Alumni Events

Helping Students Navigate High School Admissions

On September 21, BEAM hosted its annual High School Information Session to help BEAM 8th graders and their families navigate the New York City high school admissions process.

BEAM staff broke down the application process step by step, while four BEAM high schoolers talked about their admissions experiences.

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Hawa, who is now in 9th grade at Beacon High School, told BEAM students: "Keep in contact with the BEAM staff because they will help you if you have an issue. When I was applying to Beacon, I almost did not apply, but because the BEAM staff helped me with my mailing, I was able to get accepted."

What’s next for BEAM 8th graders?

BEAM staff are meeting one-on-one with 8th graders and their families to develop their lists of prospective high schools. (BEAM offers advising in Spanish, Chinese, and English.)

Since August, students have also been taking Saturday classes to prepare for the SHSAT and to work on writing admissions essays for selective high schools.

 BEAM staff will also be taking students on school visits soon, and will review students’ final school rankings with them before they are submitted in December.

 For families who missed the High School Information Session, another session is planned for November.

BEAM College Prep Week

BEAM alumni, (clockwise from top left) Ana, Ariel, John, Crisleidy, and Quentin, speak with BEAM 11th and 12th graders about college admissions and college life.

BEAM alumni, (clockwise from top left) Ana, Ariel, John, Crisleidy, and Quentin, speak with BEAM 11th and 12th graders about college admissions and college life.

During College Prep Week, BEAM alumni offered great advice for the gathered 11th and 12th graders about getting into and through college.

Here’s just a little bit of what they said:

Question — What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d had while you were applying to colleges?

  • Get someone who doesn’t know you to read your essay; it can be uncomfortable but it made my essay better.

  • Find a set time and dedicate it to college stuff (like Thursday office hours at BEAM).

  • The library is your best friend. Use it during free periods, after school, whenever you can.

  • Don’t apply to 18 colleges.

In a week of workshops, BEAM students learned about college admissions, financial aid, choosing the right college, standardized tests, and more. Twelfth graders worked on college essays.

Oh, and there was Jeopardy!

Vanessa said about College Prep Week, “I learned about FAFSA, CSS, TAP, QuestBridge, and how BEAM will help me. I feel more prepared to approach the college process."

College Decision Day 2019: Congratulations Seniors!

On Friday, May 10th, BEAM students joined 12th graders across the city for College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater!  Eight BEAM 12th graders joined 200+ high school seniors from around the city who announced their college plans on stage... at the Apollo Theater!

We're pleased to announce the schools that the following students will be attending:

Images from left to right display: Teo (City Tech), Kadija (Princeton), Felix (Syracuse), Kiana (Howard), Mayra (Lehigh), Moses (NYU), and Crisleidy (Baruch).

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In addition to these seven students, we want to give a shout-out to all our graduating seniors. Here's a list of BEAM students currently ready to announce their college decisions: 

Maria

Maria

Naz

Naz

Viri

Viri

Zeñia

Zeñia

  • Afia: University of Pennsylvania

  • Amanda: New York University

  • Ashley: New York University

  • Concepcion: St John's University

  • Crisleidy: Baruch College, CUNY

  • Daniel: Le Moyne College

  • Elisa: Whitman College

  • Eric: City College, CUNY

  • Felix: Syracuse University

  • Jayden: Dartmouth College

  • Jessie: Bard College

  • Justin: Purchase College, SUNY (deferred for 1 year)

  • Kadija: Princeton University

  • Kellyann: Southern Connecticut State University

  • Kiana: Howard University

  • Kwabena: Howard University

  • Lennin: Franklin & Marshall College

  • Maria: Stony Brook University, SUNY

  • Mayra: Lehigh University

  • Moses: New York University

  • Naz: Baruch College, CUNY

  • Odalys: University of California San Diego

  • Rashik: University of Albany, SUNY

  • Reem: John Jay College, CUNY

  • Teo: New York City College of Technology

  • Viri: Columbia University

  • Zeñia: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Zyan: New Paltz, SUNY

BEAM students were also awarded many scholarships and other forms of financial aid:

  • The Posse Scholars Program provides selected students with a full ride, as well as connections to other students in their area who attend the same college they plan to attend. (awarded to Lennin)

  • The QuestBridge National College Match Program provides a full ride through college to students who are accepted at one of the program's partnering schools. (awarded to Kadija)

  • And numerous other students were offered amazing financial aid packages by the college they will attend. The scholarships provided by Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Franklin and Marshall are particularly generous, as these schools meet 100% of demonstrated need. That means that a low-income student can expect to pay nothing for college. Some scholarships were so generous that student will actually get money back to pay for expenses that may come up, such as flights to and from home at the start and end of each semester!

