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Class of 2015

Bruke Kifle

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

high school: Thomas Alva Edison High School

college: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MAJOR: Engineering

Bruke Kifle, born in Ethiopia, often heard stories of the American Dream. Despite having parents who sought to promote their children’s potentials, an education and upbringing in the USA was simply a dream. However, that dream soon became a reality when Bruke and his family won the Diversity Visa lottery in the spring of 2001.

Transitioning to America at the age of five, Bruke was determined to achieve something great. Whether making frequent visits to the local library with his older sister in hopes of learning the new language, or optimizing his role as the handyman of the house, Bruke’s childhood was characterized by a passion for knowledge. However, with parents who had sacrificed their professions and comfortable lifestyles in order to ensure a brighter future for their children, the knowledge that he gained from books paled in comparison to the humility and optimism that he adopted from his parents.

At a young age, the support of his family and his firm faith in God enabled Bruke to develop a strong foundation through a dedication to his studies. Throughout his four years of high school, Bruke, in the top of his class, maintained a 4.40 GPA as an International Baccalaureate Diploma Recipient and was named an outstanding participant in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. In addition to his achievements in school, Bruke’s role as the handyman of the house and his interests in math and science served as the foundation for his academic achievements and involvements outside of school. From designing a mock mission to Mars under the guidance of NASA astronauts and engineers as a Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholar, to undertaking Carnegie Mellon University’s challenging six-week-long Summer Academy for Math and Science, both on merit-based scholarships, Bruke demonstrated his drive, ambition and passion for learning, earning him acceptances to numerous acclaimed universities.  

Bruke went on to attend MIT to pursue his passion for science and technology. While at MIT, Bruke explored a range of academic and professional experiences. His early realization of the importance of combining technical aptitude with business acumen to achieve his passion for delivering impactful solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems led him to pursue a double major in Computer Science and Business Management. 

Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Bruke expanded existing and developed new academic, research and professional interests. During his time as a researcher with the Human Dynamics Group at the MIT Media Lab, Bruke helped develop methods for achieving fairness in algorithmic decision-making in the allocation of social programs. Through this experience, Bruke furthered his passion for developing technology with applications to social good, and developed a keen interest in the ethics and governance of algorithms and AI. Outside the classroom and lab, Bruke served as a co-founder of the Minority Business Association – an MIT student organization seeking to address the lack of minority engagement in business fields. Bruke also served as a student founder of the annual OneWorld@MIT – MIT’s first campus-wide multicultural celebration. Through his role as the chair for the Undergraduate Association’s Committee for Community and Diversity, and role as a student advisor to the Dean of Student Life and Dean of Engineering, Bruke shaped short and long-term institute-wide strategy. His real world experiences as a systems engineer at ClearMotion – an early stage startup – and software engineer and product manager at Microsoft helped craft his technical knowledge and business acumen. Bruke was also able to fulfill his deep desire for social impact through international experiences conducting research and lecturing in France, South Africa and Ethiopia. 

Bruke completed his undergraduate studies in 2019 as the recipient of two institute awards – the 2019 Mens et Manus Award and the 2019 Albert G. Hill Prize – for academic achievement and for significant contributions to and lasting impacts on the MIT community. Bruke was also the recipient of the EECS department’s Seth J. Teller Award for Excellence, Inclusion and Diversity, awarded to members of the MIT community who embody those three values through work and research and serve as mentors and undertake activities improving diversity and inclusion. 

Bruke is excited to be continuing his studies in Computer Science at MIT and furthering his academic and research interests. Though Bruke has taken many steps towards his dreams, he is curious to discover where his next effort will take him. As he prepares to begin the next chapter of his life, Bruke continues to reflect on his past and think of ways and means he can better himself for the future. The support of his family and instructors has allowed him to make early achievements. Bruke is certain that through their continued support and that of his family and friends in the Ron Brown Scholar Program, his future is bright.

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Class of 2015

Caroline Haoud

Hometown: Astoria, NY

high school: Bard High School

college: Columbia University

MAJOR: Biochemistry/Physics

Born and raised in New York City, Caroline Elizabeth Haoud attended Bard High School Early College II and graduated with her high school diploma and an Associates of Arts degree conferred by Bard College. Caroline is currently studying biochemistry as a Quest scholar and Gates Millennium scholar at Columbia University with plans to train as a physician-scientist in the near future.

