Anas is enthusiastic about math and science, finding nature in the urban jungle, and origami. Anybody can fold paper, but origami requires other qualities, among them imagination, creativity, mathematical knowledge, logic and patience. Anas has shown those qualities – along with resourcefulness and determination – since arriving here with his parents and two siblings from Bangladesh four years ago. The education system in Bangladesh, he wrote, “gives vast importance to grades, but is careless about learning.” At first in New York he was assigned to a high school with a poor reputation – “there were numerous times when some of the teachers did not even show up to class to teach us” – making it “a school that I disliked even more than the one in Bangladesh.”

Determined to get to a better school, he took challenging courses, did well, and was able to transfer to the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics – “a school that I fell in love with since day one.” With his 4.0 GPA and an outstanding list of extracurriculars, including being a leader of the Robotics Team and an active peer tutor, the feeling was clearly mutual. “He has the potential,” wrote one of his math teachers, “to excel at anything he puts his mind to.”

Anas has been greatly influenced by a mentorship at Wave Hill, the public garden and research center in the Bronx. “Most residents of this city would characterize it as a concrete jungle,” he wrote, “but they have no idea that if we learn to look for it, we will find nature in the most unexpected places.” Anas is aiming for a career “working on engineering research projects that focus on environmental and ecological issues.” He also has another ambition: “becoming an origami master.”

Many thanks to Perry Pazer for supporting Anas through his college journey.