Twenty-five years ago, two individuals gathered in a small building on Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay for the first day of class. A quarter century later, E.D.P. School has grown to serve over 6,500 residents of Brooklyn, NY, as well as its surrounding neighborhoods.
We spoke with co-founder and current-day school director, Felix Raytsin, as he reflected upon humble beginnings and explained how the school has evolved.
“E.D.P. School was initially created with ‘EDPSI’ in mind – an information technology (IT) consulting firm and job placement agency I was running.” He continued: “Originally, our school was providing the community with top-notch IT and Computer Programming courses, driven by the prevalence and popularity of the red-hot IT job market of the time.” Raytsin added, “Back then, it was not uncommon for EDPSI to consistently match hundreds of E.D.P. School graduates with prestigious IT clients throughout the tri-state area, while most graduates also found high-paying jobs on their own and remain employed to this day.”
Mr. Raytsin went on to describe how the school has evolved through the years to keep up with the changing times.
“Over the years, we watched as the job market significantly changed. It was clear the academics at E.D.P. School needed to change accordingly. Today, we still offer a very affordable means to higher education learning, as well as job placement assistance, but the primary focus of our academic programs has shifted to business courses, as well as a robust Allied Health curriculum.”
E.D.P. School, which also services a large contingent of migrant learners, offers an entry-level ‘ESL’ (English as a Second Language) program for individuals looking to learn the fundamentals of reading, writing, and communicating in English.
“We strongly support our immigrant learners by offering entry-level ESL classes specifically developed for individuals whose native language is not English. I’m very proud of that because learning how to communicate efficiently is so important to one’s success.”
For Natalia Nevidomsky – the school’s Chief Administrator – reflecting on EDP’s quarter-century of academic excellence brings a smile to her face, a sense of fulfillment in her heart, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm as she looks ahead to the future.
“The celebration of EDP’s 25th anniversary has been further highlighted by the rapid growth in additional educational opportunities that we’ve been able to offer – specifically, the emergence of online learning modalities, where individuals can learn without having to physically step foot on campus.”
Mrs. Nevidomsky also made it a point to highlight some not-so-obvious benefits students can expect when enrolling at E.D.P. – specifically, regarding the school’s smaller class sizes.
“From the very beginning, E.D.P. School has – and always will – continue to foster a warm, close-knit, family-oriented atmosphere. I believe our intimate learning environment is special because it allows for more one-on-one attention between our instructors and students. Our teachers can tailor instruction on a much more individual level.”
Regarding her relationship with the ever-changing student population, Nevidomsky stated: “Our students become extensions of our own family. We stay connected with them even many years after they have graduated.”
When asked if there was any advice, she would like to share with prospective students considering E.D.P. School, Mrs. Nevidomsky responded by saying: “The best recommendation I could give anyone considering attending would be to come to the school and see us in person. Come sit in during a live class session or two. Walk around our campus and speak with the students that are currently enrolled. Engage with our faculty and staff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Visit us and see what E.D.P. School is about, first-hand.”
We later caught up with the school’s Director of Financial Aid, Milan Nevidomsky, who weighed in with his feelings on what E.D.P. School at 25 meant to him. He was able to sum things up with one word: “family.”
“E.D.P. School has always been about giving back to the community – by providing practical education opportunities designed to help people obtain qualified employment. Operating as a not-for-profit, we want to help our students with everything. A sizable portion of the students learning at E.D.P. are recent immigrants transitioning to life in the United States, so we try to help them with their educational and personal needs as well.”
He concluded with one parting message to future E.D.P. students: “At the end of the day, E.D.P. is here to help enrich the lives of individuals as well as our local community. We started as a vocational, computer programming institution, but we have since morphed into a school largely focused on business and Allied Health courses. The prospect of integrating new academic programs is always on the horizon, so that’s also very exciting.”
He finished by saying: “I would like to repeat that we strive to help our students, from top to bottom, from beginning to end. We aim to treat them like family.”
Eager to share his own final words, Mr. Raytsin summed things up with the following: “I would tell anyone considering attending E.D.P. School to follow their dreams and remember that it’s never too late to learn. When it comes to education, every student attending E.D.P. will be welcomed for whom they are and given the guidance necessary to obtain the best possible learning experience. We collectively value diversity, respect, and fair treatment to all who attend.
Mr. Raytsin ended with the following: Additionally, all E.D.P. graduates automatically qualify for lifetime job placement assistance through the school. That is something that has incredible value, even long after a student has concluded their studies with us.”
Enrollment opportunities are currently available for most academic programs. If you are interested in learning more, you can contact us by phone at (718) 332-6469, or visit us online at www.edpschool.edu