After her first year, she participated in the Gateways to the Laboratory program and studied Alzheimer’s disease in Dr. Makoto Ishii’s lab at Weill Cornell Medical College. Caroline later returned to the Gateways to the Laboratory Program and earned the Director’s Award for her work in Dr. Jessica Tyler’s lab where she studied the DNA repair response within the context of double stranded breaks. At Columbia, she spent a year in Dr. Stavros Lomvardas’ lab studying Alzheimer’s disease within the context of olfaction. Currently, she studies decision-making in Drosophila melanogaster in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Axel at the Mortimer Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University. She has presented her research at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium in Connecticut, Columbia University Undergraduate Research Symposium and Harvard University’s National Collegiate Research Conference.

She is a teaching assistant under Dr. Claire Hazen for Contemporary Biology Lab and was a teaching assistant for the Science Honors Program which hosts high school students throughout the tri-state area to learn molecular biology theory and conduct experiments. She served on the research committee of the American Physician-Scientist Association chapter at Columbia and was an office intern for Soaringwords, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to bring positive psychology tools to hospitalized children and their families. Caroline is passionate about access to science, teaching and service, particularly in underserved communities and has volunteered with Heart2Heart (H2H), an organization that offers free health screenings for high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension in marginalized communities, the World Science Festival and BioBus at Columbia. Caroline has stayed involved with the Ron Brown Scholar Program and has served on the planning committee for the 2018 GPS College Access and Equity Conference in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.

At Columbia, she spends her free time exploring open spaces with the hiking club, connecting with sisters in alpha omicron pi, reading biographies and novels and learning finance principles through TAMID. Caroline earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do and now dedicates herself to the discipline of Muay Thai. Currently, she is training for the TCS 2020 marathon and enjoys the practice of meditation.

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Class of 2015

Chidera Osuji

Hometown: Stockbridge, GA

high school: Dutchtown High School

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Economics and Ethnic Studies

From an early age, Chidera’s parents fostered in her a passion and appreciation for education which, to this day, have persisted like an undying flame. They encouraged her when she first discovered her love of reading. From the countless worlds bound between the covers of those stories, she was able to live vicariously through characters and to understand herself and the world with increasing clarity.

In high school, Chidera was highly involved in her community. She was a member of her high school’s Girl Up Chapter and an officer for Simply Serving, a community service club. Through community service, she learned to look beneath the surface of a problem in order to understand the real causes, and thus, the real solutions of societal issues. She also played alto saxophone during middle and high school and participated in marching band for three years. She was appointed head drum major during her final year, and in this position her love for music and for service to others were reinforced even more strongly. To Chidera, learning and service are similar to trying on new lenses with which to view the world. With each new story or piece of knowledge gained, she is able to see the world in a different way. Her commitment to curiosity led her to various academic honors including the State of Georgia Certificate of Merit, being recognized as the 2015 Henry County STAR Student, as a College Board AP Scholar with Distinction, and also as a National Achievement Scholarship Finalist.

Chidera graduated from Yale College with a joint B.A. in Economics and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, in May 2019. During her time at Yale, she was heavily involved with musical organizations such as Shades of Yale, an a cappella group that sings music of the Black diaspora, while maintaining several campus jobs. She volunteered with Matriculate, a free virtual college advising service for high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds, during the school year and also interned with the organization for a summer. After beginning study of the French language in her first semester at Yale, she completed a summer of intensive language study in Paris after her first year and attended university in Paris during the spring of her junior year. In her senior year, she served as a First Year Counselor to students in Jonathan Edwards Residential College.

Chidera now works as a Business Services Trainee at Latham & Watkins LLP, an international law firm.  She plans to pursue further education and a career in international law, business, and/or development. 

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Class of 2015

Courtney Lewis

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA

high school: The Walker School

college: Harvard College

MAJOR: Neuroscience

Courtney Lewis developed her passion for learning as a result of two intellectual exposures: reading and science. She began reading lengthy chapter books as early as age five, and enjoyed how books allowed her to escape the confines of the real world to expand her knowledge in the boundless realm of literature. Born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in the geographically diverse region of southern California, Courtney developed a desire to observe and understand the mechanisms of the natural world. Her parents, who have always valued education, encouraged her to pursue her interests and nurtured her intellectual growth.

