We are excited to announce our ten 2018 AEF Scholars! This class of AEF Scholars continues to exemplify the diverse immigrant community in New York City and represent Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gambia, Haiti, India, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Pakistan, and Togo. Take a moment to read each of their extraordinary stories below.
About Our 2018 AEF Scholars:
AEF Perseverance Scholarship
This Colombia-Mexican-American young man is graduating with an Advanced Regents Honors diploma. As lead performer in the Honor Guard of Junior R.O.T.C., he served as a mentor to other students in the program and distributed care packages to active duty soldiers. In his own words, he accomplishes everything in the hopes of changing the world, after seeing his parents’ struggle to ensure his access to education. As secretary of Pi Club and his role as programmer developing mobile applications, he has a passion for green technology and quantum computing to develop smart cities. He plans on studying Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
AEF Founders Scholarship
This scholar from the Dominican Republic has a love for math and has spent considerable time researching NYC public school funding issues and advocating for improved and equitable resources across NYC public schools. He was a member of his high school’s moot court, was an assistant coach on the debate team, and he is graduating with a perfect GPA. Per his teacher’s “his influence has lead us to frequently refer to our exceptional young men as “the Wyatt’s”, who are collectively a group of students we must keep looking out for to make sure we are providing the best possible educational experience for”. In the fall, he will attend the University of Pennsylvania where he will major in mathematical economics.
Lia Faith Scholarship
Three years ago, this scholar came to the U.S. from Ethiopia to chase his dream of becoming a doctor. While in Africa, he saw firsthand the effects that commonplace illnesses such as the flu still leave on those less fortunate and as a result he is committed to helping end such suffering. As a student in NYC, he has conducted research at Lehman College, interned with the Bloomberg Arts & Culture program and worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Attending Hunter College in the fall as a Pre-Med, we cannot wait to see what is next for this highly engaging and motivated scholar.
Ronaldo Linares Perseverance Award
A young man from Gambia with an unparalleled work ethic, he supports himself through two part-time jobs while also completing his high school coursework and preparing for college. Only in the U.S. for the past 3 years, this scholar is the true definition of hard-work as he splits time working as a security guard and a customer representative at a major bank yet still finding time to play soccer and tutor students at his high school. Pursuing a degree in Biology, this scholar will spend a year at Jefferson Community College before transferring to Cornell University as he strives to become a doctor.
Aurora Rosa Perseverance Scholarship
After the devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Haiti this young woman’s family was forced to live in a tent and later to immigrate to the U.S. As a survivor of the earthquake, she believes in living her wildest dreams while aiming for success without waiting for tomorrow. As she settled into a new life in New York, she became a youth leader at a non-profit focused on literacy and helping new Haitian immigrant students enroll in high school. A participant in the Sadie Nash Summer Institute, she developed her leadership skills and is a member of the track & field team. She plans to study biomedical engineering at La Guardia Community College.
Sofia India Scholarship
A young woman from India who immigrated to the US at the age of 12-years-old and due to her English accent and cultural differences she faced bullying in school, but she did not let it stop her from becoming a fierce woman. Seeing the lack of female representation in her advanced math courses, she founded a math club at her school to encourage more participation by women in Calculus classes. She aspires to be a leader in the STEAM industries, where she hopes to change the male-dominated tech industry. She will be attending New York University in the fall.
Lara Family Scholarship
Get this young man from the Ivory Coast talking about his Tribeca Film Festival Grand Prize winning video and his creative ideas for new movies, and you will find his love for the process infectious. He immigrated to the U.S. three years ago and despite facing many challenges, including homelessness, this young man has excelled academically. He finds time to tutor other students in math and history, plays midfield on his school’s soccer team and works 20 hours per week to support himself. In the fall, he will attend Fairfield University where he will major in political science and film production.
AEF Achievement Scholarship
A fierce young woman, who emigrated from Mexico at a young age, she was denied participation in various after-school programs due to her immigration status, but “nevertheless, she persisted,” as she wrote in her essay. Despite being in challenging circumstances herself, she has a passion for helping others and has raised funds for earthquake victims in Mexico, and Hurricane Maria survivors in Puerto Rico. This future marketing executive will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall.
AEF Board Scholarship
Labeled a “special case,” due a childhood hearing impairment, this fearless young man was forced to teach himself basic literary principles and this experienced fueled his passion to advocate for education equality in the New York high school system. A passionate advocate of social justice, he has stood up against discriminatory rhetoric and has led rallies to fight injustices in his community. He emigrated from Pakistan at a young age and he will be attending University of Rochester in the fall majoring in Political Science.
AEF Board Scholarship
An inspiring young woman who came to the U.S. a few years ago from Togo and despite facing many challenges with her immigration status and living without her parents, she has flourished in her school community. She is an active volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem and says helping children helps her forget her own struggles. She has conducted research at Columbia University on preterm births and will pursue the beginnings of her Nursing degree at Bronx Community College.