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Thank you for your hard work and for your contribution to our community!

 
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9TH GRADE: NAIRI NAKHAPETIAN

JUNE 2021
Anonna Haque

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

One strength in school is that I usually get work done on time and one weakness is that I can’t write/respond to prompts well under a limited period of time (timed essays/writing responses etc.). One strength outside of school is that I like photography and one weakness is that I’m not very athletic, but I don’t think either of these things affect my performance in school.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I think that quarantine has affected me more negatively since I find it harder to focus at home than in school. I also get distracted more easily.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subjects are global and art and I don’t have a least favorite subject, but I don’t think that makes much of a difference in my performance in those classes. I always try to put an equal amount of effort into each of my classes.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I don’t really have any plans for the future besides knowing that I want to go to college after high school. The only thing I’m sure about is that I don’t want to become any sort of writer (journalist, author etc.) because I don’t enjoy writing that much.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

Something I would change about my academic career is to try and develop a good work ethic in elementary school. Since this never happened, I find it difficult to be productive especially when I’m at home, but I’ve been trying to improve since middle school and I’ve made some progress.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

I don’t rely much on other people when it comes to school and homework, but my parents have definitely helped me the most in growing academically. I usually go to them when I’m having trouble with a particular problem or question.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?


One mistake that I have made was forgetting about an assignment I had to turn in or a class I had to attend due to not being fully adjusted to remote learning yet. This doesn’t apply as much to school in-person, but I would advise to keep track of classes and work with a planner or something similar.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

One obstacle that I’ve overcome this year was not managing my time well. I’ve improved on scheduling my time so that I’m not too stressed when I have major projects to get done.

 
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10TH GRADE: HASHIM KAMAL

JUNE 2021
Subita Sania

Hashim Kamal has always excelled in his academics due to his hard working attitude. His consistent excellence even in the face of remote learning has conveyed his ambition to be a good student as well as not being afraid to improve himself.


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My main strength academically and outside of academics is that I can concentrate exceptionally well so that I have full knowledge of things that are discussed. This helps me to do better on the work in class that is assigned as well as assessments that are worth a lot of points. My weakness would be that I do not speak or participate in class too much. I stay quiet the whole time and I don't ask teachers questions for clarification even though some things might be unclear to me. This impacts my work because sometimes I might do it incorrectly. Despite that, I just communicate with my teachers by Gmail or google classroom so all is well. 


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has not affected my academic performance because I have still maintained good grades even though I am taking classes in an environment that I could be easily distracted. I just go to a quiet place in my home and take classes so it’s not really that hard to do well. Quarantine benefitted me quite a bit because I don’t have to worry about getting up early so I get extra time and sleep which is convenient. 


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subjects would be physics and math since they are the easiest subjects so I don’t have to stress out on them. My least favorite subject would be ELA because there is a lot of writing and it’s not that interesting to me. However, in this unit, we are making our own short stories so it’s a great opportunity to include some creativity into it.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I definitely plan on going to college but I don’t know a specific one that I plan to go to. It just has to have an engineering major and it’s got to be close to home since my parents don’t want me to go far away from them. I want to be a computer hardware engineer since it’s the career that seems interesting to me and it pays well. 


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

What I would change about my academic career in the earlier years is that I would participate more in classes and join clubs so that I could gain confidence and complete the volunteer hours for college. The biggest improvement in my academic career is improving my time management because I used to procrastinate a lot but now I stopped doing it most of the time. And even though I still procrastinate a little bit, I still get the work done so I’m good. 


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

The adult that supported me the most during my high school career was my mom because she always encourages me to do things even though I get lazy and unmotivated. Without her, I would be way worse in school.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

During high school, a big mistake I made was not joining a club. It is really important to do so because it allows you to get more involved in the school and it’s pretty important for the college as well, so I would recommend joining a club immediately.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I have overcome this year is waking up early. In my freshman year, the number of times I had to rush to school was crazy, but this year that changed. I get sufficient sleep because of quarantine and I set an alarm farther away from me so that I can’t reach to turn it off without standing up. It works so I would recommend it.

 
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11TH GRADE: ALESHA QURESHI

JUNE 2021
Akasha Jackson

Alesha Qureshi is a MHSHS junior who has been heavily involved in our school community. She has persevered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has maintained academic success. Alesha Qureshi holds a leadership position in the Medical Club and participates in other MHSHS events and clubs. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Academically, I can say my strength is being able to get out of my comfort zone to achieve the grades I would like to have. My weakness is definitely procrastination, but it has gotten a LOT better since last year. Outside of school, my strength is being a very strong communicator and listener, but my weakness is that I tend to overthink :(. It helps me in school to work well with others, and I think overthinking has somewhat motivated me to put more effort into my assignments and thought processes.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

When the current school year came around, I can say it definitely made me a better student. I stopped procrastinating as much as I used to, and I became more devoted to completing my work to my satisfaction instead of submitting mediocre work. It's benefitted me tremendously, and I hope it stays this way for senior year!

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject this year is english (only when we have good class discussions lol) and my least favorite is physics. These biases don't really affect how I do in these classes as I always try to do my best. I really enjoy AP Language because of the thought provoking discussions we have, but with physics the class is my least favorite because it's sometimes hard to digest all the information thrown at us. 

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I definitely want to pursue a major in a science related field, most likely pre-Med. I've always been fascinated by the field of medicine, so I hope to one day go into pharmacy or to become a physician associate specializing in dermatology.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I wish I had a more positive perception of school like I do now. I used to do work to the lowest standard and hand it in without really trying hard, but now I've pushed myself to learn more and do more so that I can help myself prepare for college.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Shoutout to Mr. Klein!!!! Mr. Klein is so kind, and always has time for everyone (surprisingly). He's always listened to my rants about how much school is stressing me out, and having him as an advisor was really fun too. This year, he's been helpful to us juniors the most as we scramble around to make different college-related accounts, sign up for SATs, etc. He's helped us even through these strange circumstances.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

Academically, my biggest mistake was procrastinating throughout freshman and sophomore year. I never really took things too seriously, even though I had good grades. I think having the satisfaction of a good grade AND knowing you worked your butt off to get that grade is different to be honest. So, make sure you have a good schedule and work ethic, especially if you're currently a sophomore, because you're gonna need it for junior year. Another regret I have is not knowing who I shouldn't associate with in school. Don't associate yourself with people who gossip all day long and start unnecessary drama, because I promise you there are better, more important things to worry about. Make wise decisions on who to be friends with and who to stay away from. Also, don't be afraid to be outspoken. I used to be timid and hesitant to speak up on controversial topics, or even simply state my opinion/stance on them. But now, I proudly get into well-developed conversations with people without worrying about how I will be perceived. Be yourself!! (sounds very cliche but it's the best advice no lie). Anyways, from the land to the sea, may Palestine be free <3 أنا دمي فلسطيني

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

This year, I think I really struggled with self image as well as self-doubt. Mental health is very important guys. Please remember that school is important, but you're more important. Don't stress out too much, it's okay to take a break <3

 
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12TH GRADE: BRITTANY LUCKAIN

JUNE 2021
Dorothea West

Brittany Luckain is one of the most dedicated seniors in our school. She is always working hard to achieve her goals and was selected to present at the senior symposium.


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

One of my strengths is self advocacy. I never really feared going to office hours and talking to my teachers about how I can be a better learner. On the other hand, one of my weaknesses is participation. I am not the first student to raise my hand in class because I am very quiet in groups. However, it makes me a great note taker and listener. 


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Without a doubt, quarantine has challenged me academically. Taking college classes online was not easy! However, I do believe that this has changed me for the better. Not only have I learned time management skills; I also gained more independence. 


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is math. I love the challenge and how meticulous you must be in order to do it! As for my least favorite subject, I don't really have one, but if I had to choose it would be chemistry. I still did well in chemistry, but sometimes it was hard to grasp those concepts.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I plan to attend Hunter Macaulay Honors College as a mathematics major. I aspire to be a leader for the greater good of society.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

In my academic career, I became a deeper thinker and a better writer. When taking English 120, I learned that writing is not about having the best vocabulary or a very scholarly sound. It is about writing in your own voice. You want to sound like yourself! 


