Safiatu (Nursing & Global Public Health)

When Safiatu was in eighth grade, she entered a scientific competition sponsored by New York University. Her group was the youngest among the 60 taking part in the statewide event. Their proposed project was to design a model skeleton affordable by schools around the world. They showed that it could be done for $40.38, and won the competition. Then Safi went on to win first place in subsequent competitions, the first person in the program to do so. Part of her motivation to go into science was the death of her 5-year-old brother when she was 11. Another is her mother, who works in a nursing home. “Every day,” Safiatu says, “Mom comes home with stories about how she has helped people that day. I thought, ‘I want to do that.’” But her ambitions are broader than science. “I want to be the woman little girls see and realize that it is beautiful to love and be yourself,” she wrote. “I want to be the woman who is the voice of those who don’t have one. In order for me to become this woman, I need and want to succeed.” She is on her way, with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 at Townsend Harris High School, awards for her studies in Latin and French as well as science, and admission to New York University’s nursing program. Of her future, her college counselor wrote: “She will continue to shine with the very light she has created.”