college

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."

BEAM Thoughts on the College Admission Scandal

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Today, we have a guest post from Ayinde Alleyne, BEAM’s College Support Coordinator. Ayinde wrote the message below and sent it to all our students currently enrolled in college. His perspective is clear and powerful so we wanted to share it with you.

By now, I believe most of you have heard of the College Admission Scandal that made the news last week. For those who haven't, the Justice Department has charged 50 people with participating in a multi million-dollar bribery scheme to get affluent, connected students into highly competitive colleges.

We have a lot of thoughts about this at BEAM, and I'm sure that many similar discussions are happening at your colleges. I did want to share a specific thought I had with all of you.

From the moment I was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, I dealt with many versions of the idea that I didn't earn my admission. Some of those ideas came from others: hearing many factually incorrect comments about affirmative action, constantly being questioned about my grades. Some came from myself: withdrawing from an intro chemistry course my first semester, getting two Ds the next semester.

The exposure of a scandal like this makes me think about the hours you all work and sacrifices you and your families have made. Things like this provide proof that there are people who did not earn their place in college, and if anyone ever asks, use this to remind them that those people are not you.

I wanted to leave you all with an article I felt captured the culture of pressure that has been created around one version of success.

The Atlantic: “Kids Are the Victims of the Elite-College Obsession

BEAM students and families: please reach out if you want to talk about any aspect of this.

Ayinde was recently named as a 2019 PASEsetter, a champion of afterschool education. At the awards banquet, Ayinde shared his story, which you can watch here.

Ayinde advises rising college first year Aisha on prepping for college.

Ayinde advises rising college first year Aisha on prepping for college.

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!

Aisha's Off to Northwestern!

BEAM 7 back in 2013; Aisha is standing in a pink t-shirt about one-third of the way from the left. 

BEAM 7 back in 2013; Aisha is standing in a pink t-shirt about one-third of the way from the left. 

Five years ago, 39 seventh graders had just completed their first summer at BEAM. For some of them, it was their first time out of the city, or their first time away from their family. All of them were going to spend three weeks now living away from home and learning advanced math.

This summer, those same students graduated high school (including three with an Associate's Degree) and are just now starting college. Meanwhile, 370 students completed their own first summer at BEAM. It’s a time for looking backward and looking forward, so we asked one of our rising college goers, Aisha, to reflect on the last five years, from the start of BEAM 7 to her journey to college this fall. 

Aisha and Shikya learn to solder, July 2013

Aisha and Shikya learn to solder, July 2013

In spring 2013, Aisha decided to attend BEAM because she really loved math, especially geometry puzzles. The program also promised a chance to get away from home, make new friends, and have fun. She figured she would learn some new skills, but other than that she wasn’t sure what to expect. 

At BEAM, Aisha took courses on Proofs, Circuit Design, Statistics, and Math Team Strategies. Her instructor in Math Team Strategies described her as “intent on understanding and solving problems.” She loved the math, which she found to be different and more challenging than what she saw in school, but it wasn’t just the math that altered her trajectory. When asked how she had changed during the summer, she wrote, “I have changed because now I don’t give up. I used to give up a lot, so for me to keep going even when I get frustrated is different.” 

Aisha quote.jpg

We asked all our students what BEAM could do to support them after that summer, and Aisha responded: “I would like to stay in contact because I think I might need help and this camp helped me understand a lot of things I was confused with.”

Aisha, June 2018

Aisha, June 2018

And stay in touch she did! In 8th grade, we helped her pick a high school, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. In 9th grade, long before BEAM offered such comprehensive support, we encouraged her to apply to a mentoring program, Minds Matter, where she spent her summers and Saturdays for the next three years. In 11th and 12th grade, when her high school guidance counselor didn’t have the time to give her personal attention, Aisha turned to BEAM to be her college adviser. After being admitted to Northwestern University on a full scholarship, she turned to BEAM again to evaluate her financial aid package and get advice on applying for a summer bridge program to work on her writing skills. This summer, she will be working at BEAM 6 as a Junior Counselor, teaching and inspiring the next generation of BEAM students. 

We asked Aisha to look back and reflect. Here’s what she wrote:

From the summer of 2013 until now, BEAM has been a constant factor in my life. The staff at BEAM have supported me and been there for me during my achievements as well as during my failures. They have aided me in so many ways, enriching my ability and my personality. They helped me find a high school that best fit me and they presented me with opportunities for next steps, preparing me for college and the professional world. 

Most importantly, throughout the entire college process, BEAM has helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. The college process was one of the most difficult and draining times during my high school experience. However, what made it better was BEAM. When I had to change my college list at the last minute or when I was struggling to write essays, or when I cried because things were too expensive and I couldn’t handle the stress, BEAM helped me any way they could. I particularly appreciate the last-minute grant from BEAM’s Last Dollar Fund to cover $132 in SAT score reports that I needed to send in December 2017, just days before my Common Application was due. 

I am grateful to be part of BEAM. I know without them I could never have reached the position I am in today. BEAM has done so much for me. I love being part of this BEAM family. 

