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Class of 2000

Thomas Berrings

Hometown: Waterbury, VT

high school: Harwood Union

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Human Thought

GRAD. PROGRAM: Stanford Graduate School of Business (2011, MBA)

TJ graduated with honors from Stanford University in 2004 with a degree in Human Thought, a self-designed major that included coursework in philosophy, neurophysiology, and psychology. He was one of thirty students inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society during his junior year. During his time at Stanford, TJ sang with Stanford Talisman, a renowned collegiate performance group focused on music from the African Diaspora. He also spent time conducting research in a gene therapy laboratory and served as a research assistant to a professor at the Stanford Law School who was focused on race-related legal issues.

Following his time at Stanford, TJ participated in a year-long fellowship at the Council on African American Affairs (now the Ron Brown Scholar Community Service Foundation), where he conducted research on a range of issues, including preventive healthcare for children, civic engagement, and educational disparities. He went on to work for D. E. Shaw & Co., a $28bn global multi-strategy hedge fund. Following his stint at D. E. Shaw, TJ worked as a Venture Associate at VantagePoint Venture Partners, a $4bn venture capital fund, where he focused on investments in technology businesses.

TJ received his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2011. He is currently the CFO and Co-Founder of a stealth mode software start-up based in Silicon Valley.

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Class of 2000

Tristan Ivory

Hometown: Oxnard, CA

high school: Oxnard

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

GRAD. PROGRAM: University of California, Los Angeles (2006, MA)

Described by his teachers and guidance counselors as “one of the most impressive students ever to attend Oxnard High School,” Tristan ranked in the top 2% of a graduating class of 520. He is a National Achievement Scholar and winner of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award. On statewide exams Tristan earned High Honors in U.S. History and Economics, Honors in Chemistry, Geometry, and Literature, and recognition for his writing ability.

Tristan’s academic accomplishments are all the more impressive because they have been achieved against a background of parental divorce and illness which has necessitated several moves. Living with his grandparents, Tristan excelled in 9th grade at the Academy of Mathematics, Science, and Applied Technology, a prestigious magnet school in Las Vegas. There he participated in the Varsity Band and acted in two drama productions, playing Aide Turkle in “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest,” and Wally in “The Impossible Years.” He was introduced to a version of Knowledge Bowl, which later became one of his passions.

At the beginning of 10th grade, Tristan joined his mother in California and enrolled at Oxnard High School where he thrived academically and socially. His AP Chemistry teacher remembers him not only for his outstanding work in the class, but also for his “compassion and humanity” in organizing a fund raiser for students who could not afford the fees for the AP exam. Tristan served as Vice President of the school’s National Honor Society, played in the Varsity Band, and acted in a production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Tristan excels in academic competitions. He was high scorer of the Knowledge Bowl Team in 10th and 11th grades, and captain in 11th and 12th, leading his team to an 8-0 season his senior year. As a member of the Academic Decathlon team in 11th grade, Tristan won a gold medal for Language and Literature, and silver medals in Speech and Music. He captained the team his last year at Oxnard, receiving gold medals in interview, speech, music, and social studies, a silver in essay, and a bronze in language and literature as well as the team spirit award. Tristan sees these competitions as great stress-relievers. “Put an electronic buzzer in my hand,” he confesses, “and I’m happy!”

Writing about his other accomplishments in the face of daunting obstacles, Tristan strikes a more serious note: “My success is not for me. Rather, my success is for the child I once was and all those children who still are. I want to look at all those children and be able to say, ‘You are the author of your own biography. All success lies upon the belief in the power within.'”

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Class of 2000

Adefolarin Apata

Hometown: College Park, GA

high school: Benjamin E. Mays

college: Emory University

MAJOR: Computer Science

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Business School (2008, MBA)

Born in London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba heritage, Adefolarin ‘Kolade’ Apata was named in the hope that he would bring good health and fortune to his family. He has brought considerable pride as well. This valedictorian of Benjamin E. Mays High School and winner of the Harvard Book Award took four AP courses as a junior, and five as a senior. He is a national Coca-Cola Scholar.

