Mildred learned a valuable lesson as volleyball team captain. It involved “Righty, my inseparable right-hand man. The hand I use to get things done, on and off the court.” Holding up that hand to ward off a ball hurtling out of nowhere caused a severe sprain. She is right-handed, and so had to train her left hand to “brush my teeth, write in school and play volleyball, for a month.” She learned that resilience is one of her qualities, and that “roadblocks, like spraining your dominant hand, are mere steppingstones to the end goal."

Her ability to focus and to overcome obstacles has served Milly well at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, where she has a 97.36 average and is first in a class of 132. Her guidance counselor noted that during the pandemic, which halted many afterschool programs, “Mildred made the most of the situation by taking two college level classes and is currently taking a third class.” Milly also made time to write for the school paper, and to be a project manager for the entrepreneurship club.

In her essay, Mildred wrote about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement for her. “I want to live in a world,” she wrote, “where I can go out and not be seen as a criminal, a world where I am not followed in stores by workers.” In the future, she wrote, “I will continue to share about the movement and turn to credible sources for more information on how I can contribute to that change.”

In college, Mildred intends to join the Black Student Union to assure that voices like hers will be heard. She hopes to major in chemical engineering and eventually to help create sustainable and affordable byproducts for low-income communities.

A teacher who made the greatest impact on my journey to adulthood is my college advisor Amanda Saechao. During the college application process, Ms. Amanda helped me proofread, reflect and revise every one of my college essays. She read at least 15 essays and gave me feedback on every single one of them, and I am very appreciative of her.

Thank you to The New York Community Trust for supporting Mildred through her college journey.