Kayla (Pre-med, Mount Holyoke College)

Backed by her supportive family, Kayla throws herself into everything she does. After transferring into the Bard High School Early College Queens – which normally does not accept transfer students – she signed up for a neurobiology course without having taken any previous biology classes. Her teacher gave her an old textbook, and within three weeks Kayla had caught up. “She started off with little science background,” that neurobiology teacher wrote, “but quickly dove face-first into her studies and proved to be a tenacious, highly capable student with a heart for activism and social change.” As part of her activism in the Black Lives Matter movement, Kayla led several presentations at her school. One was called “Good Hair,” another “The History of the N-Word;” both were wildly popular. She loves basketball, and on her first day at school asked to be the team’s manager. For the last two years she has been its assistant coach. Kayla’s mother died when she was young, and her father was forced into retirement after he was injured. But her two older siblings have made sacrifices so that Kayla will be able to attend college. Of her younger sister, Kayla says, “I want my sister to know that anything is possible.” Kayla loves working with children and hopes to have a career in child development, perhaps as a pediatrician. She has enrolled at Mount Holyoke College.