Our seniors did an incredible amount of work to get through high school and to this day.  Congratulations to you all! 11th graders: now it's your turn and BEAM is here for you. 

Finally, for those following along at home, here is a list of the colleges to which BEAM students were admitted this year:

Albright College
Antioch College
Bard College
Baruch College, CUNY
Binghamton University, SUNY
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Brooklyn College, CUNY
Buffalo State College, SUNY
Canisius College
The City College of New York, CUNY
Clark University
Columbia University
Dartmouth College
Franklin & Marshall College
Guttman Community College
Howard University
Hunter College, CUNY
Iona College
Ithaca College
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Le Moyne College
Lehigh University
Lehman College, CUNY
The New School
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Norwich University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Purchase College, SUNY
Queens College, CUNY
Quinnipiac University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Seton Hall University
Siena College
Smith College
Spelman College
Southern Connecticut State University
St. John’s University
Stony Brook University, SUNY
SUNY Geneseo
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Oswego
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
University at Albany, SUNY
University at Buffalo, SUNY
University at Connecticut
University of California San Diego
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rochester
Vanderbilt University
Wells College
Wheaton College
Whitman College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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How time flies! Students seen here at Bard and Siena in 2014 are going off to college next year!

How time flies! Students seen here at Bard and Siena in 2014 are going off to college next year!

BEAM Students Make Summer Plans

BEAM students and families gather for the summer program presentation.

BEAM students and families gather for the summer program presentation.

After spending two summers at BEAM, what do BEAM students do next? They might want a summer break, staying home or traveling with their family for vacation. But many students want another productive thing to do with their time! Each winter, we encourage our alumni to apply for summer programs to help broaden their knowledge, explore enriching learning experiences, and spend their break in a meaningful way. This is especially part of BEAM’s mission to prepare under-served students for future STEM careers. We aim to support students by helping them to applying to various STEM orientated summer programs, and our unscientific surveys of STEM professionals prove what the BEAM audience already knows: summer preparation in middle school and high school opens the door to STEM success in college and beyond.

BEAM alumni Teo and Jennora share their experience from summer programs they have attended.

BEAM alumni Teo and Jennora share their experience from summer programs they have attended.

On January 26th, BEAM students gathered at NYU’s Courant Institute for the annual Summer Program Information Session. This event’s main focus was to start the process of selecting summer programs and preparing summer applications. The information session began with a presentation highlighting the importance of applying to summer programs and how to go about the application process. We also had a panel of four BEAM alumni who answered questions and discussed their experience in different types of summer programs. After hearing about the different options, students broke out into groups by grade in order to review a list of their personalized summer program recommendations. As the beginning of the year goes by, we encourage our students to start their applications as soon as possible in order to give themselves the best opportunities. Overall, the information session pushed students to start thinking about their pathways towards STEM careers in addition to giving students the chance to hang out with the BEAM family.

BEAM students: it’s not too late to apply to amazing opportunities for summer 2019! Contact your year leader to learn more.

The Second Annual BEAM Los Angeles Math Competition

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Kenny, Mayisa, and Adib were the top three individual competitors. Adib answered 17 of 18 questions correctly in the individual round!

Kenny, Mayisa, and Adib were the top three individual competitors. Adib answered 17 of 18 questions correctly in the individual round!

On Saturday, 60 middle schoolers and their coaches joined BEAM for the second ever BEAM Los Angeles Math Competition. Of these, fully half (30 students!) attended BEAM 6 last summer.

The competition featured an Individual Round and a Team Round along with time to share solutions and an awards ceremony. Awards were given to the top three individuals, the top three teams, and the top school overall (based on how their multiple teams did).

Want a feel for the competition? Here’s a question that stumped students during the team round:

What is the biggest number which can be evenly divided by 12 with no remainder that you can make by using each of the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at most once?

Students clearly loved the event! Here is some of their feedback:

We’d like to thank 9 Dots who generously donated the space for the competition; thanks so much!

Thanks also to all the students and staff of Alliance Richard Merkin Middle School, Berendo Middle School, Clinton Middle School, Equitas Academy #2, Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA), Rise Kohyang Middle School, Synergy Kinetic Academy, UCLA Community School, and Virgil Middle School who joined us on Saturday! We hope you had as much fun as the BEAM staff did in organizing this event.

Missed out? Here are some of our favorite images from the event!

Last year, BEAM held one math competition for 37 students. This year, we will be holding two and we can’t wait to see how many students show up for our spring competition! See you then!

