The school, which was the first public charter school in District 24, has over two-thirds of students who are from immigrant families. Ninety percent of the students are also from low-income households.
Since its launch, CQA has grown to encompass two locations — one in Elmhurst serving fifth and sixth grade students, and a second in Glendale serving seventh and eighth grade students. CQA also hopes to expand to add a high school and lower school in Queens within the future, CQA Co-Founder Rany Ng, said.
"Tonight is a special celebration, where those students I watched file into CQA in 2012, our inaugural 5th grade students, are now 8th graders moving onto high school,” Ng said. "I am proud to say that they will be going on to some of the city’s top schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Dalton and Calhoun. We don’t want stop here. We are now in the planning stages to open a high school in the future – so our work does not end for our students in 8th grade, but will continue for the next four years to prepare them for college.”
Nelson Louis of the Ong Family Foundation, which previously had committed $600,000 to CQA, announced an additional $400,000 contribution over the next four years, for a total of $1 million in support.
Hudson Yang, who stars in the ABC sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, and his father, Jeff Yang, who founded the pioneering periodical A. Magazine: Inside Asian America, toured one of the schools prior to the gala, and said they were impressed by the dedication and commitment of the student scholars.
"This school is way for kids to learn and be happy,” said Hudson Yang. "CQA helps kids find a direction and find a place they can trust. It's a miracle that it’s here and it’s really an important organization.”