Shania has an unusual vision for her ideal college living quarters: a ten-story library and the journalism department. She writes with great feeling and clarity about “that euphoric moment where she discovered the world of writing, where her pages had a tsunami of words, where her fingertips were the catalyst to a world unimaginable but never impossible.”

“Writing,” wrote Shania’s guidance counselor at Flushing High School, started as a hobby and has turned into a passion.” Born in Jamaica, Shania and her family have lived here for eight years. Her father is deceased, and she and her five siblings are supported by her mother, who works two jobs, and an aunt. Shania has “two younger siblings that I commute with to and from school, which also leaves me with the responsibility of making sure they’re on top of their studies.” She is on top of her own studies, with a GPA of 93 percent and a transcript that includes a number of AP classes, part of a record that earned her early admission to several colleges. Active in student government and a poetry group, she sings soprano in her church choir and is a mentor to freshmen who are having difficulty in school.

Having experienced trauma as a child, Shania values self-care and connecting with friends and professors; maintaining strong mental health is important to her. She has a clear vision for her goals, and the way that writing will help her achieve them, “saved from a constant dread. She was no longer broken but healed; fulfilled with this talent bestowed upon her she revealed to the world who she was, what she was then, and who she is now. And now she is the creator of her own faith and decides how her story should end.”

I would like to thank Miss Hene (Sarah Hene) my art teacher for encouraging me and allowing me to experience one of the best summers I’ve had in my life.

Many thanks to Anthony Ramos for supporting Shania through her college journey.