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Class of 2006

Alannah Gore

Hometown: Durham, NC

high school: Southern

college: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

MAJOR: Anthropology

GRAD. PROGRAM: UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health (MPH, RD Candidate)

George Sheehan said, “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” Believing in herself and her abilities, Alannah Kimia Gore demonstrates her courage, determination and will to be great in everything she attempts to do.

Alannah was born in Durham, North Carolina. Accompanied by her twin sister, Akia Sheree Gore, Alannah embarked upon a life of love, friendship, fun, and family support. All this came to a screeching halt in 1999 when her parents separated and later divorced. Life would never be the same. Although divorce seemed like the solution, it was only a way to end one form of pain and accept another. Through the court dates, custody battle, financial and emotional strain on her family, Alannah continued to make excellent grades in school and persevere through the heartache. At this time, she and her sister attended different schools, adding the stress of separation in more than one way. Having many friends, outside emotional support from family, and the determination to keep it together, Alannah used her pain to become a beautiful young woman with the will to touch lives.

Wishing to enter the world of medicine as a medical research scientist, Alannah attends the City of Medicine Academy within Southern Durham High School. Receiving Academic Excellence Awards in courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, Foundations of Medicine, Medical Clinical Practicum, and Medical Ethics has confirmed her desire to attend medical school and pursue her dream.

Alannah is Valedictorian of the senior class of 2006. With such an honor comes great responsibility. She has served as an officer in Student Government since the 9th grade. Other extracurricular activities include: Duke Area Health Education Center, Health Occupation Students of American, Gospel Youth Explosion Choir, Students Against Violence Everywhere and Future Business Leaders of America.

But throughout this busy schedule, she receives her greatest joy in serving the community. Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and being local Chairman of Fundraising for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital inspire her the most. Both organization benefit people afflicted with diseases that she hopes to cure one day. She believes that community service is not a privilege, but a necessity for making the world a better place and helping others. Her motto is, “Laugh, love and live life and then look to help others to laugh, love, and live like you do.”

Alannah is a wonderful person with a big heart and ambition. Although life so far has been an emotional roller coaster with divorce and the perks and pains of high school, it has only made her a stronger and more determined person. Confucius said “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart,” and that is exactly what Alannah Kimia Gore is going to do.

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Class of 2006

Austin Henderson

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

high school: Arlington Heights

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Film and Media Studies

The name Austin in Latin means majestic and signifies dignity and respect. By striving to live up to his name, or just by natural possessing these qualities, Austin James Henderson exemplifies these characteristics. Though somewhat of a perfectionist, Austin’s strong work ethic and drive are what have allowed him to excel in many areas of his life. His resilience and determination, noted by his superiors, not only set him apart from his peers, but allow him to always persevere despite any adversity.

Austin was born into a single parent, low-income home, with his mother on dialysis. Austin was fortunate enough though to have a strong mother who knew the value of an education and only wanted the best for her children. She made enormous sacrifices so that her children could attend private school, and worked diligently with her children tutoring them before and while they were attending school. Her efforts gave Austin the foundation he needed to succeed and become confident in his own academic abilities.

By the end of his freshman year in highschool, unfortunately, private school had become too expensive. He made a decision to stay with his father in New Jersey, to attend a better school, despite the fact that he didn’t want to leave his immediate family and friends. His biggest challenge was adjusting to the totally new environment. Every aspect of his lifestyle seemed to be changing, and just after acclimating himself to his new environment, his father’s job moved them to Lima, a small town in Ohio. Feeling confined by this new school and small town environment, Austin decided to move back to Texas to finish out the rest highschool. Even though he worked and had extra responsibilities because of his mother’s declining health, Austin still challenged himself, taking five AP classes his senior year.

Austin’s exceptional maturity was apparent in his pursuit of his education despite hardship. His focus allowed him to develop his intellect and achieve greater success each year as he progressed through highschool. He maintained a 4.0 GPA all four years and, was recognized for his potential in math and science by W.P.I. in the 10th grade, won a math and science scholarship from Colorado school of mines in the 11th grade, and was named a Ventures, Quest, and National Achievement Scholar during his 12th grade year along with being accepted into the University of Southern California. He also achieved success in track, winning numerous running and field events throughout highschool, including four district first place medals.

Austin’s triumph over the trials that many students of color face, nothing short of majestic, has earned him respect, and gives him great hope from the future. He will undoubtedly use his experience to succeed in life and then help other students and families facing the similar hardships he experienced. Bound for a bright future, Austin will continue to strive for excellence, no matter what obstacles obstruct his path.