Courtney’s academic experience has been characterized by attending several schools and making frequent transitions. Despite these challenges, Courtney managed to adapt and excel in each new environment. Reflecting on her student career, Courtney appreciates the variety of classroom experiences she has been exposed to – she has learned to be resilient and resourceful, and to recognize and take advantage of new opportunities. When Courtney and her parents moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she was admitted into a prestigious preparatory school, she was already poised to immerse herself and flourish in her new academic home.

Courtney did not hesitate to make positive waves at The Walker School. As early as ninth grade, she made history by being the first and only African American female on the robotics team, for which she served as President and had the opportunity to compete in national and world tournaments. She also mentored other black females who wish to pursue STEM careers. Additionally, she excelled in her study of the Spanish language. On the National Spanish Exam, Courtney won state and national rankings for three consecutive years. She applied her language skills to community service when she volunteered for Hands On Atlanta Discovery, an academic enrichment program for minority children. An AP Scholar with Honor, National Achievement Outstanding Participant, and member of all of her school’s academic honor societies, Courtney also participated in Science Olympiad, Academic Team, Student Leadership Council, and other activities in which she held many leadership positions.

During high school Courtney discovered her deep passion for scientific research. She did research at the Clark Atlanta University Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, where she studied gene expression in prostate cancer cell lines. She was selected to present her independent research paper at the 2015 Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. She also did research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Birth Defects Branch, where she assessed the accuracy of medical information exchanged through popular media platforms and co-authored the paper “Assessment of YouTube videos as a source of information on medication use in pregnancy,” which was published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety in 2015.

Courtney continued to follow her passion for science and medicine during her undergraduate studies at Harvard University. She graduated cum laude with a BA degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy. Outside of class, she participated in a variety of extracurricular activities that reflected her love for learning and serving others. As a member of the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP), Courtney volunteered at mobile screening clinics across the Boston area, serving the city’s many underserved communities and spreading awareness of the high prevalence of kidney disease in disadvantaged populations. She has held numerous leadership positions within KDSAP, including Director fo Programming and Vice President. Courtney also spent several years tutoring international students in English oral communication skills as an English as a Second Language Peer Consultant, which allowed her to share her love for language learning and experiencing different cultures.

Courtney also continued to explore and refine her research interests during her time in college. After her freshman year, Courtney worked at the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where she investigated genetic alterations and differential expression of androgen receptor and metabolism genes in bladder cancer to identify correlations with survival outcomes and clinical characteristics. The following summer, Courtney did research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where she designed biochemical screening assays to discover molecules that could be developed into chemical probes and cancer therapeutics. Courtney pursued her final college research experience in the Global Maternal and Child Health Research Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she developed a computerized medical diagnostic manual to obtain data on risk factors for morbidity and mortality in Ethiopian mothers and children, and also designed maternal and child health questionnaires for an Ethiopian health surveillance research study.

Courtney is now pursuing her MD at Emory University School of Medicine. She is excited to be so close to fulfilling her dream of becoming a physician, and she looks forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. Courtney attributes her success to the sacrifices of her parents, her curiosity and desire to challenge herself, and her strong relationship with God. She is excited to use the gift that God has given her to serve her community and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

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Class of 2015

Devin Kilpatrick

Hometown: Rome, NY

high school: Rome Free Academy

college: Princeton University

MAJOR: Earth Science

GRAD. PROGRAM: Wake Forest School of Business

Devin Blake Kilpatrick was born on March 26, 1997, to April and Roosevelt Kilpatrick, Jr, in Rome, New York, where he has lived his whole life. He has two younger brothers, Brendan and Cameron, who are 21 and 19 at the time of this writing. Cameron was also named a Ron Brown Scholar in 2018. 

Devin’s parents made his education a priority and Devin was taught how to read and write by his mother before school started. At age four he entered the Rome City School District, a rural, lower-middle-class district in Upstate New York. From a young age, it was evident that Devin had been blessed with academic talents, and his family and teachers strove to make sure that he would have all the educational opportunities he could desire. After graduating as valedictorian from Rome Free Academy in 2015, Devin enrolled in Princeton University.