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

There are numerous teachers and adults that have helped me during my high-school career. If I named them all I would have an entire book full of names. To name a few, Mr. Ost and Mr. Schuck have challenged me academically which made me a better student all around. I now think more deeply, and I gained a passion for new ideas I never thought I would explore or like. 


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

One of the mistakes I made during my high-school career would have to be waiting too long to step out of my comfort zone. As a student, I felt like there was so much more I could've done. I encourage all of you to get involved! Your experience is what you make of it. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! 


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I've overcome this year would definitely have to be senioritis. There was a point in the year where I was feeling really overwhelmed. I knew I was almost at the finish line so I could not give up. I managed to push through and just recently I was chosen as one of the senior symposium presenters, and then one of the student spotlights! I also passed my college finals!

 
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9TH GRADE: FATIMA CHEEMA

MAY 2021
Anonna Haque

Fatima Cheema is independent, responsible, and reliable. She is a wonderful example for peers to follow. Fatima works hard in every aspect of her life, and is a motivation to her fellow classmates. She values association with fellow students and remains humble as she learns from her peers.



1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Academically my strengths include that I try my best to participate. It gets challenging to voice my opinion sometimes in class but I try my best to be confident and keep the conversation moving. My biggest weakness is not asking for help when I need it. I have understanding and supportive teachers but at times instead of reaching out, I force myself to deal with the situation on my own. Now being in high school and having online school I have taken advantage of office hours. Over the months I have become more comfortable reaching out.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has definitely made me more prone to procrastination, it is so easy to lose track of time with a screen right in front of you whether it be my phone or computer. This leads me to stress over last minute work. Thankfully my sister recommended scheduling out my time and that has been a huge life saver. I've noticed work has been getting done quicker and being handed in before the due date and I have time to relax.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite class would either be Global or ELA. Ms. Veras and Ms. Cordova are such supportive teachers. I have also made great friends with students in both classes. My least favorite subject would probably be Physics. The class is super challenging sometimes so it's hard to enjoy the class for what it is. No, I don't let my bias affect how well you do in those classes. I try to keep my personal feeling behind and just work to get the best grade possible.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

Honestly speaking right now I have no plans. I'm still a freshman and there are so many careers and colleges I'm interested in and I want to take this time to research more into them. I definitely want to attend college but like I said before this is my time to explore my options and Im going to take advantage of this time. 

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

If I could go back in time and change anything about my academic career it would be reaching out to teachers for help. I never took advantage of my resources and left so many questions unanswered. I won't lie and say I have fixed the problem but it has definitely improved over the years and I have found myself attending office hours and emailing teachers when I have questions.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Two adults who have helped me this year would be Ms. Veras and Ms. Cordova. Ms.Veras has been so supportive and encouraging. She even was kind enough to write my SEO teacher recommendation letter. Ms. Cordova throughout the year has encouraged me to keep aiming higher, she has also constantly given me feedback so I can grow as a student. She has also been kind enough for me and my friends to have pre-ela class time to catch up.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

So far I have made small mistakes over the course of this year but that only makes me human. These mistakes include procrastination to leaving work to the last minute but each mistake is a lesson for later improvement and self-growth. I would recommend setting alarms for yourself to help you get up and start your work or just hang out with your family.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

Being a freshman was already going to be hard on my social life. I was going to a new school with new people that I’ve never met in my whole life but add on being remote and dealing with a pandemic it was hard to say the least. I was terrified of reaching out or making an effort in fear of rejection or being left on read. But I sucked it up and made the effort and it paid off. I have surrounded myself with a great friend group who have listened and supported me throughout the year.

 
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10TH GRADE: ANNA DENG

MAY 2021
Subita Sania

With her hard work, determination, and ambition, many can agree that Anna Deng is an outstanding student and role model. She shows great leadership skills as the co-president of the BetterYou club as well as participating in many other extracurricular activities. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My biggest strength whether that be in regards to academics or outside of academics would be my determination. On many occasions I have wanted to give up in school because the workload had been very overwhelming, but I never gave up because I realized there was too much at stake if I chose to give up. My biggest weakness would be that I overthink too much. I truly regret not establishing more of a social life in freshman year because I was too focused on my grades and college. Especially now that in person interactions are so minimal now.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Luckily I have been able to do well in my classes despite learning remotely, and for the most part I think attending office hours helped me do well in my classes. However, I personally still like in person classes more than learning remotely. While being in quarantine, everyday felt the same, and this had a negative impact on me because, even though I kept up with my work, I started to feel less motivated and tired. Despite this, I think my determination to get into a good college has helped me persevere and do well in school.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject would have to be math. With math, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting the correct solution to a math problem you have been working hard to solve, and I love how there isn’t one specific way to solve a problem. My least favorite subject would have to be global. I don’t dislike global, but I just haven’t connected to the subject as much as I have had with my other subjects. However, regardless of my interest in the subject, I always try to do the best I can in the class.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation I do plan on going to college. Personally, I don’t mind staying in New York City, but I would really love to study outside of New York City just because I believe gaining some experience outside of the city by myself would be beneficial for me. As of right now, I don’t really know what I want to study in college; however, I am leaning more towards STEM majors or possibly business majors.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I wish I had managed my time better in my earlier years. I recall many moments in my academic career where I have procrastinated and ended up having to spend nights doing homework to get an assignment done on time. I definitely have put more stress on myself by leaving work to do last minute, and that’s why I wish I had managed my time better to produce better work. Thanks to Ms. Cordova, Mr. Ost, Mrs. Bardach, and Mr. Desai, as well as the student teachers we’ve had so far, my writing has improved greatly, and I am truly thankful for them!

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

My cousin Regina has helped me the most during my high school career. Every time I felt stressed about high school, or every time I felt insecure because I began comparing myself to others, it was my cousin who always helped me feel better. Also, she introduced me to SEO and I am grateful for that because I have been able to meet such a supportive group of people at SEO who genuinely care about me. In addition, I want to thank all the teachers that I have had so far in high school because I can tell that they genuinely care about us students.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I think the biggest mistake I have made so far in high school is constantly comparing myself to others. Even if I was doing amazing in my classes, and I was showing growth in my classes, I was always comparing myself to my friends which in turn made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I would say comparing ourselves to other people is unfortunately an inevitable thing we do as humans, but it is important to take time to be proud of ourselves for our own accomplishments. Just because someone may have better grades than you or etc., it shouldn’t make you look down on your own accomplishments or growth because you worked hard for those accomplishments!

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

As of this year, I was able to overcome my fear of participating. In the beginning of 9th grade, I was very timid and afraid to participate because I always thought my answers or questions were wrong or foolish. However, as of recently, I was able to alter my mindset which helped me embrace making mistakes. During this year, I have been able to participate more in class because I realized mistakes help us grow, and I also realized my peers around me are more supportive than I think.

 
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11TH GRADE: VIVIANA LAW

MAY 2021
Akasha Jackson

Viviana Law is a diligent and hardworking MHSHS Junior who has demonstrated academic excellence throughout the year. She is a Medical Club Executive and helps facilitate and organize meetings among other things. Viviana is an amazing example of the work all students should be putting in towards the ultimate end goal: success.


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Academically, my strengths are that I'm resilient to understanding difficult topics and my motivation to learn from my mistakes. Whenever I didn't understand something, I would immediately ask for help from teachers or peers, and I think that's what's important to strengthen our education. Being codependent and never being shy about your curiosity will benefit you in the long run. I have a few academic weaknesses, and one of them is my low attention span. I get distracted easily, whether remote learning or in school, I tend to lose my trail of thoughts or fumble with my words. Other than that, my second academic weakness was writing. However, I would like to credit my academic success to my teachers and friends because had it not been for them, I would have struggled this year a lot.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has affected me in many ways, but it has also helped me understand myself better. It’s been difficult for me, as compared to being in remote learning, you’re not surrounded by teachers or your peers, as you are in school.  However, I think this quarantine has helped me become more independent and realize that breaks are necessary and significant. I started to learn my limits for work and helped me set boundaries so I don’t overwork myself, and it has benefited me a lot.  Learning to take small breaks, like having power naps or a water break,  improved my mental health and my work performance by a lot.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is surprisingly English, despite it being one of my weaknesses. I enjoyed the seminars that my peers held and it educated me on the variety of people’s perspectives and their stances on morality and analysis of texts. I could say that English once was not my favorite subject, but I learned to appreciate it during sophomore year (shoutout to Ms. Bardach)! My least favorite course, this year, is physics, but not because of Mr. Premmvaree. Mr. Premm is a wonderful teacher who dedicates his time to make the classes enjoyable and engaging for the beginning of the day. However, the course itself is a pain to understand and has many complex topics that I still struggle with.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After I graduate, I want to settle down as a college student and learn the foundations to be academically successful in college. I plan to prepare myself for medical school and MCAT because I want to have a career in the medical field, maybe even as a pediatrician! I also considered studying for a year in Europe, but I haven’t decided what country yet. My goals are also to spend time with my friends due to the time we lost during the pandemic.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

What I would change about my academic career from the past years is to be more open about my struggles and to show some humility. I would get anxious at the slightest embarrassment of getting a wrong answer or simply being afraid, to be honest about my curiosity. I tried to appear as a student with little to no flaws, and that affected my academic performance because I was absolutely terrified to ask questions from teachers. However, one major improvement I’ve made was definitely learning how to not procrastinate. It was definitely a challenge as it took several years to overcome it, but I’ve started to see improvement in myself, completing my work ahead of time, but some days, I would struggle with it. But I think that as long as you’re determined to make a change, that mindset will help in the long run!

