Meet the Junior Docents

Junior Docents are students from the seven Yonkers public high schools, representing culturally, economically, and socially diverse communities of the City of Yonkers. Many Junior Docents are first generation or recent immigrants to the United States; currently, the students in the Program speak 11 different languages. They have an array of interests, including science, fashion, art, dance, history, and medicine.


The Program is further enriched by a large number of alumni who stay involved with the Museum after graduation. Alumni have gone on to attend such colleges and graduate programs as: Binghamton University, Brown University, The City College of New York, Columbia University, George Washington University, Howard University, Hunter College, Manhattan College, New York University, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, and Yale University.

The Program’s Alumni Network offers events throughout the year, and the newly formed Junior Docent Alumni Committee invites graduates of the Program to act as mentors in a variety of capacities.

The Museum actively welcomes alumni to join the Alumni Network. Please contact Viridiana Choy for speaking engagements, mentoring, and reunions.

Class of 2019

We are proud to recognize our recently graduated seniors, who will be off to college in the fall and, together, will be receiving more than $1.7 million in scholarships. Congratulations!

Easter Aguilar Colgate University

Mariam Batarseh Ringling College of Art and Design

Jaqueline Esquivel City College of New York

Ann Fitzgerald Fordham University

Bhavya Gaur, Roosevelt HS Salutatorian Stony Brook University

Genesis Genao Lehigh University

Ashley George Macaulay Honors College at City College

Melissa Hall Macaulay Honors College at City College

Devin John St. John's University

Joe Joseph Stony Brook University

Maria Kulapurathazhe, Yonkers HS Salutatorian New York University

Kathleen Leite University at Buffalo

Amanda Malayil City College of New York

Ebenezer Matthew SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Teodora Mitov Iona College

Ana Mota College of Mt. Saint Vincent

Citlalli Rojas Trinity College

Joshua Said University of Pittsburgh

Rebecca Sam Colgate University

Rahaf Sarrar University at Albany

Michael Setiabudi Hunter College

Alumni Stories

Esther Shaji (Class of 2017) is a graduate of Yonkers High School, and is currently attending Stony Brook University, studying Biology with the hopes of pursuing a career in medicine. She spent Summer 2017 working at the Hudson River Museum as the Summer Camp Manager, helping to organize schedules for visiting campers and leading many programs. “I chose to be a Junior Docent because I wanted to be able to give back to my community in a unique and exciting way, and the Junior Docent Program was exactly what I was looking for. I was able to not only help kids, but people of all ages. I knew I was making an impact, which enriched my experience as a Junior Docent even more. I came into the Program shy and insecure, and four years later I am outspoken and confident. This Program gave me more than I could have ever asked for, and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

Baluanne Conteh (Class of 2015) graduated from Palisade Preparatory School in 2015, and is currently a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is studying English and Criminal Justice, and has a minor in Creative Writing. “One of my favorite memories is leading workshops with my docents every weekend and learning about Glenview. There isn’t just one memory I have but several that I hold close to me. Being a docent was probably one of the better decisions I made while in high school. It really taught me commitment is key in a workplace and building a rapport with the people around you will definitely help you out in the future. And hey! It looks really good on your resume.”

DeShawn South (Class of 2010) has stayed closely involved with the Museum ever since he graduated from the Junior Docent Program. In 2016, he was hired as the full-time Program Manager at the Hudson River Museum, managing the visitor services staff and front-of-house operations and helping to facilitate many of our public programs. “Before joining the Junior Docent Program, standing up and speaking in front of a group of people seemed nearly impossible. I still remember how I would be paralyzed by fear before any presentation. Now, in my work, I interact with the public every day, and get up and speak before large crowds. The Program has given me essential skills that I will continue to use for the rest of my life, such as public speaking, networking, and a deeper appreciation for art and my community.”

Adam Ray (Class of 2002) is now the principal flutist for the Lehman College Symphony Orchestra, second flute and piccolo for the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra, and a player for the Lehman Community Band. He also does solo and small ensemble work at various musical venues. In the summer of 2017, the Hudson River Museum was thrilled to welcome him back as he played with Yonkers Philharmonic at the Hudson River Museum Amphitheater.