Part Three: Meet Our Scholarship Winners!
This is our third 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:
The Young Women's Leadership School, Harlem, 2012
Brown University, Class of 2016
With a passion for science and conservation, Destiny Torres led her school to be more conscious of their environment. As a ninth grade student, she designed a research project composting all of the food scraps from her school's lunch program. Among her achievements: determining how many worms were needed to process the discarded food.
Active with the Young Science Achievers Program, Destiny has spent summers studying the effectiveness of solar panels in hot weather, leading a team at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory conducting fieldwork and participating in a research study comparing invasive species at Piermont Marsh, part of Columbia University's Earth Institute.
Her achievements also extend outside the classroom. She has regularly volunteered with the Special Olympics, helping adults with disabilities participate in sports such as bowling.
What Destiny liked most about her high school was "how they prepare you for the future. They're realistic, and prepare you for the kind of work to expect in college. The teachers show you options. And if you underestimate yourself, they push you to go further."
Her philosophy looking ahead: "Sometimes life is going to be a struggle, but someone is always there to help you."
Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy (KAPPA), 2012
Dartmouth College, Class of 2016
Moving to New York City from Ghana as a ninth grade student, Hamdia Ibrahim was immediately struck by the New Yorkers' stereotypical indifference to each other on the street.
"No one even knows you exist. That was crazy," she recalls. "It is much harder to approach a NYC kid than a Ghanaian kid. Here, you really have to make your own friends."
She credits her participation in Kappa's International Baccalaureate program with introducing her to a group of friends who have stuck by her. Her persistence paid off, as she recently graduated valedictorian of her class.
"International Baccalaureate opened me up a lot. Classes are more discussion-based, it's not just the teachers talking to you. It made me talk and interact with other students."
She looks back fondly at her teachers at Kappa. "They are so selfless and giving," she says.
Looking forward to attending Dartmouth College, where she says the school spirit is "crazy," she aims to study international business or linguistics.
Another factor in her college choice: "Green happens to be my favorite color."