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

I think who helped me shape my academic career and laid the foundations was Mr. Sinchi. I had him in Freshman year, and the workload was overwhelming! I often found myself in a short outburst of tears and just a pool of stress. However, I think, in the end, it paid off because his overwhelming workload sort of served as discipline for me. It helped prepare me for the following years to learn how to deal with piles of work, and it also taught me my weaknesses on how I can improve academically. I’m glad that I had him in Freshman year because he really prepared me for dealing with extreme amounts of schoolwork, and that was something I’ve come to appreciate after Freshman year was over!

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

My biggest mistake was definitely ending the drama club. I saw so many opportunities for others who wanted to have some theatrical experience in our school, and I wish I never gave up on it, and that’s one of my biggest regrets. So many people had hoped to participate in the arts, and I wanted to bring out the talented people of MHSHS. One minuscule regret I also had was participating in drama with others because it was ridiculous, thinking about how much I cared about other people’s opinions about me. In the end, I learned to maintain a positive attitude and focus on myself, my friends, and my family.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

The obstacle I overcame was dealing with responsibilities. Two years ago, I didn’t really know how to deal with the duties of a high school student, nor did I really last year as well. In fact, I attempted to avoid it by procrastinating or ignoring my issues. I wanted to pretend that everything was easy for me when it really wasn’t. When remote learning happened, I came face to face with my issues, and I made myself realize that I need to start accepting that as age comes, we have to deal with more responsibilities. I would like to think that overcoming that obstacle has made me a more reliable person for my family.

 
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12TH GRADE: MARCEL APATEWEN

MAY 2021
Dorothea West

Marcel Apatewen is an extremely hardworking student who inspires his classmates on a daily basis. From being the Student Council President, to one of the founding members of the BSU, Marcel’s dedication is apparent. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Independence. Independence has always been something that I have made sure to have throughout my life. It gives me the drive and confidence to know that I have the power to achieve things. I believe that this motivates my yearn to be a part of the school community and to be an advocate for both myself and my peers. As for weaknesses, procrastination and confidence are things that I struggle with. Sometimes my time management skills are lacking so it makes completing work on time hader but it always serves as a lesson for the future.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

For me, my focus was severely hindered by quarantine. It was hard to pay attention in class when I just had to stare at a screen for long periods of time. It really demotivated me from wanting to do work or even participate. I believe it was a neutral change because I learned to be more accountable but I still found myself very unmotivated.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

I don’t really have a favorite subject but I believe that any subject where I can write is where I do my best. Writing allows me to express myself way more cohesively and coherently than speaking would. As for least favorite, it would have to be math, especially in quarantine, it was really hard to pick new math concepts. 


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I plan on going on to USC (University of Southern California) and studying neuroscience on the pre-Med track. I hope to go into the medical field and try my hand at combining medicine with other cool fields, such as art.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I would definitely change my procrastination. I believe that I have gotten better at not procrastinating over the years, mainly because the workload got fairly more tedious so I could not afford to procrastinate as much anymore.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Definitely Ms. Moore. Having a teacher as down to earth as Ms. Moore teaching a subject as relevant as history was certainly an eye-opening experience. Moore helped me realize that I should be accountable for getting the most out of life and to hold myself to a high standard because no one is going to hold your hand.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I would say to really plan for the long term. In a small school like Hunter, it may feel like it is harder to get many opportunities or it may even feel like it does not matter, but it does. I would tell all of you to really go out and find those opportunities and to stick with them because they really pay off in the future, truly.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

My biggest obstacle this year was having a strong work ethic. Between doing school online and doing the college process remotely, it is really all up to you to succeed. I had to teach myself to emulate the same work ethics I would have in person, at home. Once you realize just how valuable and special your future is, you really find yourself doing all you can to make it special.

 
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9TH GRADE: MIQDAAD ALFA

APRIL 2021
Anonna Haque

Miqdaad Alfa is an MHSHS Freshman that demonstrates notable initiative and achievements in his performance at school and in his personal life. His participation and engagement in classes are exceptional. Miqdaad has demonstrated hard work, exceptional participation and time management skills, as well as school spirit by engaging in extracurricular activities. His peers have also conveyed that he takes initiative to help them with school work and forms strong relationships with those in the school community.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?


Some of my strengths in the academic field include my ability to understand what I'm learning and my efficiency in completing homework. I'm also a decent athlete and love playing basketball and experiencing new things. However, I do have a problem with procrastination that I carried on from middle school. My confidence in my ability to get work done also makes me a little reckless with my time but I always make sure to take notes and pay attention during our class time so I don't miss out on anything.  


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I think quarantine has actually given me a chance to become stronger academically in some subjects like Spanish, math, and science. Now that I have more time I can manage all my schoolwork and classwork so I still have lots of time to study or even go outside to enjoy the weather. I also have more focus which helps me take better notes during class. 


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?


My favorite subject is probably English because I love reading and I'm a good writer. My least favorite subject is math. Since I like English I pay more attention. I'm actually pretty good at math but it's not a subject where you can indulge and experience new concepts. Therefore, I tend to take a straightforward approach to my math work to just get things done. 


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?


I am planning to go to college but right now I don't really have any preferences. I do hope to go to medical school and continue my education in medical science. I also hope I can enjoy the experience of living in a dorm or on campus. 


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?


I think the biggest improvement in my academic career was learning how to take good notes and focusing in class. This has allowed me to get better grades on tests and in my overall classes. If there is one thing I would change about my academic career in my earlier years it would be my concentration and dedication to homework and studying. 


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?


I think Ms. Cordova has really helped me a lot during this school year because she always gives me feedback on my work and points out my mistakes so I can fix them and actually grow as a student. 


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?


Some mistakes I've made during this year are waiting to get work done at the last minute and not cooperating enough with my peers. Once I started to cooperate and make friends it was easier to get work done in the break-out rooms so I do advise trying to participate during class time and reaching out to others after school. For procrastination, I advise setting up a schedule for yourself where you can have time to dedicate to your homework or studying.  


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?


One obstacle that I've learned to overcome is procrastination by learning how to manage my time. Now I have a schedule that allows me to have free time and time for school.

 
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10TH GRADE: TYLER ARCINIAGA

APRIL 2021
Subita Sania

As an avid participant, hardworker, and engaged learner, Tyler Arciniaga has always done exceptionally well in all his classes. His curiosity to learn new things has reached beyond school because he is always working on ways to improve himself socially and academically.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?


My strengths and weaknesses, both academically and outside of academics, are similar. I am very hardworking and determined to try my best in everything I do. I am curious about learning new things, by asking questions in class or researching things on my own. My weakness is sometimes I struggle in prioritizing certain assignments over others.This causes me to sometimes overwork as I am trying to finish every assignment that is given to me as soon as I receive it. However, during remote learning I've really learned how to manage my time and it has helped me to plan my schoolwork better, so I am not as stressed.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?


I think the quarantine and remote learning has affected my academics positively, but I do miss the social aspect of school and in-person interaction with my friends and teachers. I have improved my time management as I needed to establish structure and self-discipline to ensure I maintained a school schedule while working from home. I am fortunate that I have my own study room, so I am not easily distracted. Also, for free time during school I am allowed to choose which subjects to work on and I can focus on my weaker subjects. I think managing my time has helped alleviate some of the stress that would have happened if I fell behind in schoolwork.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?