Lauded by his teachers especially for his ethical standards and work ethic, Kolade served as a peer tutor and role model, helping students who experienced difficulties in science and math. He played leadership roles in every activity he undertook: president of the Computer Club, vice-president of the Math Club, captain of the Math Team, and team leader of the Academic Decathlon. Kolade spent the summer of 1998 at Clark Atlanta University working on FORTRAN programs and designing web pages. He later initiated the designing of his high school’s web page.

Kolade devotes his Saturday mornings to the American Red Cross. As a member of its Youth Council and Board, he trains younger students in Red Cross procedures and participates in activities that assist disaster victims. Kolade says that his work for the Red Cross demonstrates “how very little can make so much difference to people trying to cope with emergencies and disasters.”

Emory University will count Kolade among its first year students this fall. He will study computer science with the goal of pursuing a career in the development of software. He hopes someday to design software that will lead to medical breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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Class of 2000

Illisten Jones

Hometown: Carson, CA

high school: Westchester

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biochemical Sciences

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Medical School (2009, MD)

Throughout her time as an undergraduate at Harvard, Ilisten has remained committed to leadership and service. During her freshman year, she worked with the AHEAD after school program as a tutor and mentor for disadvantaged elementary school students. After having served as a college peer counselor in high school, Ilisten sought out a way to use this experience to help students in Cambridge. To this end, she joined forces with the CHANCE program, which provides free SAT preparation and college advising to nearby high school students.

After learning that many of her college peers were dissatisfied with the health care they received at the university’s health services, Ilisten decided to do something to effect change. As a sophomore, she joined the Student Health Advisory Council, which advocates for student health interests. A year later, as chair of the Council, Ilisten met with the chiefs of medical departments at the university to voice student concerns and to present data that catalyzed improvements in the quality of student health care.

In addition to her public service, Ilisten has continued to nurture her interest in biomedical research. After her sophomore year, she was selected to participate in the Stanford Summer Research Program. There, Ilisten collaborated with the Department of Developmental Biology on a screen for new genes involved in dorsoventral patterning in the zebrafish. Back at Harvard, she joined the efforts of her advisor in the Biochemical Sciences Department to discern differences in transcriptional regulation amongst various HIV subtypes.

Ilisten is now a pediatrics resident, exploring her interests in health policy and advocacy at the UCLA Center for Healthier Children.

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Class of 2000

Jamar Campbell

Hometown: Aurora, CO

high school: Alexander Dawson School

college: Northwestern University

MAJOR: Economics

Jamar Campbell rode a bus two hours each morning from his home in Aurora to attend the Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette, Colorado. Selected for a full scholarship, Jamar transferred to the Dawson School as a sophomore. It was a wise investment on both sides.

Jamar is a Commended Scholar in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, Rotary Club Student of the Month, National Youth Law Forum nominee, and finalist for the Wal-Mart Community Service Scholarship. He earned a perfect score on the Advanced Placement exam in American history. A talented writer, Jamar was praised by his English teacher for his “astute interpretation of literature” and for helping to keep class discussions “focused and invigorating.”

Despite Jamar’s daily commute to school, he found time to play on the Dawson School’s varsity basketball team for three years, and to participate in the football club and in the Chorus. He has been active in community service projects, helping to set up community farms for the homeless in the Denver area. Jamar also volunteered as an assistant in a “web exploratory class” for middle school students for two years, and as a mentor for ninth graders. Coming from a family of eight brothers and sisters, he has had many opportunities to learn how to be a “big brother.”

Jamar attends Northwestern University where he plans to major in political science or history. His goal is to attend law school and perhaps move into politics. According to his teachers, “This seems to be a perfect goal for someone with Jamar’s blend of intelligence, poise, warmth, and concern for others.”

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Julian Jordan

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

high school: Canterbury School

college: Brown University

MAJOR: International Relations

GRAD. PROGRAM: Stanford Graduate School of Business (2012, MBA)

Despite choosing a very demanding curriculum at the Canterbury School, Julian Jordan established himself as a regular member of the Headmaster’s (High Honor Roll) List. Praised by his teachers for his “flawless classroom performance” and “untiring efforts,” he was honored as a junior with departmental awards in biology and English and a Commended Scholar Award for academic excellence. Julian placed 10th in the state of Indiana on the National French Exam. He is Fort Wayne, Indiana’s only National Achievement Scholar this year and will move east in the fall to attend Brown University.

