First-ever guidance offices open at York Early College Academy in Jamaica for students to seek counseling

Photo courtesy of Zara Realty

Students at the York Early College Academy in Jamaica unveiled a new guidance suite on Feb. 13 to support its peer mediation program and expand guidance and mental health services for students thanks to a $42,000 donation from a Queens real estate firm. 

The first-ever office suite features brand-new space for counseling sessions and enables students to seek critical mental health resources confidentially. Previously, students had to go into classrooms filled with their peers to access these services. 

Zara Realty, based in Jamaica, donated the funds to build the new office suite — the first dedicated space for guidance counselors located on the fourth floor in the co-located school at 108-35 167th St. 

(From l. to r.) Jay Sobhraj, York Early College Academy Principal Noah Angeles, Amir Sobhraj, Jasmine Subraj, and Tony Subraj receive thank you gifts for donating the guidance office suite. (Photo courtesy of Zara Realty)

“This donation is part of an ongoing relationship we have with schools throughout Queens,” said Tony Subraj, vice president of Zara Realty. “Supporting the education of our students requires so many different components, and none is more important than ensuring young people receive the mental health and counseling they need. I want to thank Principal Noah Angeles and his faculty for partnering with us on this key project.”

Zara also announced it is providing three students each with a $1,000 scholarship for college annually, beginning this school year. 

“Mental health support for students is so important because it provides the basis that enables them to achieve their dreams and thrive in whatever endeavor they choose,” said Jay Sobhraj, principal of Zara Realty. “Unfortunately, some young people are reluctant to speak about this issue or to seek the help they need. We hope that with this new state-of-the-art office suite, students at York Early College Academy will feel comfortable accessing these critical services.” 

Amir Sobhraj, financial controller at Zara Realty, said their company believes strongly in investing in the communities where they live and work. 

“That is why we have always made supporting education a priority. From the SAT and SSHAT prep classes we sponsor, to the technology labs we have helped open throughout Queens, to the scholarships we announced today, helping young people prepare for their futures is one of the most valuable commitments we can make,” Sobhraj said.