My favorite subject has always been science because I like learning about how and why things work in the world. In the past couple years though I have also really grown to enjoy math just as much. I think part of the reason is that math has really started to “click” for me and I am understanding and applying math concepts quickly. I recently took the Columbia SIAM coding bootcamp course and realized how much coding is based on applied math. My least favorite subject is probably English because it is my weakest subject. English doesn’t come as naturally and requires me to spend more time to keep up my grade, especially in my writing assignments. However, I do enjoy reading and I think that helps me in English. I think I am doing well in my English class, but it takes more time, effort, and focus.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?


I plan to go to college after graduation and I have started to look at several colleges and their application requirements. I am interested in studying Computer Science, but I want to be open-minded as there are so many subjects and courses to explore and choose.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?


There really isn’t anything significant I would change in my early academic years. My sophomore year I started to participate in school clubs. I think in my first year of high school I should have done the same, but I was too focused on getting good grades. Joining clubs I've made new friends, learned new things outside class, and have had more interaction with teachers. I've learned the social side of school is as important as the academic side.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?


My Mom and Dad have helped me the most throughout my school career. They always support and encourage me to do my best, believe in me, and give me good advice. They listen to me and help me talk things through when I get stuck, rather than just telling me the answer. They instilled these qualities in me early on, and now in high school I don’t have to rely on them as much as I am able to accomplish these things on my own.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?


I don't feel I have made any big mistakes during high school. As mentioned, I do wish I got more involved and joined clubs Freshman year. I thought it was very important to start high school off on a strong foot, so I only focused on my academics and ignored the other activities offered at school. I learned just focusing on schoolwork can get a little boring and getting involved in clubs and meeting new friends makes school more fun and interesting.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?


I think remote learning has taught me how to teach myself and be accountable for my learning. In the beginning, I thought school would be easier learning remotely, but realized without the teacher always present I had to better manage my time to ensure I was studying and completing my assignments on time.

 
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11TH GRADE: JULIA CANTOR

APRIL 2021
Akasha Jackson

Julia Cantor is an MHSHS Junior that demonstrates the importance of academic stability and giving back to your community. Julia is Co-President of the Student Body and is a member of the Jewish Student Union. Even during COVID and the pandemic, Julia continues to progress her education and focus on her future. Julia gave a little advice for our current and rising Sophomores, take some initiative and self-advocacy, and study for the AP World exam! 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

I would say that in terms of academic strengths, the fact that I enjoy writing, in general, has got to be the most useful one. Especially this year where my history class is based solely on writing assignments and assessments, this helps me remain engaged in the material and retain information. I honestly feel like this skill carries into my life outside of school, and has become even more relevant now that maintaining bonds and friendships has become even more important. I love writing to my friends and checking up on them, and I feel like that really helps us to stay connected. In terms of weaknesses, I would say my tendency to procrastinate has to be my most defining negative trait across the board. Thankfully this hasn’t had a necessarily negative impact on how I act in school, but it does tend to lead me down a path of nonchalance that I shouldn’t always take.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I would say it’s had a very neutral effect. For lack of a better word, I’ve been a chronic procrastinator since elementary school, and while quarantine certainly helped to facilitate my “I have all the time in the world” attitude, I think I would have the bad same habits now regardless of quarantine.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject would have to be history, and my least favorite subject is probably math. Math has just never come easily to me, and so I’ve resented it for as long as I can remember. Again, I’ve been lucky that it doesn’t explicitly affect how well I do in that class, but I’m sure my negativity towards the subject has played a role in some of my worst test scores. However, for history class, I would say my bias certainly affects how well I do in the class. Because I care about the material, I’m more inclined to pay attention and strive to do well.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I definitely see myself going to college, and possibly majoring in something that has to do with Humanities. However, I either plan on going to med school or getting a Ph.D., so I’ll probably end up mixing in pre-med classes.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I would certainly go back and learn some useful study habits because I feel like I’m still lacking in that area. I definitely was back then, and it landed me in more than one argument with my parents. I think the biggest improvement I’ve made is my ability to check my work-- which seems like a really small feat, but for years I was too stubborn/ anxious to ever bother truly going through and trying to make my work better.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

While I’ve adored every teacher I’ve had at Hunter, the teacher that has made the biggest impact on my life has got to be my 7th-grade Humanities teacher, Mr. E. He was the first teacher that ever really showed he respected me and my opinions, and apart from that, his class was super interesting. He taught both English and History, and I still use information from his history lessons in my current classes.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

My biggest mistake was probably not dedicating myself to studying for the AP World test in my sophomore year. In my defense, the pandemic did cut the class in half, but I certainly could have practiced some self-advocacy and tried to turn the odds of the test in my favor. For the sophomores this year, although it’s a little late, I would simply suggest that practicing and communicating with your teacher is the most important thing to do. Even if it’s doing some multiple choice practice during the week or having your friends look over some practice SAQs with you, it all helps.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

I don’t know that I’ve necessarily overcome an obstacle yet this year. The SATs and AP exams are looming ahead, but I think once those are over, even if I don’t do as well as I hope, I’ll feel an unmatched sense of relief. I feel that the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” will come to define this year, at least for me.

 
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12TH GRADE: JANA LUCILLE SANTIAGO

APRIL 2021
Dorothea West

Jana Lucille Santiago is an MHSHS Senior who shows that you don’t have to be the loudest person to make an impact. Recently Jana along with 2 other seniors, received an honorable mention in the Toshiba Exploravision Science competition by developing a new technology that would help deliver vaccines to remote areas.


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?


In truth, I think my weaknesses outweigh my strengths since I'm such a hardcore procrastinator when it comes to schoolwork. But as an individual, my persistence and sense of idealism allow me to take concrete steps to realize my goals. Regardless of my mental and physical conditions, I'm bound to focus intently until I achieve satisfactory results based on my guidelines. 


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?


Quarantine began at the peak of my junior year and naturally, the unexpected shift in my everyday routine led to severe burnout. In the face of conflict, I was overstressing my academic performance, since I have terrible time management and I was about to be a senior — I felt underprepared for college applications. But quarantine did give me the peace I lacked when school was in person and gave me clarity on what I needed to prioritize. I wouldn’t necessarily say I got myself together, but my habits and mindset did improve as I grew more level-headed.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?


In the academic setting, English is definitely more stimulating for me than other subjects since I can imagine so many possibilities in how I approach a question/topic. Unfortunately, Mathematics is not my strong suit despite wanting to be a woman in STEM (numbers and I just don’t get along you feel me?). Bias or not, I think my efforts excel in a range of subjects as long as my professors offer work that allows me to exercise my creativity and fulfill opportunities to learn and grow.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?


After 4 long years of schooling, a well-deserved vacation should follow for any student. For the longest time, I’ve felt compelled to find ways in helping others which is why I plan on becoming a Physician Assistant to provide medical attention and general resources that families in low-income and underserved communities lack. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll be limiting myself to just the pre-med track since my interests and passions go past STEM and into political, social, and economic philosophies as well.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?


In my earlier years, I wish I didn’t obsess so much about my grades and focus on my comprehension because all I did was memorize material and forget about it afterward. I think my mindset towards assignments and attention span has improved greatly since I wholeheartedly try to submit the best of my work and revise intently for my lectures.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?


I can’t just choose one when my interactions with teachers over the past few years have helped me grow individually as a person and as a student. Mr. Premvaree and Ms. Brown taught me that even when life leaves you grounded, failure isn’t final. Their emotional presence wasn’t just comforting, they opened up a safe space in their own classroom that developed my self-trust within. Mr. Sinchi, Mr. Schuck, and Ms. Moore opened up a new vision towards life and the ethics that maintain the society we live in. The value of the words they share in lectures helped expand my moral beliefs and how to perceive the world’s issues through a communal lens. 


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?


The number of mistakes I’ve made in high school is human. Even with all the shortcomings and impediments, they shouldn’t make an individual more pessimistic or doubtful. Each mistake is a lesson for later improvement and self-growth. That’s why criticism offers the opportunity for reflection because you must always rise with the knowledge that failure isn’t final.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?