Now we’d like to turn around and share our appreciation with the entire community of BEAM supporters. Over the five years that Aisha has been part of BEAM, we have grown both the number of students we serve and the services we offer. When Aisha started BEAM, we didn’t even have an office; our two staff members each worked from home. Today, we have offices on both coasts. At the time, we had little high school support and no college support. Today, we not only offer college admissions advising to a core group of students, we are also adding advising through college to ensure that students like Aisha will graduate with STEM degrees. Aisha will get support from BEAM on how to choose classes, how to build relationships with professors, how to declare a major, and how to land an internship, along with regular reminders for all the logistics like filing her FAFSA. Already, at our 12th grade graduation party, Aisha sat down to discuss how an undecided student selects courses for her first semester. We feel confident that in four short years, we will be announcing her college graduation and exciting next plans. 

Aisha (right) discusses college plans with Ayinde, BEAM's College Support Coordinator.

Aisha (right) discusses college plans with Ayinde, BEAM's College Support Coordinator.

Thank you to each and every BEAM donor, summer staff members, family member, peer, and cheerleader. Your support of BEAM allows us to turn around and support Aisha in ways both large and small. Aisha says she wouldn’t be here without BEAM; BEAM would not be here without your support. 

PS: Where are the other BEAM students headed?

Aisha in Spain, during her 2017 summer program where she interned at a maker space. 

Aisha in Spain, during her 2017 summer program where she interned at a maker space. 

Aisha (center) rehearses for the BEAM 7 talent show back in 2013. 

Aisha (center) rehearses for the BEAM 7 talent show back in 2013. 

Zanahya, a rising 7th grader, learns to solder at BEAM 6 in 2018. Aisha, who learned to solder at BEAM 7 five years earlier was the teaching assistant for this course. 

Zanahya, a rising 7th grader, learns to solder at BEAM 6 in 2018. Aisha, who learned to solder at BEAM 7 five years earlier was the teaching assistant for this course. 

BEAM students announce their college plans at College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater, May 2018.  Back row: Elijah (Howard), Henry (UMass Amherst), Tanasia (Rochester), Ariel (Brandeis)  Front row: Vielka (SUNY ESF), Aishat (Yale), Will (Haverford), Aisha (Northwestern), Malachi (SUNY Binghamton)

BEAM students announce their college plans at College Decision Day at the Apollo Theater, May 2018.

Back row: Elijah (Howard), Henry (UMass Amherst), Tanasia (Rochester), Ariel (Brandeis)

Front row: Vielka (SUNY ESF), Aishat (Yale), Will (Haverford), Aisha (Northwestern), Malachi (SUNY Binghamton)

Aisha graduates from Manhattan Center School for Science and Mathematics, June 2018. 

Aisha graduates from Manhattan Center School for Science and Mathematics, June 2018. 

Aisha, front, second from left, sits on a panel of BEAM staff and alums providing college application advice to rising 11th and 12th graders, August 2018. 

Aisha, front, second from left, sits on a panel of BEAM staff and alums providing college application advice to rising 11th and 12th graders, August 2018. 

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!

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)

BEAM's Spring Newsletter is Here!

newsletter.jpg

What's going on at BEAM?

  • We're headed to Los Angeles.
  • Our 12th graders have announced their college choices.
  • We love math and share that love with our community. 
  • We're reading all kinds of interesting articles about math!

Four times a year, the BEAM newsletter is a chance for you to see what's going on at BEAM and get to know us and our students better.  

Didn't get the newsletter? Want to read more!  You can find it online here

Don't forget to sign up to get our next newsletter straight to your inbox!

They're off to college! Congrats to BEAM 12th Graders

BEAM 2012

Five years ago, these students were 7th graders heading to BEAM for the first time. Today, they are 12th graders who are one month away from high school graduation!

While we haven't yet heard back from all 38 BEAM alumni, we want to take a minute to congratulate these students on their admissions results!  

  • Abdel: New York University

  • Abdoulaye: George Washington University

  • Amy: Fordham University

  • Ana: Barnard College

  • Angelina: University of Rochester

  • Ashlee: SUNY Albany

  • Derek: Colby College

  • Dominic: Pace University

  • Emalee: Hunter College (CUNY)

  • Greiny: SUNY Geneseo

  • Gustavo: Brooklyn College (CUNY)

  • Isaiah: SUNY Potsdam

  • Jahdel: City Tech

  • Jamila: Howard University

  • Joel: Wesleyan University

  • John: Fordham University

  • Kiara D: Lehigh University

  • Kiara J: John Jay College

  • Loquan: SUNY Albany

  • Nathaniel: Bronx Community College

  • Nicole: New York University

  • Quentin: Ithaca College

  • Salimatou: Baruch College (CUNY)

  • Shaunicia: University of Bridgeport

  • Stephanie: SUNY Plattsburgh

  • Taylor: Allegheny College

  • Zereena: SUNY Binghamton

Check back on this post throughout the spring: college decisions will be added as we hear back!

BEAM Students Go to College... full-time!

BEAM 2011

It's time for our spring newsletter!  Read about our students going to college, our homes for summer 2016, and Ezelle's success in being admitted to the Discovery Program at Brooklyn Tech. 

You can read the full newsletter online.  And sign up below to get future newsletters straight to your inbox!