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January 2017

For Scholars and Graduates, A Family Get-Together

They came from Stanford, Boston, Austin, Maine and Brooklyn, comparing notes about the challenges of freshman year, about studying ecological biology in Ghana or helping to arrange an international affairs conference in Budapest. A score of Scholarship Plus students and graduates were joined by staff members and friends of the program at the annual holiday gathering early in January on the Upper West Side.

One had to leave early because her alarm would ring at 5:30 to get her ready for a long day of teaching first-graders in the South Bronx. Another, a member of the first Scholarship Plus class, is now counseling young people at the Manhattan Day and Night High School, and dealing with the joys and challenges of a 2-year-old.

Most of the conversations were in constantly-shifting small groups. Twice, however, the students and graduates were asked to address everybody in the room. Once it was to bring everybody up to date on their current status and activities. The second time it was to respond to a question: "What did you have for breakfast this morning?"

"Lucky Charms," said one student. "Tea," said another. "Two shots of espresso," said a third. "Soylent," said an efficiency-minded budding scientist, who praised the simplicity of the meal in a bottle. Another, and very slender, science major responded: "Air."


Photos by Michael J. Leahy

Camera ready: Current and former Scholarship Plus students were joined by staff members and former New York Times Scholars at the annual gathering.


From left around the table: Keli, in her second year at Amherst, Kadijat, a freshman at University of Pennsylvania, Vasiki, a Colby Freshman, and Jaime, in his final year at Columbia's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. In background, Zeshan, a Yale sophomore.


Fabien, Maimouna and Raquel smile for two cameras. Maimouna, a member of our first class, graduated from Mount Holyoke and now advises students at Manhattan Day and Night High School. Raquel, who graduated last year from Trinity College in Hartford, is now teaching first graders in the South Bronx. Fabien is in his junior year at Brooklyn College.


Two seniors, Emony of Cornell and Aixin of Smith, with Luis Soto, a New York Times Scholar and University of Rochester graduate who is an NBC Sports operations executive and supporter of Scholarship Plus.


Spanning the continent: Luna, in her first year in Harvard's Ph.D. math program after graduating from Barnard, with Kevin, a Stanford junior, at center, and Muhammad, a freshman at Bentley University in Massachusetts.


Kate Fenneman Stokes prepares to ask for a report on what each student had for breakfast.



Marlen Amaro, a former Times Scholar now a Microsoft advisor based in Austin, Texas, with Aixin, who will graduate this year from Smith. Marlen is spearheading organization of a Scholarship Plus junior board of advisors. 

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