Part Four: Meet Our Scholarship Winners!
This is our fourth installment in the Meet Our Scholarship Winners! series.
New Visions for Public Schools is proud to introduce the 10 graduating high school seniors who are recipients of scholarship awards that will help them attend the 4-year colleges of their choice. Nominated by their principals and teachers, the students exhibit the academic ability, perseverance, drive, determination and confidence necessary for success in college.
Today's two students are:
Marble Hill School for International Studies, 2012
Colby College, Class of 2016
With an older sister who graduated valedictorian from Marble Hill School’s first graduating class, Bonnie Maldonado had big shoes to fill. But with high expectations set for herself and a demanding curriculum of advanced and AP classes, Bonnie is blazing her own trail. This month she graduated valedictorian of Marble Hill’s class of 2012.
While her sister was a track and field star, Bonnie has emerged as a young citizen dedicated to public service. A peer tutor and a member of Citizen Schools, Bonnie helped design a curriculum for middle school students around the importance of community service.
What she'll miss most about Marble Hill? The diversity of students, many of whom are English language learners. "At Marble Hill, you hear so many different languages, you start to pick it up yourself," she explains. It wasn't unusual for her to have Spanish-speaking and Albanian-speaking classmates.
Among the causes Bonnie immersed herself in at Marble Hill were anti-bullying and tolerance. She was an active member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and helped raise funds for the New York AIDS Walk.
She credits her school's diversity as the reason why bullying is not the problem at Marble Hill that it is at some schools. "There are so many different cultures here. Everyone is treated equally."
Bonnie's intellectual spark and passion for social causes will serve her well as she heads off to Colby College, where she hopes to study international relations and political science.
Bronx Latin School, 2012
City College, Class of 2016
"It's not about where I go; it's about what I make of it."
Spoken like a woman wise beyond her years, Hawa Camara is excited about making the most of her experience next year at City College of New York.
"I can't wait to jump right in. I know it's going to be hard work but I'm ready for it," she says.
As a senior at Bronx Latin, Hawa is no stranger to working hard. While maintaining her position at the top of her class, she served as chapter president of the National Honor Society and recently graduated as valedictorian.
Outside of her academics, Hawa is deeply committed to helping others in her school community, her neighborhood and across continents, in any way she can.
She works in her local community, spreading information about the dangers of obesity and diabetes through Alianza Mosaic Beacon, tutors her peers at Bronx Latin, and served as president of her school's Amnesty International club, which she hopes to continue doing at City College's chapter.
Hawa's selfless desire to help people governs what she hopes to do with her life too. She plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering in hopes of finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, a disease she lost a close family member to years ago.
"I just really want to help people with rights that they should have as human beings," she said. "It's the least I can do as a human being."