Julian took a senior level course in psychology as a sophomore and found it the most rewarding class in his high school career. He used his knowledge of psychology in other classes, asking penetrating questions and bringing subtle insights to his study of literature, according to his AP English teacher. To satisfy his intellectual curiosity, Julian has read widely among authors as diverse as Plato, Joseph Conrad, Ralph Ellison, and C.S. Lewis.

In his extra-curricular activities, Julian is a quiet leader who says he enjoys having an impact without necessarily being in the spotlight. That may characterize his participation on Student Council, Key Club, and the school newspaper, but it hardly describes his contribution to Canterbury’s soccer team. Julian played a central role on the team that won two consecutive state championships, and he was named State Player of the Year as a senior.

He brings the same combination of enthusiasm and modesty to community service projects. Helping inner-city youth in an after-school basketball program, or working at a summer camp run by his church, Julian demonstrates his unselfishness and compassion. His excellence as a role model for younger children may derive from the fact that, growing up in a single parent home, he has assumed considerable responsibility for his younger brother. Julian believes that the time he’s spent with Cameron has taught him that “understanding and respect are the keys to any relationship with someone you care about.”

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Kara Lee

Hometown: Uniondale, NY

high school: Uniondale

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering

Kara Lee’s motto is “never limit yourself.” Eager to face challenges, Kara takes advantage of every opportunity to expand her horizons. She selected the most rigorous courses offered at Uniondale High School and spent her summers taking advanced math and science classes at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the MITE2S program at MIT. Kara’s academic achievements have earned her recognition as Salutatorian of her graduating class, National Achievement Scholar, National Merit Finalist, Kodak Young Leader, AP Scholar, and National Ventures Scholar. She received the Rensselaer Math and Science Medal, and the International Foreign Language Award, and was a finalist in the 2000 Alicia Patterson High Honors Scholarship Competition sponsored by Newsday.

Her teachers and peers often wonder, “Is there ANYTHING Kara does not do extraordinarily well?” For her leadership in extracurricular and community service activities, Kara earned Uniondale’s School Spirit Award and Major Service Award. She was a trained peer mediator and worked as a counselor at the Youth Project Center. She served as President of the Science Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Mathletes, Vice President of Key Club, Treasurer of her class, captain and choreographer of the cheerleading squad. Kara is also an accomplished violinist and Concertmistress of three orchestras. Last year, she performed with the All-State Symphony Orchestra in Rochester, New York and the All-Eastern Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In her spare time, she teaches violin and viola to young children.

With her firm belief that ” a community needs the support and cooperation of its members in order to thrive,” Kara has been working to establish a tutorial program for students who fall below state standards in reading and math. In her junior year she organized a fundraiser that enabled a sixth-grader to attend a summer science camp at a local college. The goal was to spark interest in science and technology in elementary students as well as to give someone less fortunate the opportunity to participate in a challenging summer program.

While her teachers, family and peers wonder at her intellectual curiosity, creativity, and musical ability, Kara prefers to focus on her faith in God, her compassion for others, and her commitment to community service. All of these traits will most likely inform Kara’s future endeavors, such as her dream of founding a music school that will raise minority children’s intelligence and problem solving ability through music instruction. Before beginning her studies at Harvard, Kara participated in its Freshman Urban Program, a community service program.

Kara graduated from Harvard in 2004 with an bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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Lauren Goins

Hometown: Gretna, LA

high school: St. Mary’s Dominican

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biochemical Sciences

GRAD. PROGRAM: University of California, San Francisco (PhD Candidate)

Lauren Goins discovered her love of math and science during her years at St. Marys Dominican High School in New Orleans where she participated in the Junior Engineering Technical Society, the Science Bowl Team, and Mu Alpha Theta. In addition to winning state math awards, she achieved perfect scores on the math sections of the SAT (800) and the ACT (36).