Recap: BEAM Goes to Fall Yale Splash 2018!

Recently, nearly 70 BEAM alumni had the opportunity to travel to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut for one of our favorite yearly events: Yale Splash. This program offers students from 7-12 grade to enroll in courses that are taught by undergraduate volunteers in classrooms on campus. The students register online and get to pick their own classes and organize their own schedules. Yale Splash allows students to choose from an array of intriguing topics within many different fields. This year some of the students favorite courses included “Viking Age Iceland,” “The Science Behind Cookies,” and “Sharks: Nature’s Most Misunderstood.”

In my favorite and most interesting class, “How The Brain Works”, I learned that you actually see upside down but it’s your brain that flips your vision right side up.
— Ethan Chase, 8th Grade

After classes were dismissed, BEAM students reconvened at the library to meet with their assigned groups for tours. We had three undergraduate volunteers come to help give students a brief tour of campus and lead them to their assigned dining halls. A lot of our older students were especially excited to see a friendly face because Aishat Adekunle, a freshman at Yale and also a BEAM 7 alum from 2013 was one of our tour guides that evening! Although the weather was very choppy, students got see the ins and outs of a college campus. We explored the downtown area, ventured into the undergraduate commons and even got a sneak peek into student housing.

From this trip overall I learned that college is a lot of work, but now I’m ahead of the game. I’m way more informed about college life than most kids my age so I’m ready for it when it comes in 4 or 5 years thanks to BEAM.
— Amber Sosa, 8th Grade

After the tours, students were brought to the Yale dining halls for dinner. Fitting to BEAM, one of the dining halls we ate at is named after famous mathematician Grace Hopper. Students got to enjoy various foods and share with each other about their classes and highlights of the day. Afterwards, we all rallied back to buses for our journey back to New York City.

The pictures above feature many of our students throughout the day. The first picture is of 8th graders Yilin and Faoziah enjoying their 2 hour bus ride. Next, 11th grader Brianna and 8th grader Jeremiah show off their Yale Splash t-shirts. More 8th graders are shown hanging out; Ethan, Jeremiah and Amber are enjoying a quick break in the library’s lounge. Although it was quite rainy, Aishat got to reunite with some of her old friends from BEAM, Teo, Silvio, Rashik, Maria, Amanda and Elisa, before taking the students on a tour. Lastly, we have the same group eating at the John Edwards dining hall with Betty, one of the day time staff for the trip.

12th Grade Graduation Party!

Five years goes by so fast! This Saturday, we gathered together to celebrate the BEAM 7 cohort of 2013 who graduate high school this month!

BEAM staffer Lynn hands Eli their Howard sweatshirt. 

BEAM staffer Lynn hands Eli their Howard sweatshirt. 

The evening kicked off with a ceremony to hand our college swag to the students in attendance. This was followed by dinner followed by two presentations.

First, BEAM staffer Ayinde announced the launch of "BEAM Through College", a new initiative to support students through college, handling topics that may include how to choose classes, how to build relationships with professors, how to declare a major, how to land an internship, and more! Students will also have monthly reminders to, for example, fill out the FAFSA, as well as semesterly check-ins with Ayinde and alumni events during school breaks. The program starts this summer, with advice on what to expect during orientation and how to build a balanced schedule. BEAM Through College will serve these graduating seniors as well as all BEAM alums already in college: the cohorts of 2011, 2012, and 2013. Our aim is that students keep receiving the same tailored, practical advice they have come to expect from BEAM and that they stay on track to finish STEM majors and graduate college. 

Ayinde and Aisha discuss how to choose classes for your first semester when you're undecided. 

Ayinde and Aisha discuss how to choose classes for your first semester when you're undecided. 

Joel attends Wesleyan where he plans to declare a double major in biology and psychology before going on to med school. Angelina attends the University of Rochester where she plans to major in math. 

Joel attends Wesleyan where he plans to declare a double major in biology and psychology before going on to med school. Angelina attends the University of Rochester where she plans to major in math. 

Then, Angelina and Joel (BEAM 7 2012) shared their experiences in college and took questions on highs and lows, academic and social. Both talked about learning how to study and realizing that the skills they came in with hadn't prepared them for science classes where your entire grade might be determined by three, big tests. Angelina recommended studying small amounts every day. Joel suggested going to a professor's office hours to better understand exactly what will be on the test. Angelina gave advice on how to find a roommate; Joel suggested the reasons you might prefer a single. They also both talked about resources on campus to turn to when you're confused. 

After the formal part of the evening was over, students and staff hung out and talked until the building closed. 

Congratulations, 12th graders! We can't wait to see what great things you do next!!

