Vasiki (Physics, Colby College)

Vasiki knows where he's going, but doesn't hesitate to choose unexpected paths to get there. With his sights on an engineering career, he decided to pass up a summer job at an engineering firm to work at a children's camp because he wanted to improve his patience. He takes advantage of every opportunity to learn. When the chance to work as an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art came up, he seized it.

When he and two teammates competed in a Constitutional debate contest, they argued that Constitutional limits on Presidential powers were being ignored, and won the citywide competition. In his spare time, Vasiki, who is known to his friends as Ba, writes short stories and poetry. Vasiki lost his mother, whom he describes as his biggest cheerleader, when he was 15. His father, a carpenter, helps support members of his large family in West Africa, so money is very tight. A standout student at Queens Vocational and Technical High School, his next destination: Colby College in Maine, for a double degree program heavy in both engineering and liberal arts.

Vasiki's Teacher Who Makes a Difference is Robert J. Schimenz. He is a government, economics and journalism teacher at Queens Vocational and Technical High School. Vasiki took his college course on Literacy and Propaganda.