Austin graduated from Stanford In 2010 with a BA in Film and Media Studies

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Class of 2006

Cameron Drake

Hometown: Harvey, IL

high school: Thornton Township

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy

There was no surprise that Cameron immediately took to the hurdles when he began to run track in the sixth grade because he had been facing hurdles his entire life. Cameron was raised by his grandmother on Chicago’s south side along with his two brothers. A tough childhood is probably what best prepared him for the hurdles that he would face continuously throughout his life. On the outside he is a thin, athletically built track and cross country runner with a wide smile and eager eyes. Beneath the surface he is a deep thinker-one who is never intellectually satiated and is never afraid to ask any question. Those who know him best affirm that he is theatrical, an actor at heart skilled in humorous and dramatic acting. He has performed characters ranging from a powerful convincing performance of Malcolm X to a hilarious portrayal of a man that has had an affair with a goat.

Cameron is also a talker; his communications skills seem boundless. This trait is not just useful in his continuous assault of the ears of those around him, but also proved invaluable in his recent third place finish in the state of Illinois in Original Oration. Perhaps it was because he was born at 11:58 on March 31, 1988 (two minutes before April Fools’ Day) that Cameron developed such an operative sense of humor. He is a humorist whose quick wit and constant puns are a joy to those closest to him. He puts this creative humor to use when maintaining his website (comedyinacan.com) and also in his energized improvisational comedy performances.

Because Cameron attends an economically disadvantaged high school, there are plenty of hurdles for him to overcome. Not only does he conquer these hurdles with finesse, but he also helps his fellow classmates over the same hurdles. Significant cuts to school activities led Cameron to create an environmental documentary film project to give novel experiences for his fellow classmates. He is a leader who rises above the ranks of his classmates to be not only a scholar, but also an example for others to follow. Cameron’s optimistic nature and determination are traits that make him a natural-born leader. Most importantly, Cameron is a child of God, who desperately seeks a more understanding and powerful relationship with his divine father.

In 2005, Cameron was selected as a Quest scholar, one of 21 outstanding students chosen from around the nation to participate in a stimulating academic and personal growth and program at Stanford University. He has received many national and state honors for his outstanding scholastic achievements, as well as a plethora of medals for his public speaking and acting abilities. Cameron maintains his own website and a GPA of over 4.4. He is also an athlete, an all-conference, all-regional, sectional champion, state-qualifying cross-country and track runner.

Cameron continued his achievement and used all of the gifts with which God has blessed him at Stanford University in California. He completed a BA in in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy and in Philosophy-Religious Studies in 2010.

Cameron is currently the Co-Founder, Designer, and a Developer, of Ohm Labs, Inc

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Crystal Boyd

Crystal Boyd

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

high school: Richard Montgomery

college: New York University

MAJOR: Musical Theater

Crystal Boyd is a 2006 Ron Brown Scholar. She is a co-creator of DOWNTOWN GIRLS, a comedy collective dedicated to creating a new narrative that deconstructs modern experiences, explores relationships, and celebrates women. They’ve recently developed a pilot, “Black Girl Magic,” at SONY Studios and NBC with Gabrielle Union. They also developed a pilot script with Elizabeth Banks and Warner Horizon. Their self-titled show, Downtown Girls, is about four broke and ballsy women hustling to make it in New York City, by any means necessary. Crystal recently played the role of Cora in Comedy Central’s “South Side.

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Class of 2006

Kory Kantenga

Hometown: Fort Myers, FL

high school: Fort Myers

college: Georgetown University

MAJOR: Foreign Services

GRAD. PROGRAM: London School of Economics (2012, MS)

As the child of an immigrant Kory understands the immense values of the opportunities available in his life and has made it one of his life missions to capitalize on and appreciate the opportunity that he is presented. His father migrated to the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo on – a country plagued with political corruption and economic instability – and instilled the value of education in his son. Born in Vero Beach, Florida, Kory realized he was academically talented at a young age. And the only word that could truly describe Kory upon his entrance into high school was determined.

He was determined to excel in college level courses, so he joined the International Baccalaureate program at Fort Myers High School. Throughout the program Kory grew in understanding and appreciation of the world around him. He has spent immeasurable hours working to achieve excellent grades, and the only standards higher than those Kory has achieved are his own. By the end of his junior year, Kory had taken nine AP exams and earned at least a four on each one. Kory has been an online student, taking two AP and one honors class online, voted most academic in his senior class, a member of his school’s academic team, and placed in the top twenty at regional, invitation, state, and national mathematics competitions. Upon the beginning of his senior year Kory knew the reasons for valuing and appreciating history, mathematics, and literature and cannot spend a day without quoting his favorite playwright and sonneteer, William Shakespeare.

