Fields


Mekhi, from Newark, NJ, grew up in a single-parent household. His decision to attend Eagle Academy in New Jersey, guided by his mother’s wisdom, was initially met with doubt. Yet, the academy’s unique culture of chants, pledges, and steadfast energy soon resonated with him. Ingraining values like confidence, leadership, and resilience, Eagle Academy molded Mekhi into a beacon of inspiration. This transformation is evident in his “Eagle Mentor” program, leveraging basketball to connect with and inspire the youth. Nike’s Black History Month campaign took notice, aligning him with NBA star Kyrie Irving and introducing him to various cities and states like Portland, Oregon, and Atlanta, Georgia. Recognized by Mentor Newark, Mekhi has also become the first-ever College Mentor at Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark. Now, at Saint Elizabeth University, his vision persists as he assists students on academic probation, with further aspirations in the realm of education. 

From the tumultuous paths of Gun Hill in the Bronx to the polished floors of UBS, Hector Bonilla’s journey is a testament to resilience, transformation, and the power of mentorship. As a once rebellious teen navigating the challenges of his neighborhood, Eagle Academy became the beacon that altered his trajectory. Here, Hector found more than just an education; he discovered a brotherhood, a culture of success, and opportunities that would ignite his passion for finance. Today, as a Rotational Wealth Management GTP Analyst at UBS, Hector’s success in the corporate realm is matched only by his commitment to give back, as he dedicates his time mentoring young men and supporting community initiatives. His story is a vivid reminder of the limitless potential within every young person, waiting to be unlocked. “Eagle Academy was my golden opportunity; it’s where dreams meet destiny. 

Hector Bonilla

Hector Bonilla’s outlook changed when his mother enrolled him at Eagle Academy for Young Men of the Bronx in 2012.

Jordan Pierre

Jordan Pierre, a proud alumnus of the Eagle Academy for Young Men at Ocean Hill, Class of 2019

Since leaving the Eagle’s Nest, Jordan has continued to live, breathe, and exude Eagle values throughout his post-secondary journey and we’re proud to let you know that Jordan is now a graduate of Syracuse University. A young man who was selected four years ago by his peers to speak at his high school graduation, Jordan was again selected to speak at his university commencement — this time by a committee of peers, faculty, and staff. Given his amazing oratorical gifts, Jordan will be returning to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communications this fall to pursue a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism. 

From the bustling streets of Georgetown, Guyana to the rigorous corporate world of America, Jamal’s journey is nothing short of remarkable. Arriving in Brooklyn with cultural and linguistic challenges, Jamal quickly learned to adapt, excel, and thrive. His introduction to Eagle Academy, particularly the “Eagle Pledge,” was a transformative phase that shaped his academic and professional trajectory. With cherished memories of brotherhood from Eagle Academy, Jamal set his sights on Morehouse College, another all-boys institution, where he met inspiring alumni and further ignited his passion for community service. Today, as a Morehouse graduate, he stands at the helm of his family’s financial venture, angel investing, and championing an ambitious fund aimed at empowering HBCU graduates and marginalized communities. 

Jamal Trotman


Latif Elam

Latif Elam - Eagle Academy Graduate - The Eagle Academy Foundation

From Eagle Academy to American Express, Latif’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. Facing adversity in his personal life as he was graduating high school, he realized the importance of resilience and community. Today, he wears multiple hats – from being an integral part of American Express to fostering international youth interactions. Through it all, one thing remains constant: his commitment to give back, especially to the young minds of tomorrow.


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