Skip Navigation

Meet Our Scholars

Brianna Harris

BriannaHarrisPhotoThe Hewitt School
Manhattan, N.Y.

"I love the CTY Scholars program. They made the college and financial aid process so much easier for my mom and I to understand and provided the personal counseling and advice I needed. The workshops in preparation for the college process and the college tour opened my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities at a wide range of schools, not just the most selective."

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
Harvard University, Class of 2021

Jahel Gomes

Photo of Jahel GomesNorth Hunterdon High School
Lebanon, N.J.

“CTY Scholars has taught me to accept what I have, but to have the courage to go after what I deserve.”

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Class of 2021

Cassandra Aleman

Photo of Cassandra AlemanRoosevelt High School
Seattle, Washington

"I see how a lot of my friends struggle to keep up with school and feel overwhelmed because they don't have any support. That could have been me, but I was able to manage the stress of school because my CTY Advisor and mentor always had my back.”

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
Scripps College, Class of 2021

Victor Phong

Picture of Victor PhongWhitney High School
Cerritos, California

"One of the biggest assets I found from being a part of the program is the opportunity to be with others who are so gifted and talented, who share similar passions as you, and who motivate you to strive for nothing less than the best."

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
Northeastern University, Class of 2021

Alberto Espiricueta

Picture of Alberto EspiricuetaBell Gardens High School
Maywood, California

“The program is a lifesaver especially in times when you may have the most pressing questions needing answers; your educational advisor is always ready and prepared to help.”

“Besides learning about college, I learned that students of any creed or culture or color can and will attend their favorite schools, it's just about believing in yourself – that is what CTY Scholars has instilled in me.”

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
Georgetown University, Class of 2021

David Alejandrino

Picture of David AlejandrinoTorrance High School
Torrance, California

"If CTY is family, then the CTY Scholars are the long-lost brothers and sisters that I never found out I had until I entered high school. Since then, we've grown together, learned together, and pursued our dreams together. No matter what city, state, or country we end up moving to, in the future we will continue to be brothers and sisters connected by our CTY Scholars bond."

CTY Scholar, Class of 2017
University of California, Los Angeles, Class of 2021

Brittany Thomas

Picture of Brittany ThomasThe CTY Scholars Program provided me with a unique opportunity to explore other cultures, communities, and academic coursework, inspiring me to pursue other professional and educational challenges. Our CTYS advisors encouraged us to develop personal narratives and apply for scholarships, most importantly, emphasizing that we should pursue all opportunities that piqued our interest, rather than doubting our potential to be accepted, a lesson that influenced my success long after CTYS. As a CTY Scholar, I learned about and was selected for the Center Scholars Program, which enabled me to explore Genetics and Genomics coursework and provided me with a summer internship at Johns Hopkins University in a Neurogenetics Lab. Beyond my incredible summer experiences as a CTY Scholar, our weekend sessions and SAT preparation courses made me a competitive college applicant, also exposing me to the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship, which later provided me with a partial scholarship to attend JHU.

I am currently a USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Fellow pursuing a Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). Following my graduation from F&ES, I will serve my country as an Environment Officer in the USAID Foreign Service.

Ultimately, my participation in the CTY Scholars Program gave me the confidence to dream, realizing my potential based on the academic and community experiences that most inspired me. I truly know my time in the program enriched the direction of my life.

CTY Scholar, Class of 2011
Johns Hopkins University, Class of 2015