The 20 members of the Scholarship Plus Class of 2021 — our largest ever group of scholarship recipients — share much with our first six students in 2010: all are graduates of New York City high schools that span all 5 boroughs, and all are supported by the Scholarship Plus community in tackling the daunting hurdles of paying for college without substantial loans, and navigating life on campuses that lack diversity in all its forms.
Students honor the teachers and mentors who have made the greatest difference in their lives, and Scholarship Plus thanks the generous supporters behind this cohort's scholarships.
"I have this need to challenge myself." Redwana's entrepreneurial spirit has allowed her to envision a future where she combines art, fashion and tech.
"Ehteshamul's passion for STEM led him to a research internship at Columbia University, a pastime of sci-fi novels, and dreams of becoming an engineer."
"I’ve proved that Girl Power exists. I’ll let the world remember me by my name as an engineer."
"Asked where in the world Ivan would want to visit, he named both Italy and Japan. Why that combination? Because, he said, he loves both Dante and Nintendo."
"I want to destigmatize the topic of mental health, and be a beacon to those who believe things are impossible.”
One of Lusangelis' interests is the study of neurodegenerative diseases. "Throughout my research, I have maintained my sense of excitement about not only studying the brain’s complex makeup, but also the possibility of understanding how the brain can help transform the world of medicine."
"I constantly give myself reminders about the people who came before me like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and so many others who grew up poor like me but still found ways to get out of that hole and become great figures in our country."
"One day after the surgery, she was back in our Zoom meetings, sharing her insights about the latest reading assignments. This is a student who wants to contribute, and will do so in spite of considerable obstacles."
"One teacher had to create a separate curriculum for Abdel because he was so advanced in his thinking and always went above and beyond in his studies."
Jenn loves to help people—from every day ways to imagining new infrastructures. Her interests in business and civil engineering are sure to bring those together in some powerful ways.
"Maliha is truly an inspiring person. She is probably a better adult than me already."
Maimouna is excited to study computer science, and use artificial intelligence in an app that would direct people seeking food or clothing to nearby places that could meet their needs.
"One of the most gifted writers I have yet had the pleasure to teach."
“One of the most intelligent, responsible and dedicated students with whom I have had the pleasure to work.”
“As an individual who has challenged societal barriers, such as the ‘perfect’ body image, I strive to advocate about health and body image issues on the university campus, and onwards as a healthcare professional.”
"Uriel, a refugee from El Salvador, plans to lift up others in need as a nurse."
"Ssafiyatou lifts up marginalized communities by creating opportunities for healing and restoration. Her aim is to become a social worker in a hospital setting."
“Adjusting to life as a freshman in college during a pandemic is uncharted territory, and I would love to have a reliable support system.”
"I want to protect the world and nature, and become a conservationist or environmental scientist. I want to use my passion to protect what I love and what is sacred to me, and to help as much as I can."
"Brandon’s love for STEM grew as he took coding courses; he would continue working on algorithms long after class."