CUNY Honors at Baruch College Class of 2009
For a student to truly have a positive educational experience, three elements have to be present: the right place, the right time, and the right people. SOH brings together all the factors that make a transformational experience: a beautiful campus atop a hill (the right place), for students in 2nd to 12th grades (the right time), and caring teachers, mentors, and faculty (the right people).
One of my most memorable experiences at Summer on the Hill took place in the 6th grade (my fourth year in the program) and involved my mentor, Sivan, a Horace Mann high school student. It was lunchtime on my birthday. My mentor took out a gift, placed it next to my lunch tray, and said, “Happy birthday, Roseliny.” She had remembered! Sivan was a positive role model — dedicated to her schoolwork, she emphasized to us the importance of being an excellent student. To this day, I remember her kindness. Sivan motivated me to apply myself, strive for larger goals, and be a well-rounded person.
My wonderful SOH experience was a testament to the quality of the mentors and the faculty. I have changed since graduating from the program, but my drive and desire to be a well-rounded individual, and most certainly my appreciation for learning from others, remain. SOH’s staff provided me with the support and resources to make the most of new worlds. As I look back at SOH, I know that I would be a different person today if I had not learned to see the world with an open mind.Catherine SOH alumna
Bronx High School of Science 2007 Smith College 2011 When I graduated from SOH’s Grade 3-8 program in 2003, I was terrified that I would lose an amazing resource. But through SOH’s generosity and genuine commitment to its students, my life was further enriched. The alumnae network at SOH and the resources available to alumnae have always been available to me, even now as a sophomore at Smith College.
SOH prepared me for the vigorous workload I would face in high school and also offered support that helped me to attend the college of my dreams. As a student at the Bronx High School of Science, it was expected that my physics class in junior year would be intense. SOH offered science review classes, knowing that our grades would be crucial details in the college admission process. Not being science-inclined, I took advantage of the opportunity and attended SOH physics classes taught by Dr. Weitz. While I had an excellent teacher at Bronx Science, I had difficulty grasping the concepts and knew that I needed additional practice to be ready for my final. Dr. Weitz provided a different outlook on physics, one that I listened to without feeling completely lost, but could understand and take back to school and help friends who were also struggling. I have no doubt that it was due to Dr. Weitz’s class that I was able to ace my physics exam.
It was also because of SOH that I was able to celebrate the end of high school with a trip to the Pacific. Thanks to the generous donation of a Horace Mann family, I spent a month after graduation traveling through Australia and Fiji. I saw other cultures and tried white-water rafting and trekking. My time abroad inspired my decision to study abroad next year. This trip reminds me that SOH does not forget its students.
To know that we are not simply forgotten because we are no longer in the program is a wonderful feeling. Since I was first introduced to SOH in June 2000, SOH became a second family to me. I know I can count on it no matter where the future takes me.
DanielSOH alumnus Bronx H.S. of Science 2009 SUNY Binghamton 2013
My family is originally from Nigeria. I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but my elementary years were spent in various schools as my parents traveled a lot due to their work as missionaries. A year after my brother was born, we moved to the Caribbean island of Antigua. We relocated to California when I was six and later came to New York.
I started attending SOH in the 6th grade on the recommendation of my teacher. My first impression of SOH was nothing short of amazement. If it had not been for my teacher, SOH would have remained a very well-kept secret. My parents shared my enthusiasm and always made sure that I took the golden opportunity offered by SOH.
SOH was a sharp contrast from my public school in that it was orderly and conducive to study. I think the difference lies in the drive to succeed. Most of the people who wake up very early in the mornings in the summer and Saturdays to spend long hours at SOH have a reason for coming.
There were several other things I liked about SOH. The facility was very well kept and aesthetically pleasing. The intellectual disparity that exists in public schools is for the most part nonexistent at SOH. Thus students were able to share ideas and learn from one another. The teachers were another excellent feature of SOH. Their diligent efforts showed their desire for us to succeed. Even when students were unruly, as there would be in any given group of kids, the teachers maintained their cool as they made their wishes known. All of this helped me and my peers attain a broader view of the world.
SOH was instrumental in making me what I am today. It developed me emotionally and intellectually. My previous school would surely have never prepared me for my experience at the Bronx High School of Science. In the next few years I hope to achieve much. With the foundation built by my teachers, SOH, and my parents, I will be able to achieve these goals.Taylour LaGuardia H.S. 2009 Fordham University/Alvin Ailey Program 2013
As a high school junior, Taylour won a rave review from The New York Times
- Photo credit: Hiroyuki Ito/The New York Times/Redux
During the New York fall 2007 music festival, Berlin in Lights, SOH student Taylour Thomas was one of 120 students who joined Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker for a dance performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
The New York Times singled out Taylour’s performance: “Here at last was the feeling of savagery and pain that welled up through the orchestra’s majestic performance. It was embodied in Ms. Thomas’s small arms as she pushed to keep the hordes at bay, rooted though she was to the ground” (Dunning, Jennifer. “Children Play with Fire by Doing Riffs on Stravinsky.” New York Times, 19 November 2007).
Taylour joined SOH in the 5th grade, and says the hands-on science labs and interactive math games were among the best aspects of the program. SOH helped her prepare for admission to NYC’s selective high schools, and she was thrilled to attend Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Art and Performing Arts. “Although LaGuardia is filled with 2400 students,” Taylour says, “we are all one big family.”
A student at the Harlem School of the Arts since she was three, Taylour has performed at the New Victory Theater with Bill T Jones and the Arnie Zane Company, and was featured in a documentary on the life of Paul Robeson – experiences, Taylour says, that inspire her to constantly push for excellence.
Taylour further developed her strong work ethic as a volunteer in the computer lab during SOH’s 2006 summer program. “The dedicated staff at SOH has always encouraged students,” Taylour says. “To have been a part of a program that truly cares for young people is an unforgettable experience!”
MonikaSOH alumna De La Salle Academy, Marymount Academy, Boston College
I came to SOH in the summer after second grade. I loved it! My older brother was attending, and he used to brag about what he learned. I wanted to be as smart as him. My parents also loved SOH because the program helped my brother and myself in social and academic life.
At SOH, I was actually challenged, unlike at my public school where I completed the work in a snap. Although you sometimes want to sleep late on Saturdays or turn on the morning cartoons, SOH is the best place if you want to learn amazing things and have fun. I like everything about SOH, but I liked learning many new things most of all.