Overcoming self-deprecating has always been the largest obstacle to me. I have lacked confidence in who I am as a person, and doubted my potential for the longest time, even when my peers showed ongoing support. I wouldn’t say that I’ve overcome it fully but I do feel more accomplished as my conviction shines through more profoundly.

 
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9TH GRADE: JANA ALBAKRY

MARCH 2021
Annona Haque

Jana Albakry is an excelling student with amazing scores. She is trustworthy and responsible. She has always been motivated to take other opportunities. Jana has outdone herself in the best way possible.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My strengths are that I am a good listener, and always curious to learn new things and explore new things. My weaknesses are constantly trying to balance my academic and social lives. Both reflect a positive impact on how I act during school, because it boosts my motivation and productivity towards my school work and getting my work done.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I think that during the beginning of quarantine affected my academics for the better, since I was able to get more rest and get to split my work the way that I think best suits me. But recently I think that quarantine affected me academically for the worse, since it has become somewhat more stressful and draining which affects my academics negatively.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is math, my least favorite subject is english. I do think that this bias affects how well I do in these classes, as I am more engaged in some classes compared to others depending on the subject. 

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I see myself going to college and studying something related to medicine/in the healthcare field.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I would change not being an organized student, in my earlier academic career. The biggest improvement that I've made in my academic career is starting to use a planner and a calendar. It helps me greatly academically since I am able to organize the work that I have to do, during and outside of school.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

My mom is the adult that has helped me the most during my whole life, including my high school career. She has helped me physically and emotionally through everything.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I haven't really made any big mistakes this year (my first year of hs), but I learned to not overly stress yourself over the littlest things in life, and be stuck in the moment as they don't really matter. I learned to remind myself during tough moments/mistakes that it is not the end of the world, when something doesn't go as planned or doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle that I've overcome this year is staying productive and motivated during quarantine, where I can only depend on myself to get things done. It's been an obstacle to keep myself motivated and engaged during school hours, especially since its draining sitting in front of a device for over 8 hours a day. I overcame this by learning when to take breaks, and stretch every once and a while during school.

 
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10TH GRADE: EMMANUELLA JOHNSON

MARCH 2021
Subita Sania

As a student, Emmanuella Johnson has always been outspoken and possesses great leadership skills. She is never afraid to challenge herself and shows immense school spirit by participating and coordinating many school events. 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My strength is being able to get things done. I don’t like to see assignments pile up so I always make sure I can limit my workload down. My weakness is that I have a pretty tight schedule so if I seem anxious or stressed at school that’s probably why.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine hasn’t affected my academic state at all. I thought my grades would drop honestly with the fact that I'm at home and that enables me to be more lazier. I managed to balance that feeling out and do my school work so I’m pretty proud of that.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

If I had to choose, I’d probably say math because there’s always a route to the answer, and it poses a challenge for me. My least is probably global. There’s no reason as to why other than I just like it the least. My biases aren’t really that strong or weak so I don’t think they would affect my academics much.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I plan on working towards Buffalo University or NYU but I always wanted my college to have a travel abroad program. Since I'm still in 10th grade, I haven’t done intense research on colleges.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I’d probably push my parents to get me into music like a piano or a ukulele. I played piano when I was really young for school, and I wished I had continued that and kept it within my academic life as well. My biggest improvement is relaxing a bit more at work in the 8th grade. I found that relaxing more helps me get into a productive mood when I need to later instead of being burnt out.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

A teacher that helped me out is my 1st grade teacher who always pushed me beyond my limit, but never made me feel sad about not being able to do that. She taught me to seek challenges and appreciate what you get from it if you fail: a learning experience.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

A mistake I made going to high school was not appreciating the time we had at the school more. I quite like being alone but I can’t lie and say I don’t regret not enjoying the school a bit more.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

One obstacle I got over this year was my workload and increase in stress. I thought I was gonna blow a fuse earlier in the year but I prioritized giving myself time to be free and do whatever, because I kinda forgot to do that for a while. Now that I’m back on track with that. I feel way better!

 
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11TH GRADE: CHARLIE LANDMAN

MARCH 2021
Akasha Jackson

Charlie Landman is a MHSHS Junior who has demonstrated immense academic growth and has shown great initiative throughout the school year. Even during these pressing times, Charlie has adapted to remote learning and has been successful in his schoolwork and extracurriculars. Outside of class, Charlie participates in CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), has launched his own coding club, and wrestled prior to COVID. Charlie proves that focus and hard work pays off!

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My biggest strength is that I always try to set realistic goals for myself, both in school and outside. By setting goals that I know I can reach, I find that it helps me complete work more efficiently while also giving me a boost in energy. However, my biggest weakness is my procrastination. While this might be cliche, it is an issue that has 100% held me back from being the best student I can be. During school, I am always trying to use my time effectively so I set goals to complete a certain amount of work in between classes; of course, due to my procrastination, this doesn't always work out... but I think that so far this year, I have accomplished more goals than ever!


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has actually worked out in my favor. Right before COVID, I was steadily increasing my grades, but I was still lacking motivation to be the best student I could be. Since we've all been locked up, my grades have been super high, and I have so much time on my hands that it feels like I need to fill it up somehow. By doing all of my schoolwork as well as studying for the ACT, I've been super motivated during quarantine.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

Currently, my favorite subject is physics, followed by history. If I had to pick a least favorite, it would be math, but only because I've never thought of myself as a math person. This bias has definitely affected me, sometimes I feel like just giving up on a hard math problem because it doesn't feel like my area of expertise.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I really want to study computer science in college, because I have always loved computers and problem solving. I also would love to travel around the world, but that seems like a much loftier goal that I might save for a little later in life.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career? 

Honestly, I would go back and change my outlook on school. I used to feel that my only obligation was to just show up and shut up, but now after having changed my approach, school is much more enjoyable when I put in a lot of effort. My biggest academic achievement has been improving my math grade. In my freshman year, my math average was a 78, and now(so far) it is a 94. That is something I am super proud of because like I said earlier, I have never thought of myself as a math person.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

My mom has helped me the most. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, and despite being a busy woman she always takes the time to listen to me complain about the most mundane things. She has shown me what it means to work hard, and has shown me how to work hard.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them? 

My biggest mistake was not taking myself seriously. I had never stopped to ask myself what my goals were, and when I finally did that halfway through my sophomore year, I realized that I would have to work twice as hard to get myself to the place I wanted to be. I think that many people during any point in their life can learn from this, because if you don't listen to yourself, who else will?


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle that I have overcome is feeling extremely lethargic during quarantine. I used to feel tired a lot from just doing nothing, but I started exercising whenever I felt that way, and now I have a lot of energy.

 
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12TH GRADE: MOHAMMED COULIBALY

MARCH 2021
Dorothea West

Mohammed Coulibaly is a strong representative of the senior class. He is a consistent worker and was selected by his classmates to speak at graduation. Mohammed is a role model to many and represents the ways the senior class has had to adapt to the pandemic through the college applications process and attending college classes at Hunter College. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?


Academically, my weakness is that I stress a lot because I tend to overthink about my schoolwork which costs me a lot of time. On the other hand, this does keep me on my toes and allows me to get my work done as I focus on getting everything done on time. I’m not sure if this can be categorized as a strength or weakness, but I get distracted by information that intrigues me. If I’m reading homework for example and I see a concept that grabs my interest, I’ll put my homework to the side and research that concept for a while. Outside of academics, my weakness is time management because I’m always busy with my life, but it allows me to constantly be productive. My strength is that I can start a conversation with almost anyone because I enjoy getting to know people and learning about who they are. This reflects how I act in school because I’m able to make lots of friends and good company.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?


I think quarantine changed me for the worst because even though I’m still getting good grades, I’m not retaining the same information as I would in person. It has also intensified my senioritis where my motivation for school has depleted. Despite being in quarantine, it is what you make of it, so I’m still trying my best in my current classes.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?


My favorite subject is computer science because it feels like a game to me when I’m trying to understand how the computer thinks to solve thought-provoking questions. I don’t have a least favorite subject because I focus on the specific class, the teacher, and the teaching style more than I do on the actual subject. If I’d have to choose, I would say that my least favorite subject would be biology because I didn’t connect well with my teacher at the time.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?


