Jameelah (Cornell University, Biology & Society)

Jameelah looks with envy on the lives of those who take for granted the everyday pleasures and challenges of typical lives with siblings. Both of her sisters have autism that has required them to be in special schools, separate from those that Jameelah herself has attended. That ache in her life has also become an ambition: “I needed to be the one to graduate high school, attend college, get a good job, and be successful,” she wrote in her essay. “Not only for myself, but for my siblings. I want to pursue medical research ... to find solutions and help others, so that my dream of going to school with my sisters can be another little girl’s reality.” Jameelah ranks high in her class at the Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. The school begins in the sixth grade, and the teacher who wrote her recommendation, who is now teaching her precalculus, recalled first teaching Jameelah mathematics in 7th grade, describing her as articulate and highly organized even then. She has already taken courses at Lehman College, and will continue her college experience at Cornell.