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Class of 2007

Folake Dosu

Hometown: Bellwood, Il

high school: St. Ignatius College Prep

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Science, Technology and Society

With a name like hers, Folake Dosu knew from an early age that she was bound to stand out in whatever environment in which she is placed. (Her name is Yoruba-Nigerian for “this is a child for whom I will care with all I have”). As a child, hearing people accidentally (or purposefully) mangle her name, she resolved to live up to the distinction which her name inherently possesses, in all areas of her life. One example: excellence through academics.

Folake was a straight-A student in grade school and has maintained well over a 4.0 throughout her high school career. A member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, she has received numerous awards over the years, including National Achievement Scholar and one of Nestlé’s Very Best in Youth. She credits as her inspiration the strong drive and loving support of her parents, Moses and Muinat Dosu, both African immigrants, who stressed education as the way to achieve the American Dream. She also believes that her passion for varied knowledge, reading things about anthropology and the Harlem Renaissance, listening to bossa nova and blues, and even just watching Jeopardy! and the NBA in the same day, makes her not only a better student, but a person more highly tuned to the richness of life. She is also involved in extra-curricular activities such as band (she has played clarinet for six years), Middle Passage (an African-American heritage club), and Amnesty International.

As a writer she has also found success, winning a prize in the 2nd grade for her first short story, The Princess and The Elves, and later securing publication for her writing in her school newspaper, school magazine, school literary journal, and the nationally published TeenINK. Folake explains, “I draw inspiration from my context, my life, the sum of my existence. I synthesize everything into one seamless Big Picture, resulting in the revelations of untold connections between the similar and the disparate.”

This insistence to show the interconnectedness of things stems from her propensity towards diversity, something her school, Saint Ignatius College Prep, has reinforced over the last four years. She elaborates, “True awareness of diversity leads to not tolerance, but appreciation and celebration of God’s creation.” While she was attending a predominantly white Catholic grade school in 1998, her father died of colon cancer. For her 11th birthday, her classmates reached out and threw her a surprise birthday party at Ben and Jerry’s. Six years later, inspired by their kindness, Folake founded The Birthday Party Project, which throws surprise monthly birthday parties for disadvantaged children in Chicago. At the end of one such party, when Folake asked a young refugee girl, Bindi, what her favorite part of the day was, Bindi replied, “Everything.” Folake believes moments like this are more rewarding than all her accolades combined. She plans to continue helping others by expanding this project and by becoming a doctor, something she has wanted to do since the age of seven.

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Class of 2007

Kristin Hall

Hometown: St. James, NY

high school: Smithtown High School East

college: University of Pennsylvania

MAJOR: Business

GRAD. PROGRAM: Oxford University ,England (2012, MS)

An adoring daughter to parents Michael and Lesline Hall and a caring sister to her two siblings, Kristin Hall is a remarkable young lady who possesses a strong work ethic and sense of identity. Her insatiable, mature curiosity finds respite in her conscious endeavors. Kristin Hall has embarked wholeheartedly upon the quest for knowledge. She has achieved success in various areas, including research, music, business, and athletics.

In October, 2005 Kristin entered the Siemens Westinghouse Competition and earned recognition as Regional Finalist for her work. That same year, she placed as a semi-finalist in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair and a finalist in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Kristin was recently named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Intel Talent Search. She takes great pride in her research, which brings novel insight into single-cell cancer detection. After three years of working in local university labs, her work is due to be accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, Science.

In addition to her research endeavors, Kristin has been very active in her high school’s extracurricular activities. She has been president of the student body at Smithtown High School East for three years. She has also been president of Smithtown East’s largest club, DECA, for two years and is now DECA’s Suffolk County Regional president. She placed fifth at the DECA national competition last year in her event, International Business Plan.

Yet despite many accomplishments, Kristin stresses that it is not her awards that yield personal satisfaction. To her, success doesn’t mean winning a trophy. Her success is surviving the process and quenching the thirst of the pursuit. Kristin wants to be an agent of change. As an African American student in a predominately white community, she has fought to keep her culture alive and to open the eyes of her classmates. From fighting for the inclusion of African American literature in her English classes to spearheading multicultural events, she has committed to increase global and cultural awareness in her school.

Kristin wants to be a person who brings people from all walks of life. She has therefore committed herself to understanding ideas and concepts from varied sources so as to better understand people by having walked a mile in their shoes and assuming their passions as her own. Kristin has performed in the highest percentile of all students. With a 4.27 GPA she will graduate with eleven AP Credits. Kristin has been named a Long Island Scholar of Mathematics and has achieved All-State honors in voice. In addition, she is an AP Scholar and both a National Achievement and National Merit Finalist. She is one of forty students worldwide who have been accepted into the elite Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Class of 2007

Lucas Habte

Hometown: Fair Oaks, CA

high school: Bella Vista High School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: History and Science

Lucas Habte, from Sacramento, California, graduated from Harvard University in 2011 with degrees in the History of Science and Filmmaking. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is now an independent filmmaker based in New York. His first feature documentary, Happy You’re Here, was shot in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Paris, France; and Houston, Texas. It is currently in post-production and is set for an early 2020 release. 

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Class of 2007

Margaret Ivey

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA

high school: The Westminster Schools

college: University of Southern California

MAJOR: Theater

Margaret Ivey, from Kennesaw, Georgia, attended The Westminster Schools and graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Theatre and a minor in Business Administration. Following an internship at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Margaret moved to New York where she works as an actor. She has performed at theaters including the Alliance Theatre, the Alley Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theater, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, People’s Light, and The Fire This Time Festival.