After I graduate, I see myself taking the time to enjoy my summer before I begin my college journey. I want to be able to (safely) adventure and get to be stress-free. I am planning to attend Princeton University where I will major in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. I also plan to minor in Robotics and Intelligent Studies. Princeton’s curriculum still allows students to have a liberal arts education which is very fitting for me.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career? 


In my earlier years, I would want to stress less about grades and focus more on my comprehension in my classes. I also had family circumstances that led to a decline in my motivation sophomore year, so I would change that so I would be more determined to do my schoolwork. The biggest improvement that I made was from sophomore to junior year where I regained my motivation and didn’t have a single missing assignment for the whole year.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?


I transferred to MHSHS in my sophomore year, but my freshman year guidance counselor, Ms. Joseph has helped me incredibly and I still communicate with her. She’s like a second mother to me where she helped me apply to programs like SEO Scholars and talked to me when I was feeling down and always had my back. She inspired me to strive for excellence, and I wouldn’t be where I am without her.



7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?


I’ve made too many mistakes throughout high school, but mistakes are natural and part of the process. I’d be more concerned if people aren’t making mistakes because you can use them to teach you how to improve in the future. I made the mistake of joining too many clubs in freshman year which led to me being overwhelmed, so I had to fix that by dropping certain clubs to feel better about my activities. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world; they are just little impediments that you can learn from to avoid next time.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?


An obstacle that I’ve overcome this year was self-doubt. The phrase “you are your worst critic” defines who I’ve been for years because I’ve always doubted my potential despite others believing in me. I took the leap to trust the process to see if my hard work would finally pay off and it did. This not only restored confidence in me, but it gave me confidence for anyone else doubting their greatness.

 
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9TH GRADE: ASHLEY GUAMAN

FEBRUARY 2021
Annona Haque

Ashley Guaman is an intelligent individual who is a wonderful example for students around her. Ashley is engaged in class, and enthusiastic about learning. She contributes to her community by helping others who need the help. 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

I think that one of my strengths academically would have to be math. Thankfully, I've been doing good across all my subject areas. One of my strengths outside of school is that I always tried to have a positive mindset. This reflects how I act during school by allowing me to keep going, even when things get confusing. A weakness would have to be that sometimes I don't have the best time management.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has really impacted me in different ways. Academically I will say it has been hard to adjust to the new way of learning. It gets stressful looking at a screen the whole day, but it has changed me for the better. This whole experience has taught me to value the things I have and to always be grateful.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

That's a hard question but I really like all subjects. My favorite would have to be Math or Global. I don't really have a least favorite subject but a class I don't really like would have to be art. No, this hasn't affected how I do in those classes because I put in the same effort in all my classes.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I still have 3 years before I graduate but time flies. Yes, I do see myself going to college and something I see myself wanting to do is take Pre-med courses. If my ideology is the same I would like to become a neonatologist.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

In my earlier years I hoped I would've been more confident in myself and not be so doubtful. The biggest improvement I made is to have a better mindset. I've learned to look at things on the bright side. Sometimes you can't score the grade you want but you don't have to let it get to you.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

I'm new to the school so I personally haven't really gotten to know my teachers. But all the teachers I have are very nice and willing to help you.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

No, not yet but I definitely think you shouldn't let the mistakes you make, determine what you're capable of doing.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I believe we have overcome this year is adapting to this harsh new reality.It has been hard adapting to the new restrictions society poses. 

 
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10TH GRADE: KAREN LIN

FEBRUARY 2021
Subita Sania

From freshman to sophomore year, Karen Lin has shown great ambition in improving herself academically, which has led her to all these great successes now. Her participation and engagement in classes are exceptional and she has taken on many leadership roles as co-president of the Mental Health Club and often shows great school spirit. 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?


My academic strength will have to be creativity, which is understandable why I enjoy art so much. I participate a lot during classes because it helps me express my creativity. My academic weakness will be analysis. All my life, my educators would tell me my analysis for my essays were not strong enough, which causes me to take less risks. Lastly, my general strength and weakness is I am observant, but not bad at speaking.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

COVID caused me to be more open and aware of situations and people around me. I have never really experienced any mental health problems until this. So, I can say it changed me for the better because I got to grow as a person.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is art because I am able to express my creativity. My least favorite class is math ( sorry Ms.Cheung ). My bias towards a class definitely doesn’t affect how well I do because grades are very important to me.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I see myself going off to college. I am studying to work in the medical field whether it is a pediatrician or a nurse. I also want to study music, specifically vocal, if that makes sense.


5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I would change my studying habits. I used to slack off because I felt like I couldn’t do the work. But my biggest improvement will have to be my English/writing. I used to get 2’s because English is my second language. I was able to improve and get a 4.25 on my state test scores, which I think helped me get into the school.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Ms. Cordova (Congrats!) helped me quite a lot during my freshman year. I remember she wrote me a recommendation letter to SEO, which I really appreciated.


7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

My biggest/smallest mistake will have to be not participating more in class. When you are really engaged in what you do, you feel more fulfilled when you leave the class.


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I have overcome is the fear of embarrassment when you answer the answer wrong. It is something that hindered me from participating and now I have looked past that embarrassment.

 
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11TH GRADE: ALEXANDER FOOY

FEBRUARY 2021
Akasha Jackson

Alexander Fooy is a MHSHS Junior that demonstrates notable initiative and achievements in his performance at school and in his personal life. Recently, Alex was granted the amazing opportunity to have a meeting with Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter, the Swedish Ambassador to the US. They were able to discuss the functions of the Embassy, relations with the Trump and Biden administrations, and climate policy. In his free time, Alex runs the Jewish Student Union and writes for the Newspaper Club. There’s a lot we can learn from Alex and his accomplishments. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

I’ve always been a very good reader, and I’ve been good at memorization. Conversely, I’m not good at annotating or (funnily enough) memorizing formulas. My study habits could also use a bit of work. This results in me sometimes slacking off on easy stuff so too much of what I do is a scramble.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

It’s been better for my grades because I sort of have my own schedule, but it’s been a drag on my mental state, I miss crowds!

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is history and my least favorite math. And yeah, I’d say that my bias makes me prone to not pay attention as much in math and be more engaged in history. It’s a vicious cycle, as the less I pay attention in math the harder it gets and the more I dislike it.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I’m hoping to study communications and political science, as I’m quite fond of media and politics. I also have to do national service in the Swedish military, as I’m a dual citizen.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career? 

Definitely my levels of engagement. My grades took hits that they shouldn’t have just because I put a bunch of stuff off (and my teachers can attest to that).

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

I’d like to thank my grandparents for the tough love that they’ve practiced throughout my academic career.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them? 

Procrastination is a killer, and it’s a big mistake down the line. Spend time in office hours if you have to, but get your stuff done.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

Like everyone else, this damned quarantine.

 
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12TH GRADE: KIM SEODARSAN

FEBRUARY 2021
Dorothea West

Kim Seodarsan is an extremely motivated, hardworking student who has a radiating positive spirit. Kim is very artistic, and even started her own art creation business during the quarantine, something that shows her personal drive. Kim works hard in every aspect of her life, and is a motivation to her fellow classmates. 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

For strengths, I would have to say I'm creative and open minded and weaknesses would be a lack of patience. My strengths make classes such as art and English much easier for me but my weakness does make it difficult in math and science courses.


2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Academically, I feel quarantine has benefitted me. The online format has been easy to adapt to and, being someone who likes to do things as soon as they're assigned,  it makes it easier to get my work done ahead of time. I wouldn't say it changed me because I'm still maintaining the same habits I had, but being at home definitely made it more efficient to complete assignments.


3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is by far art and my least favorite is science. The freedom I have in art courses doesn't translate over to science classes, making them tougher for me. I don't think my bias has affected my standing in these classes but it definitely did take more effort to stay interested.


4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I plan on going to college and striving to get either my MBA (Masters in Business Administration) or my MPA (Masters in Public Administration). I'd like to attend school while managing my own small art business, as well.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?


If I could change my earlier years, I would definitely attend office hours more. Looking back, it's such a great tool I should've taken greater advantage of. The biggest improvement I made for myself in school was allowing myself to have time to do things I love outside of school. Constantly focusing on school work all the time was putting a strain on me so making time to do something outside of that greatly benefited me.