Lauren’s eagerness to learn is evident in her participation in the Tulane Science Scholars Program at which she studied subjects such as “Genotoxicity and its Relationship to Cancer,” and “Molecular Simulations in Engineering.” Enrichment programs at colleges throughout the nation have occupied her summers, including the Summer Minority Engineering Training program at the Colorado School of Mines, the Chemstar program at Xavier University, and the Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science at MIT.

Finding time to give back to her community, Lauren has served as president of St. Matthews Youth Council and been active on the Dominican Retreat Team and the Christian Leadership Council. She sings in choirs at school and at church and was elected Secretary and Treasurer of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Lauren has also assisted in her mother’s business and created and operated her own, Lauren’s Card Creations.

A National Merit Commended Scholar, National Achievement Finalist, and recipient of the Society of Women Engineers Certificate of Merit, Lauren was named a Louisiana Young Hero for her academic and personal accomplishments. One summer she was chosen as a Presidential Scholar, an honor conferred on only two students from each state, and spent a week in D.C. where she met President Clinton. Lauren majored in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard University.

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May Lugemwa

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

high school: The Altamont School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Visual and Environmental Studies (Film)

GRAD. PROGRAM: University of California, Los Angeles (2008, MFA)

Born in Kenya, May Lugemwa spent her early childhood in Zimbabwe before emigrating with her family to America at the age of seven. She vividly remembers both her sadness in leaving so much of herself behind and her family’s hopes and dreams for the future. Perhaps because of this experience May has grown into a young woman who sees herself, first and foremost, a dreamer.

Like her parents before her, though, May is not content merely to dream. She works diligently to ensure that her dreams become reality. A scholar athlete, student leader, talented writer and musician, she has achieved a remarkable degree of success. May is Valedictorian of The Altamont School’s Class of 2000, co-captain of the varsity girls’ soccer team, president of the Key Club, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and first chair of the advanced orchestra’s clarinet section. Her teachers describe her as one of the most dynamic students Altamont has seen in twenty-five years. Among the science honors May has received are the Carver-Gorgas Science Award, the Intel Award for Excellence in Computer Science, the American Chemical Society Award, and regional and state science fair awards. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society.

May has received accolades for her written and oral expression as well. An “eloquent public speaker,” according to Altamont’s Headmaster, she won the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest in Birmingham for two consecutive years and delivered one of her essays as a moving oration to 2,000 people. She is a member of the National Forensics League and the Quill and Scroll, a journalism honor society. It is in writing that May’s talent and passion unite to create what she describes as a “heightened sensitivity.” “It is,” she writes, “as Spiller described E.A. Robinson, I am like ‘a man without a skin.’ All passes through and I feel everything. As a result I dream without bounds.”

May pursued her dreams at Harvard the next fall as a National Merit and National Achievement Scholar and graduated in 2004. She then went on to earn an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Theatre, Film, and Television Producers. She currently works for Mattel Corporation.

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Samuel Anderson

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

high school: Horizon

college: Arizona State University

MAJOR: Microbiology

GRAD. PROGRAM: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (MD candidate)

Samuel “Mike” Anderson pursued a rigorous course of study at Horizon High School, taking mostly AP and honors level courses. A National Merit Commended Student, he earned top scores on all of his AP exams and was inducted into the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta in his junior year. Mikes love of language, literature and ideas prompted his English teacher to characterize his writing as “elegant and deeply insightful.”

Outside the classroom, Mike played a leadership role in Horizons award-winning band, serving as drum major for two years. He plays in a saxophone quartet, in wind and jazz ensembles at Horizon, and in a church orchestra. He has also volunteered as a student band director at a local middle school.

In addition to serving as a peer tutor and active church youth group member, Mike has contributed several years of service to the Boy Scouts of America. He rose from Patrol Leader of two district champion patrols to Senior Patrol Leader of his troop. He recently completed requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout, conducting a service project that benefitted the Pioneer Living History Museum.

Mike won the Elks’ “Most Valuable Student” scholarship competition, was a finalist for the Flinn Foundation Scholarship, and was nominated for the national Principals Leadership award. He is currently an MD Candidate at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis .

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