Instagram Highlights

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Times Learning Network asked teenagers around the country to describe their experience during this time in words, images, audio, and video. The Times received more than 5,500 responses; Arianna Hellman ’22 and Brianna Hernandez ’23 were named finalists. The Times published a front-page article featuring some of the finalists; here’s a complete listing.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim spoke via Zoom at the 11th annual Jolli Humanitarian Award assembly. A member of the Mbororo pastoralist community in Chad and the co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, she is working to bring the voices of indigenous people into decisions about managing the effects of climate change and conserving natural resources. Watch video.

Congratulations to Henri Yoon ’22, a finalist in the national YoungArts competition in music! You can hear him perform at 58:20 in this video on the YoungArts Foundation Youtube channel.

Working with the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Athletics Director John Pizzi helped organize a study that has led to major changes in how football practices and games will be managed in the Metropolitan Independent Football League. No more kickoffs! Read story.

Think of it as “The Great British Baking Show” for gamers. Jonah Stockwell ’23 and Alden Eberts ’23 hosted the first-ever game jam last weekend as part of the RivTech/Game Design activity group. Participants had the weekend to design a game from scratch related to the theme “out of time.” They created Dashing for Time (Lauren Lee ’23 and Alden Eberts ’23); Out of Thyme (Dashiell Bhattacharyya ’23 and David Ganz ’23); and the winner, Time Agent Bamboo (Jonah Stockwell ’23). Click the links to play.

The 2019-2020 edition of Impressions, Riverdale’s arts and literary magazine, is a finalist in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association contest for high school print literary magazines. Read magazine.

In an opinion column for CNN, Maya Rackoff ’21 argues that refugees benefit America. “Following years of refugee work,” she writes, “I’ve seen firsthand that people willing to upend their lives and embark upon treacherous journeys in hope of a better and safer future are rarely lazy or dependent on others. They work hard, persist, and create.” Read column.

Violist Jacob Shin ’21 is featured in a segment on the National Public Radio program, From the Top. A student of Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, Jacob delved into music after suffering two concussions playing football. He says that music saved him. “I pursued it like I had never done before,” he said. “It was like a fire was ignited in me.” You can hear him perform Sonata in F minor, Op. 120 mvmt 1 by Johannes Brahms.

A Riverdale football legend, Calvin Hill ’65, left, photographed with Coach Frank Bertino, played football for Yale and then running back for the NFL for 12 years. On Oct. 17 during a virtual homecoming and reunion event, he spoke with Riverdale Athletics Director John Pizzi about his Riverdale experience, NFL football, and life lessons. Watch video.

David Litt worked as a speechwriter for President Barack Obama and wrote a memoir about the experience: “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years.” Earlier this year, he published a second book, “Democracy in One Book or Less.” On Oct. 15, he talked to the Middle School about working at the White House. Watch video.

Portrait of Mapate Diop

Mapate Diop ’12 is a Detroit-based fashion designer who specializes in clothing inspired by the African diaspora. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, his company began a line of batik-printed face masks that drew the attention of the fashion press and raised more than $100,000 for nonprofits engaged in social justice. He talked to the Middle School on Oct. 8. Watch video.

Iman Blow ’15, Columbia University ’19, a national fencing champion, is training for the 2021 Olympics. She talked to the Middle School on Tuesday about balancing academics and athletics and managing the emotional ups and downs of competitive sports. Watch video.

Four examples of artworks in the student arts and literary publication Impressions

The Upper School assembly on Sept. 22 featured Impressions, Riverdale’s student-led arts and literary publication. The newly published 2020 edition showcases Riverdale’s many talented artists and writers. Congratulations to the co-editors Eliot Ingersoll ’20 and Tejasri Vijayakumar ’20! Clockwise from top left, works by Emily Chudy ’20, Maddy Davis ’21, Erxi Lu ’20, and Ariana Kourepenos ‘21. Click here to view Impressions.

Nicky Enright Sense Us 2020 art exhibit

Nicky Enright of the Visual Arts department spoke at a Middle School assembly on Sept. 10 about his art exhibit at the Hunter East Harlem Gallery inspired by the U.S. Census. The deadline for completing the Census is Sept. 30. Currently only about 60 percent of New Yorkers have complied. Participation is vitally important because the data determines congressional representation and federal funding of services. Watch video.

Broadway is shuttered but the Upper School play will go on. Director Lexie Frare gives a preview of “She Kills Monsters,” a play reimagined for a digital format. We can’t wait! Watch video.

On the front page of the Riverdale Press, a story about Ernie Roberston ’18, at Columbia, and Una Darrell ’18, at Wesleyan, who started a remote mentoring program for children. Read story.

Yves Pasquarelli ’14 is the writer, director, and producer of this UNESCO film for children about COVID-19. His sister, Cate Pasquarelli ’16, also worked on the project. Watch video.

Dr. Cristián Baidal, who teaches French and Spanish at Riverdale, gave the annual “Why Learn?” address to the Upper School on Tuesday. A native of Costa Rica who studied in French schools, Baidal described how education improves lives. “The creation, construction, and transfer of knowledge is an act of communion that requires humility, gratitude, and generosity,” he said. “It’s also an act of love.” Watch video.

Audrey Wisch ’19 is co-founder of the student-led Curious Cardinals Tutoring Program at Stanford University. Audrey and Ava Frankel ’21 were interviewed on CNN about the program, which offers classes and mentoring for students in elementary school through high school and seeks to create learning spaces that are inclusive, equitable, and diverse. Watch video.

Kellen Blair of Riverdale’s Theater, Drama, and Film department and his creative partner, Joe Kinosian, have a new musical in the works. It’s about space aliens. Watch video.

Milton Sipp, Assistant Head of School and Head of the Middle School, and Tom Taylor, Head of the Upper School, condemned systemic racism in remarks to students this week after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Learn more.

“Mafia Mixup,” a screenplay by Andrew Noah ’23, received an honorable mention in the Theater Mania Young Playwrights Contest. It was performed this weekend. Watch video.

Wes Moore ’96, the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, talks about his new book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City.” A native of Baltimore, Moore describes how systemic racism shaped the life of Freddie Gray and how Gray’s death in 2015 galvanized the city. He is interviewed by David Westin P ’13, ’20, chair of the Riverdale Board of Trustees and co-anchor of Bloomberg: Daybreak Americas and Bloomberg: Balance of Power. Watch video.

Stephanie Okun ’18 has written a screenplay, “Cookie Cutter,” which is featured on the Irvington Theater YouTube channel. Among the performers are Charlotte Jones ’18 and Alex O’Shea ’15. Watch video.

An exhibit by Nicky Enright of the Visual Arts Department at the Hunter East Harlem Galley responds to questions about race and ethnicity in the U.S. Census. Learn more.

Pablo A. Martinez, a French and Spanish teacher, writes about how his search for a school with a strong sense of community led him to Riverdale. Learn more.

Riverdale’s Statement on Campus Discourse provides a framework for difficult conversations in the classroom and in the Riverdale community. Learn more.