Although Devin initially believed that he would study Geosciences, he realized his passions and talents were more aligned with Social Science and the Humanities.  Devin developed a working proficiency in Spanish during his time at Princeton, which he used to conduct research in Guatemala and Mexico. His Senior Thesis, “Sojourners from Central America”, focused on the experiences of Guatemalan migrants and deportees as they travelled thousands of miles from their home country to the United States. Ultimately, Devin graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in Sociology and Latin American Studies.

While at Princeton, Devin became heavily involved as a student representative to administration. As a member of the University Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, he advocated for rural and low-income students, ultimately helping to secure a “move-in allowance” for incoming first-year students. As a member of the CPUC Naming Committee, Devin lent his perspective to an effort to diversify the names of spaces and places on Princeton’s campus. During his tenure on the committee, the University named its admissions and financial aid building after Nobel Prize in Literature winner and former Princeton professor Toni Morisson. During his senior year, Devin served as part of a panel that selected Karen Richardson to be Princeton’s new Dean of Undergraduate Admissions.

One of Devin’s most important traits is his love of music.  He began piano lessons at the age of five and has continued to play throughout his life. He showed exceptional talent at a young age, earning A+ adjudication scores on NYSSMA solos as early as second grade. Devin worked as an organist at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lee Center, NY, during high school, which allowed him to amplify his faith through his musical talents  Devin also is a classical and contemporary vocalist who sang as part of the Princeton University Glee Club and the Princeton University Nassoons. 

Devin considers himself an incredibly blessed individual and is thankful for the relatively problem-free life he has led so far. However, his father passed away in the summer of 2014 at the age of fifty. Devin has worked hard since to honor his father’s legacy of service and commitment to family. Through previous summer internships in Miami and Myanmar, Devin served as an English teacher to students from disadvantaged communities. He hopes to one day work as a Superintendent of Schools for a major school district with a large Hispanic/Latino population, as such a role would allow him to combine his love for education with his desire to enact meaningful change in the lives of others. In July 2019, Devin enrolled in the Wake Forest University School of Business’ Masters in Management program. After the completion of his Masters Degree, Devin hopes to earn further degrees in education and/or law.

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Class of 2015

DivineAsia Miller

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

high school: Brooklyn Technical High School

college: Amherst College

MAJOR: Psychology

DivineAsia Miller was primarily raised in Brooklyn, New York. She attended one of New York City’s specialized high schools, Brooklyn Technical High School, where she ended up majoring in Law and Society. Brooklyn Tech was comprised of a new crowd of students who had a lot in common with her compared to her previous schools, and so she came out of her shell for the first time to become a prominent figure in her school’s community. She helped coordinate numerous events ranging from Senior Pajama Day to her major’s Christmas gifts for their teachers to the creation of Big Siblings, the school’s group for helping freshmen orient themselves at Brooklyn Tech.

While taking classes in Law and Society, she discovered her passion for psychology while taking an introductory course on it her junior year. In independent reading and research she did on a number of psychological concepts, she was always primarily attracted to studying mental illness and a natural inclination towards helping people made clinical psychology a perfect fit for her. Since then, it has always been her goal to become a psychotherapist, with a primary employment of psychodynamic techniques.

She went on to Amherst College, where she majored in psychology. While there, she also worked at Amherst College’s Child Learning and Development (CLAD) Lab as a research assistant. In the CLAD Lab, she conducted cognitive experiments with preschool- and middle school- aged human subjects, designed research paradigms, and recruited dozens of families for participation in research studies. Her senior year, she designed the paradigm of, collected and statistically analyzed the data for, and wrote the manuscript for an experimental honors thesis. Using Silvan Tomkins’ affective script theory as a lens, the thesis focused on the differing biases in autobiographical memory that depressed individuals have when compared to healthy controls.

Still, despite a fixation on a single career since a relatively young age, DivineAsia kept herself well rounded at Amherst. She participated in four years of Mock Trial, serving as an executive member her junior and senior years. Other interests of hers included philosophy (particularly the philosophy of religion), creative writing, and fine arts, a department in which she completed several courses in drawing, painting and printmaking. DivineAsia also continued learning Spanish and took up Korean while there, the study of the latter language culminating in a semester abroad in Korea at Yonsei University. She graduated magna cum laude in June of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

DivineAsia intends to get a Masters of Social Work in the near future, and then go on to practice psychotherapy in clinical settings.

