Every Adversity Presents An Opportunity, Giovanni Monserrate Turns Home Into A Cell-Phone Storage Facility
The city’s controversial ban on cellphones in schools has persuaded some kids to leave their devices at home — a stranger’s home!
Dozens of students at the former Bushwick HS campus have been paying $1 per day to store their phones at an alumnus’ apartment — just down the street from the Brooklyn campus.
Academy of Urban Planning graduate Giovanni Monserrate — known affectionately as either “Gio” or “The Mayor” — has padded his income as a Broadway usher by serving as a cellphone-storage site for between 30 and 100 teens daily over the last seven years.
He said that he used to provide the service for free when he was a student but that he had to start charging after the operation got too unwieldy.
“It just got out of hand. Too many people came,” said Monserrate, 22, who lets kids check in an unlimited number of devices in manila envelopes that bear their names and are then placed in a cardboard box.
He added that the business, which his father helps out with, has the Bushwick campus’ unofficial blessing.
“The school knows me. I went there; my brother went there,” said Monserrate.
“They thank me because the kids try to sneak their phones in a lot, so I save them the hassle.”
His home is among a number that have popped up as paid storage sites for students who are desperate to have their phones with them for the commute to and from school but who can’t take them inside because their schools have permanent metal detectors, according to a school-safety source.
The Post reported yesterday that the fly-by-night phone-storage industry — which includes trucks, bodegas and a number of private homes and apartments — leaves students on the hook for more than $4 million per year.