As a woman of color, Margaret is passionate about representation on stage and screen and is proud to have played archetypal roles including Elizabeth Darcy in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Belle in A Christmas Carol, and the title role in Jane Eyre.

She also loves new play development and is pleased to have originated roles in The Niceties and The Wedding Gift, plays that expand the canon of roles for women of color. TV/Film credits include the “The Blacklist,”“Madam Secretary” “Different Flowers,” and “Millie.” Learn more at www.margaretivey.com.

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Class of 2007

Ryan Hatten

Hometown: Florissant, MO

high school: McCluer North High School

college: University of Chicago

MAJOR: Law, Letters, and Society

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Law School (JD Candidate)

Ryan Hatten, from St. Louis, Missouri, attended McCluer North High School and went on to graduate from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a degree in Law, Letters, & Society. Ryan then received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and currently practices law at the community development firm Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen with a focus on affordable housing and commercial investment in underserved communities. 

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Class of 2007

Afaf Ibraheem

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

high school: James Madison High School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Social Anthropology

Afaf Ibraheem’s story began on the banks of the Blue Nile, and unfolded on three different continents. She spent her childhood in the Sudan, the Middle East, Canada, and Brooklyn, New York. Owing to this semi-nomadic pattern, she learned the importance of adapting to and having a curiosity to learn from new environments, cultures, and people.

Afaf attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn, NY. She spent her high school years focusing on bio-medical science, volunteering at the local community hospital, and doing field studies with the Arthur Ashe Health Science Academy. She also co-founded the Sudanese-American Youth Group of New York, a youth empowerment program that connects young Sudanese-Americans and helps them raise awareness for issues affecting their counterparts in the Sudan. Afaf graduated from high school in 2007. She went on to attend Harvard College where she studied Social and Cognitive Neuroscience, a field that allowed her to unite her interests in biology as well as psychology. She spent much of her extracurricular time working with disadvantaged children in Dorechester through the Franklin After School Enrichment program where she was Co-Director. She was also active in the Harvard Investment Association, a public equity investing club. Afaf graduated Harvard in 2011.

Afaf currently resides in New York, where she works in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley.

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Class of 2007

Douglas Cunningham

Hometown: Plantation, FL

high school: Nova High School

college: University of Michigan

MAJOR: Sociology and Political Science

GRAD. PROGRAM: Yale Law School (JD)

Doug Cunningham grew up in South Florida and graduated from Nova High School in Davie, Florida. Doug attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he graduated with concentrations in Political Science and Sociology. After college, Doug enrolled at Yale Law School, where he graduated in 2014. Doug currently practices as a corporate attorney.

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Efren Bonner

Efren Bonner

Hometown: Denver, CO

high school: Kent Denver School

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Political Science

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard Law School (JD Candidate)

There are two types of people in this world, those who say they can and those who say they can’t. Efren Bonner is a person who can because he dedicates himself fully to every task he undertakes. He is someone who views adversity with optimistic eyes because he can see the underlying opportunity.

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Efren loves his home, and as a result has given back to the community that has helped shape who he is today. He volunteers at the Denver Children’s Hospital and local schools. Efren is mentor for many kids in his community. He works at being the best role model he can be for the community, school, and his little sister.

But Efren’s mentorship does not end with his community service. He has become the captain of his school’s Speech and Debate team and is honored to lead a team of so many talented individuals. Within Speech and Debate, Efren is an avid competitor in Original Oratory. He became the first freshman from his school to qualify to the National Tournament in Speech and Debate. In 2006, he became the state champion in Original Oratory. Shortly after this accomplishment, Efren received 7th place at the 2006 National Tournament. However, he is most proud of his school’s team 5th place finish at Nationals. What is most important to Efren in regards to Speech is that he has been part of a program that is far greater than any one competitor.

Not only is he a successful mentor and orator, but Efren is also a strong leader. He was the Student Representative to the Kent Denver Board of Trustees. He felt truly honored, representing the entire student body when the board made crucial decisions planning the future of his school.

Efren’s true interest is in economics. This passion was parked when he became the head of the Loan Committee at his school’s credit union, the largest student run credit union in the nation. Efren furthered his interest in business by attending the LEAD Summer Business Institute at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Regardless of the career path Efren chooses, he knows that it will include economics, mentoring the children of the next generation, perhaps even a coaching career in Speech and Debate.

Efren’s playful and youthful nature, accompanied by a permanent smile, seem contagious to those who meet him. He has the ability to bring out the best in himself and in others.

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Class of 2007

Nicholas Newsome

Hometown: Oakland, CA

high school: St. Mary’s College High School

college: University of Southern California

MAJOR: Business

Nicholas Newsome, from Oakland, California, graduated from the University of Southern California in 2011, with a degree in Business & Cinematic Arts. Shortly after, Nicholas moved to the mountains of Colorado, where he worked for a Federally Qualified Health Center focused on serving the low-income, medically underserved population. Nicholas joined Affirm in 2016, a financial technology company based in San Francisco, where his focus is operational analytics and software automation.

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Class of 2007

Neveen Mahmoud

Hometown: Aldan, PA

high school: The Agnes Irwin School

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Psychology

Neveen Mahmoud, from Aldan Pennsylvania, graduated from The Agnes Irwin School and went on to attend Stanford University where she earned a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Culture, and Society. After graduation, Neveen served as the CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises, worked in learning and development at Pixar, and co-founded a nonprofit production company called Young Vets which creates life-changing learning experiences for youth athletes. Today, Neveen manages productions and partnerships for Young Vets, and provides end-to-end production management services for other clients under her own BYNHM LLC label. 

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