In Their Words: Our 12th graders reflect back on five years with BEAM

This June, we gathered 12 BEAM 12th graders to reflect on their five years with BEAM. Over dinner, we talked about college, and Fatimatou (BEAM 2011) offered advice from her first year of college. Students were presented with college tshirts to celebrate their next step!

We asked these 12 students and another 10 who weren't able to make it about their memories from BEAM 7 back in 2012 and how BEAM helped prepare them for college. Here are some of their words:

My strongest memory of BEAM was the talent show. I started crying 3/4s of the way into it as I realized that after this BEAM would end and I’d have to go back home. BEAM introduced me to ultimate frisbee, foosball, Settlers of Catan, and Pascal’s Triangle. The math that we were introduced to was fun and completely different from what I’d encountered at my middle school. The math I’d been taught felt stiff and rigid in structure while the math taught at BEAM felt liquid; it almost had a flow to it. BEAM math was satisfying to complete. The math relays at the end of each week were also really fun. I remember excitedly dashing across the room to give my answers in and scribbling down equations and numbers as fast as I and my brain could manage. It felt good to see everyone together.
— Amy, headed to Fordham University
Amy
Amy
BEAM was one of the first steps towards me developing skills that would assist me in learning when living away from home. The work ethic imposed upon us to struggle through a BEAM problem set together later helped me in boarding school when I ended up struggling again. I learned how to stick with a problem even when the end was not clearly in sight. I also learned ways to think outside the box and look at a problem through unique lens. Furthermore, BEAM helped me a lot in my search for college. Oftentimes, I returned to BEAM to talk about college, how my classes were going, and life at boarding school. BEAM was an important support system all throughout my high school career.
— Joel, headed to Wesleyan University
Joel
I loved and still love learning. It was an amazing experience to be around people that were like me, who had the same nerdy interests. BEAM allowed me to not only fully embrace learning but also gave me a small college experience that I loved. And even after! I’m so grateful for the amount of support and experience BEAM gave me. I learned to be more ambitious with my goals which ultimately paved the way for summer programs at MIT and more.
— Nicole, headed to NYU
Nicole
BEAM had allowed me to be familiar with difficult math than I had encountered in my early college classes. My strongest memory of BEAM 7 is when we all went out to look at the stars with councelors. As a 12th grader, I received lots of help from Dan and Ruthi, allowing me to determine which college was best for me.
— Quentin, headed to Ithaca College
Quentin
Quentin
Living on a college campus taught me what I want from a college. And of course, BEAM helped me find out more about the college process and be ahead of the game when it came to applying.
— Angelina, headed to University of Rochester
Angelina
BEAM connected me with advanced math and connected me with Bard High School Early College, which is a great school that has given me a great work ethic and time management skills. This will be my second summer working at BEAM 6, which was a job when I needed one, but also an opportunity to mold young minds and connect them to higher math.
— John, headed to Fordham University
John
BEAM prepared me for college, because I got to live on a college campus and befriend people who I least expected. I learned it’s ok to question someone else’s answer. My strongest memory of BEAM is when I proved Dan wrong on a math problem.
— Jamila, headed to Howard University
Jamila
BEAM has connected me with summer programs to have the most impactful summers of my life. Thanks to BEAM, I attended Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State.
— Abdoulaye, headed to George Washington University
Abdoulaye
Abdoulaye
Staying on a college campus changed my decision about going to college from maybe to definitely. BEAM showed me the rigor of college level work and taught me how to work hard and to balance school life with social life.
— Nicy, headed to University of Bridgeport
Nicy
BEAM made me love the college life. I’m excited to meet new people and have awesome experiences in college. Also, thanks to BEAM, I skipped two grades of math while in high school!
— Gustavo, headed to Brooklyn College
Gustavo.jpg
BEAM 2012 along with BEAM Founder and Art of Problem Solving Initiative Executive Director Daniel Zaharopol Back Row: Kiara (Lehigh University), Kiara (John Jay College), Joel (Wesleyan University), Quentin (Ithaca College), Angelina (University of Rochester), Derek (Colby College), Dominic (Pace University) Front Row: Ana (Barnard College), John (Fordham University), Jahdel (City Tech) Not Pictured: Abdel (New York University), Abdoulaye (George Washington University), Amy (Fordham University), Emalee (Hunter College), Greiny (SUNY Geneseo), Gustavo (Brooklyn College), Isaiah (SUNY Potsdam), Jamila (Howard University), Loquan (SUNY Albany), Nathaniel (Bronx Community College), Nicole (New York University), Shaunicia (University of Bridgeport), Salimatou (Baruch College), Stephanie (SUNY Plattsburgh), Taylor (Allegheny College), Zereena (SUNY Binghamton)

BEAM 2012 along with BEAM Founder and Art of Problem Solving Initiative Executive Director Daniel Zaharopol
Back Row: Kiara (Lehigh University), Kiara (John Jay College), Joel (Wesleyan University), Quentin (Ithaca College), Angelina (University of Rochester), Derek (Colby College), Dominic (Pace University)
Front Row: Ana (Barnard College), John (Fordham University), Jahdel (City Tech)
Not Pictured: Abdel (New York University), Abdoulaye (George Washington University), Amy (Fordham University), Emalee (Hunter College), Greiny (SUNY Geneseo), Gustavo (Brooklyn College), Isaiah (SUNY Potsdam), Jamila (Howard University), Loquan (SUNY Albany), Nathaniel (Bronx Community College), Nicole (New York University), Shaunicia (University of Bridgeport), Salimatou (Baruch College), Stephanie (SUNY Plattsburgh), Taylor (Allegheny College), Zereena (SUNY Binghamton)