Emely is an inspiring Senior from Bushwick who spoke at our Brilliant Minds Benefit last Thursday! She interns at Columbia University, plays volleyball, and wants to go into the medical field.
Q: What do you like most about Minds Matter?
Emely: There are three things. First, the mentors you’re paired with. These are amazing people that help you become a better writer, person, and eventually, candidate for college. Second are the opportunities: through Minds Matter, I’ve started interning at Columbia University doing biomedical research, and I had the opportunity to go abroad this summer. This kind of opportunity is not so common among people in my community; sometimes it just feels surreal. Third, it gives you a second family. You spend almost all your high school years working with your team of mentors and you create a strong bond with them.
Q: Where did you go for your Summer Program? What did you learn?
Emely: After my Sophomore year, I went to Philips Academy in Andover. It’s a five-week academic enrichment program held at a boarding school; you get to choose your own classes and play sports as well. I took chemistry and speech and debate. It was just amazing. The best part was being able to interact with people from every corner of the world. The girls I hung out with were from Brazil and Spain, but we were able to be friends and we still talk to this day.
Q: What would you tell a freshman who was interested in applying for Minds Matter?
Emely: Although it may sound like waking up on a Saturday to go to school is a lot of work, I believe that hard work pays off, and if you want to go somewhere and want to be somebody in life, then you have to work towards it. Right now, education is really important in our lives, and getting into college is really big – as our schools and parents are always reminding us. Getting into Minds Matter can open doors and help you become the person you ultimately want to be.
Q: Where is your favorite place in NYC? Why?
Emely: Brooklyn, and more specifically, Bushwick. It was the first place I lived after moving to the United States from the Dominican Republic, and I learned a lot about my culture there, and a lot about other cultures. It’s the place I was raised and learned how to speak English, and I know it inside and out. And even though there’s all this change happening in the borough, Bushwick has maintained its urban atmosphere. We are also experiencing change, but overall, people embrace Bushwick for what it is.
Q: What do you do when you’re not in school?
Emely: When not in school, I’m usually interning at Columbia or playing sports. I play volleyball and basketball for my school and softball for a league, where I play shortstop and I pitch. At Columbia, I intern on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with a geneticist who’s in grad school focusing on the nervous system. I go right after school and I’m usually there until 7:30 p.m. I want to be a doctor someday, but now I’m torn between pursuing a medical career and going into research.
Interview by a Writing & Critical Thinking Advisor
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