12th graders

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).

IMG_2326.JPEG

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
Group pic.jpg
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!

Welcome to BEAM’s College Prep Panel on Applying to College!

Six rising, current, and former college students from universities across the country joined BEAM's College Prep Week this August to share their experiences applying for college with BEAM rising 11th and 12th graders, currently navigating this process themselves.

Aisha BEAM '13 (Northwestern University) and Edson BEAM '13 (University of Southern California) will both start college this school year. They just recently navigated the confusing world of college applications themselves. Abdel BEAM '12 (NYU Polytechnic), Ana BEAM '12 (Barnard College), and John BEAM '12 (Fordham University) are all rising sophomores and can look back at their college application process with a whole year of college experience under their belt. Finally, Sylvia, BEAM staff and a graduate of SUNY Albany, rounds out our panel with an inside perspective on the SUNY system and the wisdom of several years of work experience.

The panel had a lot to say about their college application process, and answered many important questions: the how’s and the what’s, the in’s and the out’s, the up’s and the downs of getting into college. Our panelists talked about topics like choosing schools and time management skills. If you are applying for college or just want some advice, here are some of the questions and answers of our College Prep Panel!

From left to right: Abdel, Sylvia, Aisha, Edson, John, and Ana address rising 11th and 12th graders during College Prep Week.

From left to right: Abdel, Sylvia, Aisha, Edson, John, and Ana address rising 11th and 12th graders during College Prep Week.

How did you choose which colleges to apply to? What kind of things went into that? 

  • Aisha: I was looking for schools that were well-rounded. And schools that I could switch majors, because I knew I was coming in undecided. And schools that had good financial aid.

  • Abdel: I looked at three things. Money. Location. Major. Location: my parents wanted me to stay close to home. So in the city. In state you get more money, especially since NYU has a HEOP program that covers a lot of costs. In terms of major, engineering.

  • Ana: High school affected a lot. I wanted the opposite of my high school experience [at Brooklyn Tech]. Fewer men. Farther from home.

Can you explain a little bit about the common application? 

Sylvia is a Program Assistant at BEAM and one of her major roles is shepherding the current 12th graders through the college process.

Sylvia is a Program Assistant at BEAM and one of her major roles is shepherding the current 12th graders through the college process.

  • Sylvia: It is like a portal, where you can submit all your applications through this one website.

  • John: So it is very convenient.

In your later years of high school, say 11th and 12 grade, how do you split up your time? 

  • Aisha: It all depends on what your situation is like. For me I kinda figure out how to split up time in November [of twelfth grade]. It all depended on my schedule; if something was due for school I would just get it out of way right then and there because I needed to use all of my time for applications.

  • Sylvia: Something that I prioritized was taking care of myself too. It is important to take care of myself too. Having a planner is important so you can schedule around [taking care of yourself].

  • Ana: Time management is definitely important. That is something that I am still learning to do. It is something that I didn't know how to do in high school so I wasn't taking care of myself. So like keeping a planner I can't stress it enough.

Do you use a paper planner? What do you use? 

  • Sylvia: I had a paper planner that was really helpful for me. Now, at work, I use an app called Evernote.

  • Aisha: I use the reminder app on my phone. Because I procrastinate, I would make a fake deadline that is earlier.

  • Ana: I use a paper planner. I think writing down kinda speaks it into existence. If I don't write it down it's not getting done.

A note from BEAM: rising 11th graders who attend Saturday BEAM Next classes get some swanky planners, donated to us by Passion Planner. We may have extra planners for those not going to Saturday classes and 11th and 12th graders can request those!

How early should you start working on things and what should you focus on? 

  • Abdel: Start asking for recommendation letters. I'd say recommendation letters should be the first on your list to do. Personal statement. Start thinking about what you are going to write the summer before.

  • Sylvia: Just start thinking about your essay in your mind. They have the prompts on common app beforehand. So you can start getting ideas.

  • John: Making a spread sheet about yourself, everything you have done. Also... BEAM does give you a calendar of when things should be done. The earliest we started was January of 11th grade, drafting our essays. That is something you can start on just choosing which days, days you are going to thing about college applications, days you are going to study for SAT.

John starts early! Here he is at BEAM College Prep Week 2016 along with Zereena, also BEAM '12, who attends SUNY Binghamton. They're both working on their essays!

John starts early! Here he is at BEAM College Prep Week 2016 along with Zereena, also BEAM '12, who attends SUNY Binghamton. They're both working on their essays!

Did any of you let average grades discourage you? 

  • Edson: I didn't let it discourage me. Mostly because I am a very optimistic. Even if you are doing good, keep shooting to do better. Because what colleges care about is growth.

  • Aisha: I realized after all the college stuff was done and people started getting acceptances, I realized that grades are important but that isn't all they look at. They aren't just looking for a good grade, they are looking for someone who can bring something extra to their school as a person.

Someone mentioned something about being well-rounded? What if you don't have the time? 

  • Sylvia: There were small clubs that I was part of, and you know being on a club doesn't have to take too much time. So I think it is about finding your own niche, what you can do, what you enjoy and what your school offers.

  • John: Basketball. Cross country. Dancing. You can also list taking care of brothers and sisters at home as an activity.

  • Abdel: Volunteering. Working. It's not just sports.

How do you figure out how many schools to apply to? 

  • Aisha: I applied to too many schools that had a lot of requirements. My case was that 14 of my schools involved writing supplemental essays, sending extra stuff, it was also really expensive.

  • Abdel: There are three types of schools that you can apply too. Safety, reach and target. I would just say balance it out and make sure you are not overdoing it.

  • Sylvia: I think another way to narrow down your list is actually talking to people who went to the school.

What was something that you don't like about your school that you wished you looked at? 

  • Sylvia: How expensive it was.

  • Edson: The diversity of the school. USC is still a great school, but the diversity is kinda unbalanced. I wish I would have looked into it.

  • Ana: I kinda knew what I was getting myself into as far as the student body looked like and even the social life looks like. One thing that I wish I had known was how economically segregated it is.

How did you brainstorm your ideas for your essay? 

  • Aisha: For me, my high school they had for incoming seniors it was mandatory you needed to write two essays about things that you might want to. I didn't want to write about being undecided. But then I heard this song. And it was an awesome song. So I decided to write about being undecided. Because that song was about being undecided. I wrote two sentences and gave it to my teacher and she didn't like it because it was about being undecided. But I liked it so I wrote about that.

  • Edson: My teacher said think of something that is really personal to you. I was like I will write about tacos as a joke. Imagine a donut, a jelly donut, the way to structure your essay is to get down to the jelly. Like why you really want to get an education. So I wrote about how tacos are really personal to me. How such a simple food can be a luxury for people who don't have a lot of money.

Final words of wisdom? 

  • John: I think the thing that helped me the most was, I play a lot of basketball and I met upperclassmen through basketball. Meet people through whatever activities interest you.

  • Aisha: Don't psyche yourself out too much about certain statistics. If you really want to apply for a school then just go for it. For my school, I didn't look at the acceptance rate, and if I had I wouldn't have applied in the first place. And I am really glad that I did.

  • Abdel: Try new stuff.

From left to right: Abdel, Ana, John, Aisha, and Edson, each wearing college gear!

From left to right: Abdel, Ana, John, Aisha, and Edson, each wearing college gear!

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!