The 10 members of the 2017 Scholarship Plus class make it our largest group of scholars so far, and bring the total to 54. The new scholars of our eighth class come from a variety of backgrounds, but all share records of outstanding academic achievement and community contributions while overcoming stark challenges that include poverty, homelessness, mastering a new language and culture, and health-related difficulties.
Their accomplishments have earned them admission to Boston University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Franklin & Marshall College, George Washington University, Lehigh University, NYU, Northeastern, the School of Visual Arts and SUNY Oneonta.
"Abdoulaye is one of the most humble, deeply thoughtful, and analytical students I have had the pleasure of knowing."
"Simply continuing to do my work and try my hardest is one way I have rebelled," she says. She is graduating from the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics with a 4.0 average.
There was a time in his life when he awaited surgery as a turning point in his life. "I realized then," he wrote, "that there are things that cannot wait until later. Now I try to make every second of my life count."
Her long-term goal is to be "the person who speaks up for other people when they can't," and to change things that are wrong.
"I always believed the phrase 'Follow your dreams' came from a place of privilege. My family went from one homeless shelter to another constantly."
"JQ," her coach says, is "a young woman who does not know and will not accept failure."
Nogaye has clearly found her voice at Forest Hills High School, where she is in the demanding Carl Sagan Math and Science Honors program, and has earned a 99.16 average.
Her counselor describes her as "one of the most extraordinary young minds I have seen in my eight-plus years of teaching and counseling."
"I am honored to be part of a community that shines of persistence, perseverance, and unity."
He is a winning debater, and co-founder of the school's newspaper, a challenge he undertook "to unify people."