6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Honestly, every teacher I have had has contributed to the shaping of my education and I am extremely grateful for that. I'm hoping I can choose two because it would be Ms.Moore and Ms.Brown. Ms.Moore wasn't just a teacher for me but she spoke to me and got to know me as a person, giving me advice when I needed it and always offering her help. Ms.Brown helped me indirectly; her poetry unit allowed me to unlock a hobby I now still do and without her class I don't know if I would've reached that point. Both of these women are so amazing and I'm very thankful I got to have them as teachers.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

Of course I have. I'm human, we all are and we all make mistakes. I used to believe having a large pool of friends/acquaintances was a good thing but that thinking backfired on me very quickly. It was then I realized that finding one of two good friends was way more beneficial and convenient. Others can learn from this because I think this is a common thought in high school: the more friends the better. Having a smaller friend group has significantly bettered my happiness and I'm very grateful for those close to me. 


8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

Being a senior amidst this pandemic has been rough. Something I personally had to overcome was accepting the fact that I wouldn't get to experience the awesomeness that was meant to be senior year. While it was a bummer, it was reality and I'm just happy I was able to make the memories I did before this chapter of my life comes to a close.

 
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9TH GRADE: MIZPAH QUARTEY

January 2021
Anonna Haque

Mizpah Quartey demonstrates excellence in her work. She shows a passion for all her classes. Mizpah has a wonderful work ethic and excelled in her classes. She is a perfect example for students all around her to follow in her footsteps to be successful in their classes. Mizpah has great grades and a leader for students all around her.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My strengths in and out of academics are good note-taking and compartmentalizing information. My weaknesses are planning my free time productively and doing presentations. I think it reflects in how I act during school by allowing me to take good notes and helping me know which things are most important but also showing how I tend to wait last minute and struggle a bit with voluntarily participating. 

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I think it hasn't affected me positively or negatively. My studying habits are relatively similar to the ones I had before quarantine. I like online school for one because I have extra time to sleep but I also miss in-person school when it was easier to get what you need. I can't say I prefer one over the other.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is history and my least favorite is art. I don't think my bias has affected my grades in those classes for a few reasons. I'm very bad at art but I still attempt the assignments and submit work even if they don't come out the way they should. In history, I do the assignments to the best of my ability and submit them. I do the same thing for both classes despite my own bias against them.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I see myself in a good university studying for at least four years. I plan on going to college but I have no idea what I want to do. I've been hoping that this will become clearer to me over my high school years.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I think the biggest change I'd make in my earlier years is participating more. I used to talk very little even though I used to do well in other criteria. My teachers would constantly try but I didn't really do it. I think the biggest improvement I've made is more efficient studying. Over the years I've learned the ways in which I learn best which have helped me immensely.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

My cousin has helped me the most. She's much older than me and mentors me in some things I struggle with. She's helped me improve some issues I used to struggle with before and now which I'm very grateful for.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

Some mistakes I've made were not reading directions. It's cost me points and it shows that you should always read things thoroughly, even if you think you know what you're doing. 

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

One obstacle I've overcome this year is getting used to the zoom classes. At first, I was really reluctant to switch on my cameras and I'd get class times confused but now I've fallen into a steady schedule. I'm glad I've been able to adapt to fully remote fairly well.

 
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10TH GRADE: SHREYA NASKER

January 2021
Subita Sania

In all of her classes, Shreya Nasker has demonstrated hard work, exceptional participation, and time management skills, as well as school spirit by engaging in extracurricular activities. Her peers have also conveyed that she takes initiative to help them with school work and forms strong relationships with those in the school community. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Some of my academic strengths include that I'm very hardworking and outgoing. I've often been referred to as diligent and productive, and in terms of being social, I get along and work well with others! Some weaknesses of mine include my time management and getting distracted, but I'm working to improve that! My traits reflect that I'm very engaged and positive while in class, and it's allowed me to understand what I'm learning and complete my work well.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has affected me academically to an extent as, in the past few months, I became increasingly lazy and unmotivated to do my schoolwork. This is different from when things were normal, and I would be going to school in-person. Before, I wouldn't put my work to the side as much and get distracted. At home, the atmosphere wasn't the same compared to going to school, and I got distracted often in the beginning. I ended up sitting with and doing my homework much longer than I should be spending time with it. But, at this point, I've adapted to remote learning very well, as even though it takes me longer than usual to complete my work sometimes, I've improved my time management by a lot, compared to this time last year, and I turn in all my assignments on time!

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subjects are probably math and science because math comes easily to me, and I've always been fascinated with science. In general, I am interested in STEM, so I favor science and math over other subjects. If I were to choose my least favorite subject, I think it would be English. I'm not saying I hate English class, but I prefer it least. My preferences haven't affected how I do in my classes because I still have to do the work to do well in class, even if assignments can get tedious at times. Also, I love reading, but I don't like writing, so I never really liked English as a subject.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduating, I see myself continuing my academic career by attending college. My goal is to attend an Ivy League school, not just because they are considered elite compared to other schools, but also because the majority of these schools are closer to home and my friends and family! As of now, I'm interested in pursuing a science major, like either biology or chemistry. I think these are my top two choices because I've always shown interest in learning science, and I plan on pursuing a career in the medical field. I'm not sure what exactly I want to become, but I still have some time to figure that out!

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I wouldn't change much about my academic career in earlier years, though something I'd do differently in the past includes having a better connection with my teachers. I find that building a strong relationship with a teacher is really important throughout an academic career because you're going to need teachers who can write letters of recommendation for you, and having a good relationship with a faculty member means there is an adult you can confide in. The biggest improvement I made in my academic career is that I've improved my time management significantly and procrastinate very little. Compared to this time last year, I now complete my work in a shorter amount of time by having what I have to do planned out prior to working on my homework. To be honest, I've never been too big of a procrastinator, and I would sometimes save homework for a class I least prefer for last and think of that as me procrastinating. Nonetheless, I'm still able to complete my assignments with effort and turn them all in on time!

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Many people have helped me during my high school career, but a notable adult that has probably helped most is Frances K. I met her three summers ago and am forever grateful that she is in my life! After meeting Frances, new doors have since opened up for me. Pre-COVID, I was given the opportunity to visit and tour many elite colleges, like Harvard, NYU, and Columbia, for free. Also, Frances has organized free webinars for students to learn about the high school process at her prep program, many of which I've attended. Now, I attend webinars about colleges and the college process and free SAT prep sessions via Zoom!

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I've made some small mistakes throughout high school thus far, but my biggest mistake was one I made in my freshman year, and it was not attending office hours very much. I remember that I rarely attended office hours for support and or to ask questions, and I mainly didn't want to go to office hours because I felt almost scared to ask teachers for help with some of my assignments. Looking back now, I highly regret my decision to not go to office hours because I had a lousy excuse that prevented me from not taking advantage of an opportunity. After all, the teachers are there to help! Others can definitely learn from my mistake as they shouldn't be afraid to ask for help because teachers would gladly assist whenever needed.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I've overcome from the beginning of high school is participating in class and socializing with others. Compared to freshman year, I participate a lot more. Now, I try to break the awkward tension and quiet that sometimes just happens during Zoom calls by answering questions. I've learned to ask more questions in my classes, whereas before I was always too shy to ask questions when I needed clarity. Also, I've become a lot more social and have opened up a lot more, unlike how I was at the start of high school. I joined several clubs, and I've got to know many more people and got closer to some of my friends!

 
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11TH GRADE: SOFICO MAKOVETS

January 2021
Akasha Jackson

Sofico Makovets is a MHSHS junior that has shown great determination and growth over the course of her academic career. Having faced both personal and educational limitations, Sofie has overcome these challenges and used these experiences to better her life. Sofico displays a considerable amount of humility in her interactions with peers and staff. We can all learn a thing or two from Sofie’s warm and delightful attitude. 

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Pertaining to my academics, I definitely like to push myself and do things that aren't easy and will require hard work. However, a weakness I have is that I cannot sit still. I fidget a lot at my desk and my mind starts drifting off. This sometimes happens during school. It has absolutely nothing to do with the class or teacher. I just cannot sit still and focus on a screen for the life of me. 

