2022 Scholars

About Our 2022 AEF Scholars


Jennifer is the recipient of the El Águila Determination Scholarship. She was born in
the United States and grew up thoroughly immersed in her Ecuadorian culture because
of her grandparents. Growing up, she experienced a series of challenges surrounding
housing and food instability. As time progressed, she made the commitment to address
these very issues in her community. Through the Science Olympiad and Big/Sib Little
Program, Jennifer began to fulfill her mission of giving back to the community by
providing guidance in education and STEM to younger students. Through organizations
like the Red Cross and the Flushing Community Fridge, she facilitated access to food in
her community and engaged day to day with those in her community. At Barnard
College of Columbia University, she plans to continue her community work by
focusing on bringing better technological education to the children in her neighborhood
while pursuing a degree in the sciences and potentially preparing for dental school. 


Maroly is the recipient of the Jairo & Ruby Quintero Achievement Scholarship. She
immigrated from the Dominican Republic to New York City 4 years ago in the pursuit of
more opportunities. She had to face various obstacles such as homelessness and
domestic violence, but that never stopped her from pursuing the things she loved. Since
arriving to New York, she has been involved in numerous advocacy campaigns. She
held internships with The LGBTQIA Center, Dominican’s Women Development Center,
and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The latter helped her reinforce her passion of
being in a hospital setting, serving those who are not as privileged as others. In the fall,
Maroly will attend University at Buffalo and pursue nursing.


A child of West-African immigrants, Anita has a strong drive to improve her country of
Ghana and the new communities she has been exposed to as a result of her parents
migration to America. Anita lives in the South Bronx, a neighborhood that has battled
issues like educational inequity and environmental neglect. Wanting to do more about
the environmental issues in her communities, she joined the Work, Learn, Grow
Environmental Corps, which allowed her to volunteer at a local middle school in her
neighborhood, maintaining greenspaces while also supporting student mental health
through a daily check-in program she created to support students at the school. Anita
also interned for Manhattan’s current borough president, Mark Levine’s electoral
campaign where she spoke to voters about Mark’s environmental policies. Anita
mobilized students within her high school’s Student Equity Club to participate in a
citywide student-led campaign against educational inequity. The impact of this campaign allowed Anita to speak at multiple education summits across the city and at
Brooklyn Law School’s 2019 Decolonizing Education conference. Realizing she loves to
advocate for others, Anita worked to improve budgeting for Financial literacy programs
through the Vanderbilt YMCA, as a Teens Take The City (TTTC) and Leaders Club
Student Leader. Through her work with the YMCA, Anita was able to speak to NY City
Council members about allocating more participatory budgeting to financial literacy
programs for youth. Anita will be attending Harvard University where she hopes to
study economics with a minor in energy and environmental studies.


Karla is from Guatemala and arrived to the United States 3 years ago. She has dedicated her time to her academic pursuits and taking care of her siblings. She loves being able to help children, and has done a lot of volunteering in Guatemala at the Justo Rufino Barrios Kindergarten and in New York City for the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York. She has done everything in her power to support her single mom and siblings, while never letting go of her desire for a higher education. She is graduating because she completed two grades (11th and 12th) in one year, amidst all odds and adversity. The traumatic experiences of Karla’s childhood made her realize that she wants to have her own family one day. Most importantly, it also made her realize that she wants to help children that don’t have emotional support around them. It’s because of this that Karla is pursuing a career in psychology. She wants to help children heal their traumas and provide them with security and support. Karla will be attending Lehman College where she will begin pursuing her psychology degree.


Solangel is the recipient of the AEF Founders Scholarship. She migrated from the
Dominican Republic in the summer of 2019. She came to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities for her mother, sister and herself. There have been many
challenges throughout their journey that have taught them how to make the best out of
life and has given them the strength to pursue their goals. Solangel is passionate about
helping others and seeing others grow. Solangel likes to see the good in people despite
the challenges she has faced. She always has a smile on her face, looks for positivity,
and keeps a can-do mindset. She likes to remind people to always keep their head up
because there is always light at the end of the tunnel. High school has allowed her
creativity in the arts to flourish and the world of lettering has become a hobby and
passion. Solangel is proud and grateful to be graduating as the valedictorian of her senior class. Her GPA remained at a 4.0 throughout her high school year and she will be attending Gettysburg College in the fall, majoring in Business.


Xuyuan immigrated to the US from China at the age of 12. At the time, Xuyuan did not
speak English. Despite having only learned English for one and half years at the time,
Xuyuan managed to ace the SHSAT and got into one of NYC’s most competitive high
schools, Brooklyn Tech. In high school, Xuyuan discovered a passion in mathematics
by joining Brooklyn Tech’s math team. Throughout high school, he qualified for the
prestigious AIME and represented his school and New York City in state and national
math competitions. He was also the vice-president of his school’s math national honor
society where he founded a math competition to inspire more people to become
interested in math. Despite being a first-generation college student and also having only
been in the US for six years, he got into some of the top colleges in the US, including
Carnegie Mellon University where Xuyuan will keep pursuing his passion in
mathematics and exploring other fields such as Computer Science.