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Class of 2015

Jason Adulley

Hometown: Bronx, NY

high school: Regis High School

college: Williams College

MAJOR: African American Studies and Political Science

Born and raised in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx, Jason Adulley grew up a confident, strong-minded boy in a family with two brothers and two bickering parents. After his parents’ separation in 2005, Jason, his older brother Kelvin, his baby brother Michael and his mother Marguerite were left alone and evicted from their apartment. While his mother worked her double overtimes and graveyard shifts, Jason, heeding the words of his mother to “make education his best friend,” studied diligently. Though moving from apartment to apartment five times in three years, Jason and his books had an unwavering relationship. He obtained the highest grades in his class all the way until eighth grade, where he graduated valedictorian, a sight his mother had worked hard for her whole life.

In the fall of 2011, Jason began attending Regis and was in a class of one hundred and thirty-five students, and including him there were only two African American students in his grade. In trying to fit in, Jason left his South Bronx nature at the steps of the Number Four Train each morning and embarked on a façade in order to be like the other students. Along with his fellow Christian youth group members, he found solace in the African American Culture Club in his school and in DAIS, Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students. These two clubs brought students of color from independent schools like Regis and influenced him to display his culture on a full level. After one year, Jason became vice-president of the African American Culture Club and a member of the executive committee of DAIS. This year, he has sat in a die-in in the busy intersection of 86th and Lexington Avenue to honor the death of Michael Brown and worn “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in school to recognize the immoral death of Eric Garner. Jason has sought ways to not only recognize his heritage but advocate for human and civil rights.

While Jason helped aid students of color express themselves individually at school, he wanted to bring that back home to the South Bronx. Living on Sheridan Avenue, he was always aware of the hardships and crime that surrounded his life. From drugs and drug arrests to single- parenthood and child-abandonment, Jason saw all the realities of a typical struggling environment and sought to effect some change. He began volunteering with his Christian youth group, tutoring some children in nearby schools, and became a camp counselor for students of Saint Ignatius School in the impoverished Hunts Point Neighborhood. With his volunteering and in reading works of Maya Angelou and learning of Booker T. Washington, Jason hopes to improve economic life in impoverished areas through education. In college, he plans to double major in African American Studies and Political Science and minor in Sociology.

Jason has come a long way from being just another black child with a single parent; he has developed into a mature young man ready to take on and lead his world.

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Class of 2015

Javarcia Ivory

Hometown: Clinton, MS

high school: Clinton High School

college: Stanford University

MAJOR: Biophysics

Javarcia Ivory (originally Javarcia Scott) was born in Clinton, Mississippi to April Scott. For most of his life he was raised in a single-parent household with numerous younger sisters; his mother and maternal grandparents were and still are major influences in his life, equipping him with the dedication, independence, understanding, and encouragement that have markedly impacted him. His mother and grandmother, a preschool teacher, have been significant factors in his academic success; furthermore, his desire to be a role model for his seven sisters (and all individuals under relatable circumstances) buttressed his academic perseverance and concentration. Not until the age of twelve did Javarcia meet his biological father, Thessaiol Ivory; from that point on, their relationship immersed him in the atmospheres and mentalities that would eventually engender his athleticism, self-confidence, continued maturity, and surname.

As the product of the Clinton Public School District, he has received an academically and culturally reputable and diverse education. Through his public school experiences, he has been exposed to a gamut of individuals and subjects; this amalgam of people and knowledge nurtured his love for challenges, guided his career pathways, and channeled his passion for community service. Regarding those, Javarcia’s participation in the NSDA and in the Arrow Players (theater) has aided him in combating and eventually overcoming speech impediments and the taciturnity they inspired; his current presidency of Anchor Club and his membership on the Mississippi Student Advisory board have granted him the privilege of serving his community through both direct and indirect service and volunteer work.His education by this school system continuously fortifies his fascination with the sciences, their relation to other subjects, and, more importantly, their societal applications. His academic excellence has earned him over 11 awards for subject areas and countless more in academic tournaments, while his extracurricular involvement yielded a school-wide Hall of Fame title during freshman year.

