If anyone needs tutoring,” Divina says, “I’m always here to help.” Inspired by teachers at her middle school, she has acted on that inspiration by tutoring there for five hours every Saturday while attending high school.

Another quality admired by her teachers at Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem, where she has earned a GPA of 96%, is what one of them described as Divina’s “astounding emotional maturity.” Hospitalized for several weeks with pneumonia in her sophomore year, she returned to school “still feeling terrible.” Despite this, her teacher wrote, “Divina would go home each night and complete the work she missed when she was absent, while tackling new assignments with a calm and cheerful attitude. She kept her grades high, even as she was exhausted. Her commitment to learning surpasses other students on a level I have rarely seen.”

Outside the school, Divina has been active in the Youth Council of the Riley’s Way Foundation, working with elementary school children on developing qualities of kindness and empathy, and also on community services such as supporting women impacted by incarceration. Divina is now co-chair of the Youth Council.

While Divina thinks that teaching will be her eventual career, she is also interested in law and psychology. In seeking these goals, she continues to be motivated by the death of her closest friend, Justice, a decade ago. “Every day,” she wrote in her essay, “I use the loss of my friend as motivation for success in school, at work, and in my personal development and ultimate success. I want to be a helping hand for those that are too afraid to speak up and are struggling in silence. I dedicate my life to making every Sunday brighter than the one before, because Justice can’t.”

Divina is a recipient of the Soléi Spears Scholarship. Thank you to Elloree Talent Strategies and donors to the Soléi Spears Fund for supporting Divina through her college journey.