Gil (Political Science, Columbia)

Gil is at the top of his class of 102 at Mott Hall Bronx High School, where he is one of 27 students enrolled in the challenging International Baccalaureate program. His English teacher, a former lawyer, wrote that Gil “is able to process and reflect on his experiences with poverty — both in the Dominican Republic and in the South Bronx — in a way that is really perceptive,” adding that “Gil’s intellect and ability to engage with the most complex of ideas is truly exceptional.” The school principal, noting that 90 percent of her students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, gave Gil her “highest and unreserved recommendation. Not just because I think he’s a great kid who’s worked hard and deserves to be surrounded by other accomplished students, but because he will be positioned to represent the experiences of our community in the academic realm. Something I think we need more of in today’s world.” Gil won early admission to Columbia.