Former WCHS Counselor Credits Students for Inspiration

Former WCHS counselor, Sam Cortiella, opened up a restaurant during the pandemic in Lynn, Massachusetts. 

“I worked at Williamsburg Charter High School in Bushwick and Achievement First Middle School in Brownsville. My kids really taught me that life is too short, and don’t take yourself so seriously. You can overcome things. A lot of my kids had a lot of trauma, and they were really resilient. They showed me that if they can overcome the trauma in their households and neighborhoods, then I can overcome anything,” he says.

So he opened PapiVivi in Lynn two months ago, serving Puerto Rican sandwiches, empanadas, and juices to go. It’s an homage to his 13-year-old daughter, Vivi, who still lives in New York City. The two love to bond over food, and she pitches in behind the counter whenever she visits.

Read the full story on the Boston Globe here: 

Williamsburg Charter High School

The Williamsburg Charter High School unites youth, families, staff, teachers and the community at large in providing young people with the tools necessary to make sense of the world, preparing them in their journey to become citizens of the local and global community. Young people will accomplish this through participation in a liberal arts education that includes language, literature, writing, science, history, mathematics, the visual and performing arts, technology and explorations in disciplines designed to teach justice, independent thinking, respect and compassion for themselves and others as well as the skills of critical thinking, communication, and research.

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