Guidance Counselor, Careers in Sports High School, The Bronx
"Ms. Pryce-Bremmer was a mother figure who built powerful relationships with our students not only while they were at school, but long after they graduated. She organized biannual barbecues that hundreds of our former students attended. And several of them followed in her footsteps and became guidance counselors themselves because they admired her so much.”
– Johanny Garcia, principal, describing Paula Pryce-Bremmer, a guidance counselor for fourteen years who passed away from COVID-19 in March 2020 at the age of 51.
Described by parent coordinator Michael Santana as the “heartbeat” of Careers in Sports High School, Ms. Pryce-Bremmer touched everyone with her energy, positivity, and compassion. Her former student Jesus Ventura recalls how she encouraged her students to dream big. “She’d say, ‘It’s not going to be easy, but here’s how we’re going to do it.’”
Mr. Ventura himself is a prime example of the impact Ms. Pryce-Bremmer had. Even while battling his own academic struggles, he was determined to help other students succeed just like she had. “I would tell her, ‘Ms. Bremmer, you have to clear up your office because I need a spot for my desk when I graduate.’” And in January, with her support, he started working as a counselor side by side with her.
Ms. Pryce-Bremmer first joined the DOE in 1998 as an elementary school teacher. She joined Careers in Sports in 2004 as a creative writing teacher, but it was upon her transition to the role of guidance counselor in 2007 that she found her true passion. Her longtime colleague and close friend Lonice Eversley noted that Ms. Pryce-Bremmer especially loved helping students to become the first members of their families to attend college. “Enormous power resided in her, yet she was one of the most gentle, kind, and humble people who has ever walked the earth,” she recalled.
Ms. Pryce-Bremmer’s generosity extended to creating a scholarship in her family’s name that provided awards to graduating seniors with a passion for the creative arts. Indeed, her talent for connecting her students to grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid was part of what Ms. Eversley describes as her “magic.”
Traditionally, seniors at Careers in Sports give roses to their families and loved ones at graduation in thanks for their support. “Over the years, she received so many roses from students,” Ms. Eversley says. “Paula was like light: all about love, encouragement, and kindness. And everyone was grateful to her.”