Making the Most of Summer

Making the Most of Summer

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eight Harlem Academy students earned full scholarships to attend summer programs for gifted students at Exeter, Vassar, and Yale.

Three students look over balcony at Vassar.
Manny, Malik, and A.J. at the Summer Institute for the Gifted at Vassar.

This past summer, eight of our middle school students accepted full scholarships to attend academic programs for gifted students at Phillips Exeter Academy, Vassar College, and Yale University. These highly selective opportunities let them sample schedules and a breadth of programming similar to the top schools they will apply to in the next few years. 

Malik, A.J., and Manny (grade six) and Mikaella (grade seven) all attended the Summer Institute for the Gifted at Vassar. Miles (grade eight) attended the same program at Yale. All five of them spent three weeks on these renowned campuses, working on accelerated academic work with students from all over the world. 

A.J. said, “I loved Vassar! It was the longest I had ever been away from home, but that didn’t really bother me. I got to experience living in a dorm for three weeks and I met kids from places like China, Japan, Ghana, Kenya, and South Korea. My favorite classes were legal debate and crime literature. In one class we learned about how criminal court works and in the other we learned about how to be a detective.” 

Three students at Exeter.
Taneyah, Yarelis, and Alvin at Access Exeter. Special thanks to Twywana Bush for the photo.

In addition, three eighth graders, Yarelis, Taneyah, and Alvin, attended Access Exeter, a month-long summer boarding program at Phillips Exeter Academy. Traditionally only two scholarships are given to Harlem Academy students, but, based on the strength of these students, Exeter made an exception this year and admitted three. Living and working with students from across the U.S. and around the world, each student took courses, prepared classroom presentations, and enjoyed the school’s rigor and opportunities. 

Yarelis wrote, “I have just been so busy having a lot of meetings and classes, but most of all I've been having a lot of fun. Currently I have been taking classes in crime literature, forensic science, and digital photography. I am also a part of a soccer elective which is pretty fun.”

We are proud of these students. Their hard work earned them opportunities to learn at some of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country. Their families share our enthusiasm for their success. After dropping Taneyah off at Exeter, her mother sent us a message.

“As a parent, I view this as a once in a lifetime opportunity for Taneyah. Coming to Harlem Academy has changed her in so many ways and has given her so many great opportunities that I’m speechless. Every parent wants their child to get the best education, so this is an honor for my daughter to go to one of the top boarding schools in the country. Although this program is just for the summer, it will give her a chance to know exactly what she is looking for when applying to boarding schools. Taneyah has come out of her shell and is taking challenges head on and embracing them. I couldn’t be more proud.”