Earlier this year, Harlem Academy alumna Taneyah Jolly ‘16 shared wonderful news: her acceptance to Princeton University. “When I found out I got into Princeton, I was so excited,” she says. “It took a while for it to fully set in.”
Taneyah had set the bar high since enrolling at Harlem Academy in fifth grade and really pushed herself when she was a student here – something her mother says stems from our rigorous curriculum and dedicated teachers. “Taneyah didn’t get the attention she needed in public school,” says her mom, Twywana Bush. “Harlem Academy challenged my daughter academically and helped her grow as a person, paving the way for her future success.”
Even with all of Taneyah’s academic accomplishments, what really stands out is the strength of her character. She continues to live up to our pillars of initiative, integrity, compassion, and determination every day. “Showing compassion for others and having the integrity to do so selflessly are both important values in my life,” she says. “Harlem Academy taught me that.”
As a student at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts, Taneyah was a resident leader, helping students to acclimate to boarding school. “I really wanted to take on this role because of the sense of community I knew it would provide,” she says. “I especially wanted to be resident leader for the freshmen. Your first year at a boarding school is very important, and it can be hard to navigate by yourself as a new student. Being a resident leader was one of my biggest and most time-consuming roles, but it helped me feel more connected to the student community.”
During high school, Taneyah also participated in a two-year entrepreneurship program focused on ways innovation can help to address systemic inequality – work she will continue in college. “I want to help elevate the voices, lives, and wellbeing of marginalized people in order to combat discrimination and reach equality and justice,” she says.
Because of the pandemic, Taneyah has started her freshman year at Princeton virtually. However, she can’t wait to take classes in person and jump into life on campus, where she plans to pursue her interest in social advocacy and entrepreneurship. “My daughter has worked hard for this her whole life,” says Ms. Bush. “I’m so proud of her.”