But academic success in not the only aspect of Kory’s high school career that he values. He sees leadership as a foundation for progress and seeks to lead as a director in his school’s news show, president of a journalism honor society, and active member in several other honor societies. In addition, Kory feels he is best living the human experience when he is active by having run cross-country in high school and being a tennis aficionado. And when it comes to obstacles, Kory confronts them with grit and determination. This same desire has been rewarded not only with math team trophies but an opportunity to meet Governor Jeb Bush as his high school all-star for Lee County and an anchoring spot on cable TV.

Despite his early success in the broadcast field, Kory believes his true calling is to use his talents to serve others, having donated countless hours to volunteering at a local hospital and tutoring in mathematics. He says “I see myself not only as a citizen of the United States but also as a citizen of the world.” And he is focused on building a career in international economics to aid countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo in developing and utilizing their resources to their highest potential. And “if you could look into the seeds of time,” you would know that his focus and determination will lead him to help others, and achieve his highest aspirations.

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Class of 2006

Lisa Kelly

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

high school: Mira Loma

college: Mills College

MAJOR: Early Childhood Education

GRAD. PROGRAM: Mills College (2011, MEd)

Change and adversity have always been constant companions to Lisa Kelly. This began even before she can remember, when she spent months of her childhood in Colombia. Then, at three, her mother took her and her younger brother across the country, from Florida to California, to escape her alcoholic, abusive biological father. In California, Lisa’s mother bounced from home to home, husband to husband, sometimes dragging her children along for the ride.

Lisa’s schooling has also been turbulent. In Sacramento, California, until fifth grade she attended a private school that consisted of thirty-six students. Grades three through eight were combined into one classroom. This environment nurtured Lisa’s intellectual curiously and allowed her to believe she could achieve everything she dreamed if she only fed that curiosity. Also, Lisa never forgot the simple words of her mother’s second husband (who took care of Lisa and her brother for seven years and became Lisa’s rudder as she navigated the chaotic river of her life): “Just keep working hard in school – one day, a scholarship will be your ticket out of this mess.”

As her home situation grew less and less white-picket-fence, ideal nuclear family, Lisa clung to this idea as a means of escape. She prioritized academics, focusing all of her energy on being successful in school. She flourished in the public school system. Lisa is now a senior at Mira Loma High school, where she is pursuing an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Lisa has dedicated the last two years to this pursuit, the most prestigious, rigorous and challenging coursework available not only at her high school, but in the entire Sacramento area. Without the guidance of a supportive mother, Lisa has achieved all of this with a level of independence rarely faced by her fellow Diploma peers.

Lisa has also pursued her love of teaching, hoping that she might one day be able to motivate students like herself to take control of their lives through academics. She has volunteered at her local YMCA and tutored elementary school students. However, school has not been her only escape. Creative writing has allowed Lisa to explore and express the feelings that might otherwise bog her down in a cesspool of self-pity and remorse for the disadvantages of her situations. Instead, Lisa creates beauty – prosaic or poetic – out of those feelings, and can focus her positive energy completely on her schoolwork.

Being named a Ron Brown Scholar solidifies Lisa’s resolve to attend and excel in college, but it is also a validation of all Lisa’s work and sacrifice and life-long commitment to her school work. It is also yet another opportunity for Lisa, twenty or thirty years down the road, to help struggling students like herself to achieve their dreams and rise above circumstances beyond their control.

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Maikha Jean-Baptiste

Maikha Jean-Baptiste

Hometown: Miami, FL

high school: North Miami Beach Senior

college: Amherst College

MAJOR: Pre-Med

GRAD. PROGRAM: Tufts University School of Medicine (MD Candidate)

Maikha Jean-Baptiste grew up in Miami, FL. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Black Studies from Amherst College. After graduation, Maïkha decided to immerse herself in and learn about another culture. She moved to Quito, Ecuador where she taught high school English and studied Spanish.

Currently, Maïkha is enrolled at Tufts University School of Medicine. She plans to pursue a dual MD/MPH. She firmly believes that health care should be accessible to everyone and therefore hopes to work in underserved areas both in the states and internationally. In her free time, she enjoys salsa dancing, cooking, laughing with friends and hanging out with her younger siblings.

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Class of 2006

Malcolm Hines

Hometown: Mechanicsville, VA

high school: St. Christopher’s School

college: Washington and Lee

MAJOR: Spanish

They say that life is what you make it, and that you can consider the glass half empty or half full. Malcolm Hines is a person who always looks at the glass as half full. To him, life is what you make it, and if you decide that things are going to turn out well and look at the bright side of most things, then generally life will be pleasant.

Malcolm Xavier Hines was born on April 28, 1988, in Shenandoah County, Virginia, to Randall Lyn and the late Darshell D. Melvin-Hines. After his mother’s untimely death from lung disease when Malcolm was only sixteen months of age, Malcolm’s father relinquished his parental rights to his maternal grandparents, Robert and Sylvia Melvin. Malcolm has been in their care since January 1990.

