Dalton ’04, Yale ‘08
Where I’m from
I live with my mother in the Bronx. She never finished high school and cannot really speak English. My neighborhood is made up mostly of Hispanics and Blacks. Most people in my community have not gone to college and many of the people my age do not plan on going.
Finding The Oliver Scholars Program
Before I found Oliver, I was planning on going to a very dangerous school where students regularly get beat up. My guidance counselor told me and my family about Oliver. I was accepted into The Oliver Scholars Program because I was at the top of my class, I got good citywide test scores, and I was a dedicated student.
Being part of The Oliver Scholars Program was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It introduced me to private education, where there are art, music, and dance classes. Classes are small and students are well-behaved and engaged. There are computers everywhere and libraries with up-to-date books and information. I couldn’t believe it.
When I first got to Dalton, it was so easy to start to identify myself as the Hispanic girl from the Bronx who came from public school. At first, I think this mentality prevented myself from trying new things. I eventually realized that everyone has different experiences and circumstances and that is okay. What we had in common was the fact that we all went to Dalton. Our common experiences at school allowed me to form bonds with others. Eventually, I had the confidence to try new things, and I participated in all sorts of activities, from multicultural clubs, to music, to dance, to community service.
Beyond SchoolI just want to thank Oliver for all they have done. Their support and knowledge have been indispensable to my success.
The Oliver Scholars Program was also instrumental in helping me get a summer job at a law firm. I can’t explain how great that experience was. I was able to work with adults and get a feel for a field that I may consider in the future.