Celebrating 50 Years of Synergy
Posted on 05/08/2024
Synergy 50th Anniversary Celebration

Synergy Alternative Program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and looking back on five decades of serving the East Hartford community.

To honor this anniversary, Synergy hosted an event on Thursday, May 2 for alumni, former administrators and staff, as well as current members of the Synergy community. The celebration included a speaking program with Synergy Principal Ed Figueroa, EHPS Superintendent Thomas Anderson, and current Synergy students; a video featuring personal stories and experiences at Synergy; a tour of the school facilities and a sneak peek at a future mural that will be painted at the school. Congressman John Larson, who couldn’t attend in person, surprised attendees with a video message to commemorate this important anniversary for his hometown.

“Over the years, I’ve been able to witness and learn first-hand what so many before me can attest to: this program offers opportunities to those who may otherwise be overlooked and changes people for the better,” said Principal Figueroa, who is Synergy’s 6th leader.

Current Synergy student Juniel Rivera Estrada said in his remarks, “Synergy has taught me to take advantage of every opportunity there is available. The steps I take from here on out will be because of Synergy.”

East Hartford’s alternative program (now called Synergy) began during the 1973-1974 school year. Since then, the program has helped thousands of students who were not successful in a larger high school setting take control of their futures.

Throughout this 50th anniversary year, Synergy has been sharing stories from former students and staff members that highlight the school’s successes and its positive impact. Figueroa said in doing those interviews it became apparent that what makes Synergy unique is a genuine sense of community and how “Team Synergy” comes together to support students’ ambitions.

“When I think of Synergy and what they do to get students to graduate and succeed in this world, I think of a tunnel where there is always light. Synergy and their path to support your success is never dark,” said Kaiyahlis Cruz, Class of 2009.

Douglas Armstrong, Class of 1995, said, “Synergy is a life gold mine. If you go into Synergy and take the things you are being taught from everyone there, make sure to inhale it, chew on it, and you’ll find success.”

You can read more of these stories at synergy.easthartford.org.