Malcolm has shown great success in all of his endeavors throughout his lifetime. He has always been an exceptional student, earning marks rivaling the tops in his class. Academics have always come easily to Malcolm, leaving him time to pursue other things that interest him. One of those things is athletics. Malcolm’s school requires its students to participate in an after-school activity such as sports or theatre. Malcolm took a liking to football at an early age and began playing it in an organized way in his 8th grade year. Since then, he has played every year and loves the sport more and more. He plans to pursue football in college.

Malcolm’s true passion, however, is music and more specifically, singing. Throughout his thirteen years at St. Christopher’s School, he has been very involved in many choirs. Malcolm has been a member of at least one choir at his school since the 3rd grade, and is currently a member of three, being president of one and co-leader of another. He is also a pianist and has used his musical talent at other times as a member of the handbell choir and middle school band, playing tenor saxophone. He has also been a member of the choir at Good Shepherd Baptist Church since joining the church in 1997. In addition to the choir at church, Malcolm also volunteers at the church’s summer camp for kids. He worked with younger kids as a counselor at a camp sponsored by his school for inner city middle-schoolers.

Malcolm loves football, and Malcolm loves music, but most of all, Malcolm just loves to see other people happy. He has an interesting sense of humor, and most of his friends would describe him as a jokester who likes to be silly and goofy and sometimes even rude in order to show affection. Malcolm plans to study law in college, so that he can not only make people happy, but also treat them fairly in the process.

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Class of 2006

Salmana Diallo

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

high school: Poolesville

college: University of Pennsylvania

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering

Born in Quebec of West African immigrants, Salmana was introduced to Fulani, an African Sahel/Savanna zone language, French followed by English and Spanish. Molded in strong family values, she attributes her early maturity to quality interaction with her sister and brother. Within Quebec’s policy favoring the French language in public schools, Salmana had no English before moving to the United States. Registered in grade five in ESOL program, at the end of the year she passed outstandingly the language aptitude test, and was promoted to sixth grade GT classes. Subsequently, she was selected to attend the Poolesville High School Magnet Program of Global Ecology.

Salmana believes volunteering is an honorable duty and a rewarding source of experience. As President of Poolesville High School’s National Honor Society and Member of the Spanish and Portuguese Honor Society, she leads to organize key programs benefiting her school and community: among others, Seniors mentoring Freshmen to give advice on positive work-ethics; assisting students in mathematics, chemistry, French, English and Spanish, within her community of mostly minority families. Through community service, Salmana hopes to add her modest contribution to the advancement of minorities in striving for stronger impact on the progress of our nation.

Salmana’s outstanding academic performance, leadership potential, character and community service earned her awards, scholarships and participation in International Leadership Programs. In the spring of 2005, she was selected to represent Maryland, as Student Ambassador, at the People to People’s International Summits held in London, Brussels and Paris. This exceptional introduction to International Relations and Diplomacy provided her the opportunity to meet with, and enjoy lectures from Members of the British Parliament, the European Union Government, and Professors of La Sorbonne, Université de Paris where she was chosen to give the Thank You Speech in French. To Salmana, this trip was another chance to expand culturally and intellectually, while enjoying the wonders of a different continent.

Her profound passion for the eradication of disease outbreaks and human anatomy is a source of interest for Medicine. In August 2004, she was awarded the sole scholarship of $3,500 to attend the People to People’s Summit on Medicine at UCLA. She maintains equally focus on Law, truly believing that the way to end injustice, poverty and advance Third-World Development is through strategic policy reforms. In 2004, nominated by the Honorable Sessions, former Director of the FBI and U.S. District/Court Judge, the ACLU awarded her $1,265 to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law held in Virginia. In July 2004, sponsored by Lee Iacocca Institute (Lehigh/University) and Alcoa, she was introduced to Engineering: Selected with 20 other students of the nation, she attended a Design Engineering Career Awareness Program, in which she used three dimensional techniques to design and make a PowerPoint presentation, reflecting Alcoa’s marketing strategies.

Salmana graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. She hopes that this all-encompassing field will give her a strong foundation on her way to medicine and law.

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Class of 2006

Adam Haliburton

Hometown: Memphis, TN

high school: Craigmont

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Ethics, Politics, and Economics

Adam Haliburton is now teaching, studying, and fly fishing in rural Japan. He is a 2010 graduate of Yale University, where he received the Woodbridge Fellowship upon graduation, which placed him as a fellow in the Office of General Counsel in his post-graduate year. Adam is from Memphis, Tennessee. He hopes to return to the South many years hence, to establish a gentleman’s farm.

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