Alumni Stories

Nov 02

The Natural

November 2, 2018 | 11:15 am

For Dennis Bujan Jr. Cardinal Hayes had been on his radar since middle school. Bujan heard about all that Hayes had to offer from Wilfredo Rodriguez ’18, a neighborhood friend. As a result of their conversation, he came to an open house and returned for a shadow day, where potential students follow a Hayesman throughout their day to get a better feel of what awaits them at CHHS. From the moment he walked through the doors, the reaction was immediate. The welcoming atmosphere and the camaraderie among the students cemented his decision to attend Hayes. He found a common bond that was not present elsewhere. “I fell in love with Hayes because of the brotherhood. Wilfredo introduced me to the guys on the football team. I immediately felt that this was the right place for me. As an incoming student, Hayes does a great job of keeping you with the same group of students for the first eight periods of classes especially your freshman year. You are moving from class to class never feeling that you are by yourself.”

Charismatic and a natural leader, Bujan became actively involved with the Drumline, the school newspaper, the golf club and varsity football. With a full slate of activities and classes in his senior year, he added Student Body President to his resume. In September, he and members of his cabinet were sworn in at the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Bujan credits his teachers for his success. “I was never afraid to talk to the teachers. I felt that that they were always there to help me. My freshman teachers Ms. Scherer, Mr. Guimaraes and Mr. Pak were awesome. Ms. Scherer has been the best math teacher I’ve ever had. She is here to make sure that you go to college and that you are the best person that you can be. Mr. Guimaraes is one of the toughest teachers I’ve ever had. He is results-oriented. Mr. Pak is just all around amazing. The vibe that he gives out truly inspires me to do well. We built a strong bond.”

As he became more involved at Hayes, Bujan was increasingly attracted to community services activities. In his junior year, he joined the Student Activities Committee (SAC) moderated by Mr. Francis Badillo. “I’ve always seen Mr. Badillo collecting cans for various food drives and shelters. It was always instilled in me by my parents to give to others. As an active member of the Holy Name Society at Church, I tried to find ways that I could be of service. I believe if I help the people at my parish then I should do it here at Hayes.” Bujan’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by the Cardinal Hayes administration. Principal William Lessa hand selected him for a summer internship at Fordham University’s WFUV radio station. In the summer of 2018, he had the opportunity to work with journalism students in different departments at the station. Bujan eventually settled on the newsroom where he took a prominent role in story development.

George Bodarky, News Director at WFUV was pleased to see Bujan’s dedication. “Dennis impressed everyone in our newsroom. He instinctively knew how to be a journalist. For someone as young as he is, he has a natural ability. When he came into our newsroom he didn’t shadow, he did the work. He served the role of a reporter side by side with the other reporters. He actually covered events in an around the five boroughs. Dennis also pitched stories during our editorial meetings and effectively executed the stories that he was covering.” The budding journalist is eager to showcase his skills. “I love sports reporting but my experience at the WFUV newsroom broadened my horizons. Now it’s not just sports, it’s news as well. It was amazing going out into the field and getting sound bites.” Bujan has many options for college and Fordham University is high on the list. He is grateful for his time at Hayes and is excited about what the future will bring. “I am going to miss the school and I don’t want to leave. Hayes has provided me with countless opportunities that I could not have ever imagined.”