As a life-long resident of Mississippi, he has observed the detrimental effects of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, noting their correlation with socioeconomic disparities throughout the southern U.S. and the global community. It is this observation augmented by his scientific passions that guides his aspiration to become a cardiologist or physician-researcher, intending to make an impact on the health of others, and to be an active community participant, hoping to lessen the effects of socioeconomic disparities. Thus, he will major in biochemistry or biophysics. In order to more effectively interact with more ethnic communities, he became VP of his school’s Cultural Awareness Society and President of Spanish Club; and he intends to minor in Spanish.

Javarcia is admittedly quixotic in his dreams to change the global, social, health, and educational afflictions and inferiorities that minority students must bear in their daily lives and maturation; but he is an avid follower of Buddhist philosophy, admiring its altruistic, compassionate message and the enlightening humanitarian aspects it holds. He believes no challenge is too great for an intellectually and socially persistent, empathetic, and active individual.

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Class of 2015

Jaylen Pittman

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

high school: LAMP Magnet High School

college: Yale University

MAJOR: East Asian Studies and Global Affairs

Jaylen was born the son of James and Saralyn Pittman on May 12, 1997 in Montgomery, Alabama, where he has spent most of his youth. Since his infancy, his parents have imbued him with the virtues of hard work, integrity, courage, and compassion, characteristics which have aptly conflated his natural penchant for knowledge. At only three years old, Jaylen began to show promise of both musical and intellectual ability, learning the rudiments of piano performance, mathematics, and reading after watching his older sister perform those activities after school each afternoon. Recognizing potential precocity, Jaylen’s parents enrolled their son in rigorous magnet school programs, which paved the way for his future successes as a leader, scholar, and musician.

In his high school, Jaylen has climbed his way to the upper echelon of high achievers. In addition to being selected as both a National Merit and a National Achievement Finalist, he has also been to Stanford and Yale to participate in the Summer Humanities Institute and the Yale Young Global Scholar’s Program, respectively. During the fall, he was selected as one of 25 high school students across the United States to participate in the Stanford Sejong Korean Scholars Program. As a freshman, he secured a position with the Montgomery Youth Orchestra as Principal Bassist, and earned the opportunity to study with NASA online via the organization’s Online Learning Community. He has participated in several piano and orchestral festivals, securing the highest ratings in each competition. In his later years, Jaylen earned Varsity 1 positions on his high school’s Science Bowl and Scholars Bowl varsity teams, which have consistently placed first and second place in its district and state competitions. Aside from his purely academic passions, Jaylen has developed a knack for languages and an interest in world cultures, particularly Chinese and French. As the first African American president of his school’s Chinese Club, Jaylen has advocated for high quality dialogue between groups of different ethnicities and backgrounds in hopes of diversifying culture clubs at his school and within his community. He is also the president of the Chinese Honor Society, the Vice President of his school’s French Club, and the Historian of Heritage Club. As a senior mentor, Jaylen takes joy in extending the lessons he has learned from various successes and failures and applying them didactically not only to his freshman mentee, but also to those he tutors, leads, or competes with on the debate floor or quiz bowl stage.

During the fall of 2014, Jaylen applied to Yale University, which he will attend the following fall as a double major in East Asian Studies and Global Affairs, and as a Marine NROTC midshipman. After graduation, he will earn a commission in the United States Marine Corps, hopefully as an intelligence officer. His eventual plans are to earn a J.D. and Ph.D in International Relations so that he can advance positively impactful ideas through diplomacy and academia.

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Class of 2015

Leah Yared

Hometown: Rockville, MD

high school: Rockville High School

college: Harvard College

MAJOR: Government

Leah Yared graduated summa cum laude with Highest Honors from Harvard University in May 2019. She received a joint B.A. in History & Literature and African-American Studies with a minor in German and Scandinavian Studies. Her thesis, which received departmental awards and a Hoopes Prize, was titled “Manufacturing High Visibility: Street Lamps and the Black Body in the Age of Electricity.” 

In her time at Harvard,  Leah was heavily involved in the campus newspaper The Crimson, writing hundreds of articles as a news reporter, chairing the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and co-chairing the weekly magazine, Fifteen Minutes. She also served as president of the Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Advocacy (HOPE). 

Post-college, Leah will work in finance before heading back to Cambridge to jointly attend Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School as part of a JD/MBA program. 

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