Back Row: James (Marines), Samuel (TBD), Vielka (SUNY ESF), Will (Haverford)  Middle Row: Mona (Barnard), Ariel (Brandeis), Aisha (Northwestern), Edson (USC)  Front Row: Crisleidy (City Year), Eli (Howard)  Not Pictured: Abrahan (BMCC), Aishat (Yale), Aleks (Penn State), Alex (Vanderbilt), Andy (CUNY Baruch), Christian (LaGuardia CC), DeVaune (SUNY New Paltz), Henry (UMass Amherst), Janequa (Cornell), LaRoi (Gettysburg), Malachi (SUNY Binghamton), Michael (CUNY City College), Pamela (Smith), Peter (UMBC), Thalyia (CUNY City Tech), Tia (Delaware State). 

Back Row: James (Marines), Samuel (TBD), Vielka (SUNY ESF), Will (Haverford)

Middle Row: Mona (Barnard), Ariel (Brandeis), Aisha (Northwestern), Edson (USC)

Front Row: Crisleidy (City Year), Eli (Howard)

Not Pictured: Abrahan (BMCC), Aishat (Yale), Aleks (Penn State), Alex (Vanderbilt), Andy (CUNY Baruch), Christian (LaGuardia CC), DeVaune (SUNY New Paltz), Henry (UMass Amherst), Janequa (Cornell), LaRoi (Gettysburg), Malachi (SUNY Binghamton), Michael (CUNY City College), Pamela (Smith), Peter (UMBC), Thalyia (CUNY City Tech), Tia (Delaware State). 

College Decision Day: Congratulations BEAM Seniors!

On Thursday, May 10th, BEAM students joined 12th graders across the city for College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater!  Nine BEAM 12th graders joined 200+ high school seniors from around the city who announced their college plans on stage... at the Apollo Theater!

We're pleased to announce the schools that the following students will be attending:

Images from left to right display: Aisha (Northwestern), Malachi (Binghamton), Tanasia (Rochester), Aishat (Yale), Will (Haverford), Henry (UMass Amherst), Ariel (Brandeis), Eli (Howard), Vielka (SUNY ESF), and Abrahan (BMCC). 

BEAM 11th graders: don't forget that College Kickoff is on Saturday, May 19!  In one year, you too could be on the stage of the Apollo Theater as we cheer for you. 

The BEAM group at the Apollo Theater for College Decision Day

In addition to these 10 students, we want to give a shout-out to all our graduating seniors. Here's a list of BEAM students currently ready to announce their college decisions: 

  • Abrahan: Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY

  • Andy: Baruch College, CUNY

  • Aisha: Northwestern University

  • Aishat: Yale University

  • Aleks: Penn State

  • Alex: Vanderbilt

  • Ariel: Brandeis University

  • Christian: LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

  • Edson: University of Southern California

  • Eli: Howard University

  • Henry: UMass Amherst

  • Janequa: Cornell University

  • Joel: Hunter College, CUNY

  • LaRoi: Gettysburg College

  • Malachi: Binghamton University, SUNY

  • Melanie: New York University

  • Michael: The City College of New York, CUNY

  • Mona: Barnard College

  • Pamela: Smith College

  • Peter: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

  • Seth: John Jay College, CUNY

  • Tanasia: University of Rochester

  • Thalyia: City Tech, CUNY

  • Tia: Delaware State University

  • Vielka: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Will: Haverford College

We also have at least two students taking a gap year: Crisleidy will be working at City Year (an Americorps program) while James will be joining the Marines. Both intend to attend college later. 

BEAM students were also awarded many scholarships and other forms of financial aid:

  • The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program provides selected students with a full ride to the colleges they plan to attend. (awarded to Aishat)

  • The Posse Scholars Program provides selected students with a full ride, as well as connections to other students in their area who attend the same college they plan to attend. (awarded to Ariel)

  • The QuestBridge National College Match Program provides a full ride through college to students who are accepted at one of the program's partnering schools. (awarded to Will)

  • The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) provides students from New York who attend a New York private college or university with a scholarship, dedicated advisor, and additional support during their time in college. (awarded to Mona, Tanasia)

  • And numerous other students were offered amazing financial aid packages by the college they will attend. The scholarships provided by Cornell, Gettysburg, Northwestern, Smith, and USC are particularly generous, as these schools meet 100% of demonstrated need. That means that a low-income student can expect to pay nothing for college. In one case, a scholarship was so generous that a student actually gets money back to pay for expenses that may come up, such as flights to and from home at the start and end of each semester!

