College Access

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). 

Beginning to Navigate the College Admissions Process

When is the right time for 11th graders to begin preparing for college?

NOW

A year from now our current 11th grade students will know what college they will be attending in Fall 2018! How do they begin this journey?

On Thursday, May 11th, a group of our 11th graders joined BEAM at our first annual BEAM College Kickoff! They learned about what the College Admissions process is like and what they should be doing now in order to best prepare for the admissions craziness in September. We went through best practices of the application process and created a timeline of what should be done, from now until May 1, 2018, in order to maximize their chances of being admitted in to the most selective and prestigious colleges and universities. Our 11th graders are ambitious and excited to begin embarking on this journey to college. And we are here to guide them every step of the way!

In attendance were: Aisha, Aishat, Crisleidy, Emily, Mona, William and Vielka. See pictures from the event below and a small blurb about their journey to 11th grade and what their future plans include. 

 

Pictured here is Crisleidy. For two years she attended The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) and this summer she is attending the University of New Hampshire's Project Smart program, where she will spend five weeks studying space science! We intend to nominate her for Posse Scholars.  

 

Pictured here are: Emily and Crisleidy. Emily is the older sister of one of our BEAM 6 alumni who is attending BEAM 7 this summer! Though she is not interested in pursuing math, she plans to study criminal justice in college and wants to attend John Jay. 

 
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Pictured here are Aishat and Vielka.

Vielka is an environmental science major at Brooklyn Tech and this summer, along with Crisleidy, she will be at UNH's Project Smart program studying environmental science. Vielka also loves Chemistry!

 

Aishat has attended summer programs at the University of Maryland and Brown University. This year she will be in France studying French culture. Aishat is currently taking Honors IB Math. 

 

Pictured here is Aisha. Aisha attends Manhattan Center for Science and Math and is currently taking AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC! She is a member of Minds Matters and attends their programs every summer. This summer, though, she will be in Spain working at a maker space!

 

Pictured here is Mona. She attends the Academy for Software Engineering where she has been connected to many computer programming related opportunities. Last summer she interned at Morgan Stanley in their Cyber Security department. This summer she is applying to work at BEAM 6! Mona is very interested in attending Barnard for college. 

 

Pictured here is William. William attends Bard High School Early College and is very interested in pursuing Law in his future. He was a Junior Counselor at BEAM 6 last year. He plans to attend college in New York City because he hates bugs and nature! (But that didn't stop him from having a great time at Bard College during his BEAM 7 summer.)

 

In late August, BEAM runs a week long College Prep program for our rising 12th graders. Students will get individualized assistance with college essays, supplemental essays, FAFSA (financial aid), and so much more! We hope to see many of our (soon-to-be) 12th graders there. 

Welcome extern Janaya to the BEAM team!

It is 2017! And here at BEAM we have started the new year with a new addition to our team. Janaya Shelly joins us as an extern (a shorter version of an internship) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT – our very own Dan Z’s alma matter). Janaya will be with BEAM for the month of January working on a project to create a database of good-fit colleges specifically catered to BEAM students.

More about Janaya:

Janaya is currently a sophomore at MIT majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. She was born and raised in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and attended public schools all throughout her adolescence. She knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was 11 and is interested in pursuing an M.D/Ph.D. (two doctoral degrees in the medical field). Her dream is to run clinical trials for anti-cancer therapeutic drugs and be the head of a laboratory.

“MIT is hard. MIT is intense. But the people are great.”

“MIT is hard. MIT is intense. But the people are great.”

Janaya’s journey to MIT:

Janaya attended public high school in Lehigh Valley. She was very active in her community and was involved in many clubs and sports. She volunteered, took AP classes and college courses. Janaya applied early action to MIT. She applied to 20 colleges and universities! But MIT was her number one choice. Janaya believes that MIT has the resources to help her succeed and attain her goals of becoming a doctor.

Why BEAM?

While Janaya looked through her MIT online database that contained a plethora of possible externships she could apply to, BEAM stood out to her. What BEAM aims to accomplish is very similar to what Janaya does with her free time. Janaya tutors and mentors low-income students who are academically talented (in all subjects). She’s the co-founder of a start-up called “Lean On Me,” which is a dedicated volunteer organization designed to give college students a non-judgemental space to text-in and share their experiences. Janaya is also an activist who values doing things that are beneficial to her community. She values working with underserved populations of low-income backgrounds to assist in “bringing up the next generation of influential people who are going to make a difference.” Though Janaya joins the BEAM team for a month, she will be a huge asset for everyone at BEAM!