Our seniors did an incredible amount of work to get through high school and to this day.  Congratulations to you all! 11th graders: now it's your turn and BEAM is here for you. 

In addition to all these students going to great colleges, at least one BEAM senior will be taking a productive gap year. Congratulations to Crisleidy who will be working at City Year next year! 

Finally, for those following along at home, here is a list of the colleges to which BEAM students were admitted this year:

Andy

Andy

Aleks

Aleks

Alex

Alex

Eli

Eli

Michael

Michael

Mona

Mona

Pamela

Pamela

Will

Will

Barnard College
Baruch College, CUNY
Binghamton University, SUNY
Brandeis University
Brooklyn College, CUNY
The City College of New York, CUNY
Clarkson University
The College at Brockport, SUNY
College of Staten Island, CUNY
Cornell University
Delaware State University
Drexel University
Duke University
Emerson College
Gettysburg College
Haverford College
Howard University
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY
Lehman College, CUNY
Macalester College
Manhattan College
New York City College of Technology, CUNY
New York Institute of Technology
Northwestern University
Pennsylvania State University
Pomona College
Purdue University
Queens College, CUNY
Rochester Institute of Technology
Spelman College
St. John’s University
Stony Brook University, SUNY
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
SUNY Geneseo
SUNY Maritime College
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Oswego
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
Temple University
University at Albany, SUNY
University at Buffalo, SUNY
University of Connecticut
University of Kentucky
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Wesleyan University
Xavier University
Yale University
Then: Oh, how time flies! Students seen here at BEAM 7 in 2013 are going off to college next year!

Then: Oh, how time flies! Students seen here at BEAM 7 in 2013 are going off to college next year!

And now: Aisha, Malachi, Will, Vielka, Henry, Eli, Ariel, Tanasia, and Aishat proudly show off their college t-shirts.

And now: Aisha, Malachi, Will, Vielka, Henry, Eli, Ariel, Tanasia, and Aishat proudly show off their college t-shirts.

Congratulations!  We are so proud of you all!

BEAM High School Students Focus on College

What is college really like? How much work is it, and can you have fun while still doing well academically? On Saturday, March 10, BEAM high school students spent the day focusing on college: the experience, the application process, and the next steps for each student. During the morning, five former BEAM 6 and 7 camp counselors spoke about their college experiences. Raul, Oksana, Marquia, John, and Rachel shared from their time at MIT, City College, SUNY Oswego, Fordham, and Bard College.

They addressed the challenges of being students of color on predominately white campuses. "Often in class I will get an attitude, like 'You don't get an opinion because you're Black'" said John. "You have to get used to being the only person of color in classes." Marquia shared that even though the student body at Oswego was more diverse, there was still little diversity among the faculty. In contrast, Oksana enjoyed the great diversity at City College, but she faced other challenges. "Because my high school did not prepare me well, I noticed that I had to work harder than other students. I had to put my best foot forward."

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Counselor Panel

In the afternoon BEAM students focused on the college admissions process. They played the role of admissions officers, selecting only two out five applicants to admit. This led into a discussion of what steps they could take now to better prepare themselves for college. The day ended with breakout groups by grade, with specific advice for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. The 11th grade students also heard from current BEAM 12th graders about how college admissions went for them.

Congratulations, 8th graders!

This month, BEAM students found out where they will be attending high school.  We are pleased to announce that, so far, 40% of our 8th graders have been admitted to highly selective high schools and 62% have been admitted to selective high schools.  At this point, 89% will be attending "trusted" schools, which meet BEAM's minimum standards for college preparation. We say "at this point" because every year a few students are undermatched in the process. We are currently working with students who were not admitted to high schools that meet our standards to make sure that they can navigate the appeals process and find a good fit for the next four years.

BEAM students were admitted to: 

  • Bard High School Early College (15)
  • Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (15)
  • Stuyvesant (3)
  • Bronx Science (3)
  • Brooklyn Tech (3)
  • The Beacon School (3)
  • Collegiate Institute For Math And Science (3)
  • Brooklyn Latin (2)
  • NEST+m (2)
  • Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences (2)
  • Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) (2)
  • Loomis Chaffee
  • Poly Prep
  • High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College
  • Manhattan/Hunter Science High School
  • Midwood High School
  • Millennium High School
  • Millennium Brooklyn High School
  • Manhattan Village Academy
  • Medgar Evers College Preparatory School
  • University Heights High School
  • Academy for Software Engineering 
  • Bronx Academy for Software Engineering 
  • Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science
  • Urban Assembly Maker Academy

These 82 8th graders join 300+ BEAM students already in high school. We're so proud of you all!

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John BHSEC.jpg
Vielka.jpg
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