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine caused my academics to suffer a little bit. Well, a tiny bit more than a little bit. I hate staring at a screen and sitting still so zoom is sort of hard for me. I also had zero motivation at the beginning of the year to do anything because it was so easy to close my laptop and do something else. It has improved though. I have thought of ways to combat these problems such as form a standing desk to put my laptop on.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

I LOVE MATH. Math is definitely my favorite subject. I had trouble with math when I was younger but after I worked harder I fell for the subject. I am not sure if my love for math helps me in class. I do enjoy the class and don't have much trouble focusing but I am not that great at test-taking regardless of the subject. I don't really have a least favorite subject this year.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I definitely plan to go to college out of state and dorm. I really would like to do a year abroad. Perhaps in Greece. I am not completely sure what I want to do in college. I have 4 paths: General manager for an NFL Team so managing, an NFL player so something in sports, a veterinarian, or a psychiatrist.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career? 

I think I would change my confidence. I didn't believe in myself for a huge portion of my life and found it way easier to find all the negatives instead of seeing the positives and working hard. For instance, when I was a freshman in physics, I thought this school was insane for even putting me in that class. I did not think I would be able to pass it. So for the first marking period, I didn't work hard and just kept complaining. Then, I came to my senses and told myself that I am here for a reason and shouldn't give up this fast and pulled it together. Now I don't doubt myself and I am my number 1 supporter :)

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Mr. Premvaree helped me a lot throughout my high school career. Especially freshman year he was always willing to stay after school and help me understand the lesson. He was also the reason I felt comfortable asking teachers if I could stand in the back during class if they had a standing desk because of my scoliosis. I really appreciate all that he has helped me with throughout the years.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them? 

I think the biggest mistake I have made is not having any confidence in myself and choosing to give up too quickly. Also, I hated studying at the beginning of high school and due to that, I didn't achieve the grade I was capable of if I worked harder. Now, the last thing I do is give up and give in. Furthermore, I have grown to somewhat like studying. I am still working on it though. :)

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

I think I have learned how to appreciate myself this year. I have learned the true importance of self-love and knowing your worth. I used to think it didn't matter but not knowing your worth caused me to be in friendships that I didn't want to be in but thought I had to or let myself get treated harshly by people as long as they were happy. It really sucked out all the energy in me. So I have definitely learned how to say no and know whether a relationship is beneficial to me or not.

 
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12TH GRADE: FRATCHELYA CIPUTRA

January 2021
Isaac Lal

Fratchelya Ciputra demonstrates the importance of having great work ethic and determination in an academic environment. She values association with fellow students and remains humble as she learns from her peers. Her passions for her career and future have much value in the school community, as she continues to excel in her classes and improve daily. 


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

I consider my determination and work ethic as my academic strengths and my memorization to be my weakness. Outside of academics, I think my strengths are that I find it easy to empathize with other people and I love talking/meeting with new people but a weakness is that I feel more comfortable interacting with smaller groups. Academically I used my weakness in memorization in classes like AP Biology, a class heavily reliant on memorization, to develop new study techniques to help me get better grades. Socially, haha, I wish I was a bit more extroverted but even so I’ve still made awesome friends! In the future, I’ll try harder to be more sociable.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine definitely made it very difficult this past year. My mother needed help in our small family business because the pandemic caused NYC to shut down abruptly causing a grinding halt to business/income. So in addition to studying for final exams, I had to work simultaneously and if it weren’t for my very understanding teachers, it would have been much more difficult. So if anything this experience has taught me that I can reach out to my teachers and that they will help to the best of their ability.

3. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

Contrary to the Asian stereotype, English is my favorite subject, and math would probably be my least favorite. My bias probably has affected my grades because I found no stimulation in math when all I did was copy and paste formulas while I enjoyed English classes and science classes like Physics, AP Bio immensely. I loved these classes because I loved trying to solve problems, learning about the real world, and connecting information like puzzle pieces.

4. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I’ve decided I wanted to try a career in law, but I can also picture opening a business or trying a career in STEM. Either way, I’m open to new experiences in college, I won’t limit myself to one subject but explore anything and everything I know I am interested in like English, public policy, linguistics, psychology, and computer science.

5. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years? What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

Something I wish my younger self knew, is that doing work in the morning is the best way to stay productive all day and that exercise, a positive mentality, and productivity are interconnected. I’m honestly still struggling with balancing everything but I hope after I finish writing college applications, I’ll get back into a healthy flow. I’m originally a major procrastinator so with this discovery, I’ve made leaps and bounds in combating my bad habits.

6. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Mr. Ost has helped me a lot on my high school journey. It might be because of my bias towards English/History but I’ve always enjoyed his classes, from Global 9 to Senior Government his classes have always shown me different parts of the world and new perspectives. I mean I can say that I’ve learned new things about the world from all of my teachers, but outside of academics, Mr. Ost has been always been a pillar of emotional support for me at school. Ever since freshman year in Student Council, so I’m really thankful for all the support, conversation, and encouragement.

7. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I regret not hanging out more with friends, or with my classmates in general. I was always running about with my sights set on my goals that I forgot I was a teenager that needed a social life, haha. So if anything I think it’s really important to learn how to have a healthy balance or work/fun and working out tiger mom issues so you don’t have any regrets as I do. I also found that hanging out more with friends helped me find my identity and I guess being comfortable with just chilling and being myself. My mistake is that I didn’t do it sooner.

8. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

Getting through the worst of the pandemic at the end of Junior year was the biggest obstacle I faced in 2020, well, in addition to writing college applications. Thank goodness 2020 is over though! I hope everyone reading this has a great 2021!

 
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9TH GRADE: FERIDE COSAR

December 2020
Anonna Haque

Feride Cosar shows excellent work ethic and demonstrated great success. Feride has shown lots of dedication throughout the school year. She is independent, responsible, and reliable. Feride has maintained good grades and a positive mindset academically and socially.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Some strengths I have academically are that I try my best to focus and participate in class. In general, I would say I am a diligent student that works well in groups/teams. Some weaknesses that I face academically are procrastination and getting carried away by my phone/screens. A barrier I need to overcome is my screen time usage so I can spend more time on my passions or pleasures.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine, I would say, affected me in numerous ways. In the beginning I was struggling with focusing in class and managing my time. I would find myself doing school work until 7pm leaving no time for myself. However, as the months passed by, I improved on managing my time and had free time that I could devote to hobbies and relationships.

3. What advice would you give to someone that is aiming to reach the student spotlight that you’re in right now?

I would say that entering class with the intention and excitement for learning is crucial. Since with that ambition and passion comes success in grades, assessments, and relationships with teachers/peers. 

4. How have you succeeded in school, especially in remote learning?

I try my best to comprehend and master the material that is presented in class. I know that with remote learning especially, it can be difficult to focus in class. One thing I try to actively do is to either distance or turn off my phone while in class.

5. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is most likely chemistry even though it can get challenging at times and my least favorite subject is English. My preferences have not dramatically affected how well I do in those classes, even though I like to read and still enjoy English, the work can get tedious at times. 

6. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation from MHSHS, I would want  to attend a college in the Northeast area of the US, since it is closer to my family and friends. Currently, I am interested in the sciences such as biology and chemistry as well as architecture and design. I believe that I still have a bit more time to figure out what I certainly want to do in the future.

7. Do you think every student should have a concrete plan in what they will do for the future or do you believe it is best to just go with the flow of life?

I strongly believe that not having a set idea or plan for the future is acceptable since as humans, we are constantly growing and evolving. In fact, I believe going with the flow of life and events is more versatile and flexible than having a set career plan.

8. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years?

I would change my unstable studying habits due to feeling overly confident in a subject. At times, I skip studying or reviewing the lesson if I feel like I have already understood it. However, when topics reappear in class or assessments I can be found stuck in questions.

9. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Adults that have helped me academically are most likely the teachers at MHSHS. Just knowing that they are an email away and are there to help me whenever I need support makes me feel stable and assured with my school work.  

10. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

Some mistakes I have made during my small bit of high school experience would probably be doubting myself during tests or assessments. I have learned that it is usually a better idea to go with my gut and instincts instead of trying to persuade myself to a different solution. 

11. Do you have any advice to give for teachers, so they can help their students be more successful in their academic careers without pressuring them?

I appreciate all of my teachers at MHSHS and would tell them that their reliability means a lot to me and other students. To lift off pressure from students and help them succeed, I think going over and analyzing class material is important.   

12. What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

The biggest improvement I’ve made in my academic career is most likely my progress of understanding and taking more specific courses and thus being able to differentiate topics I enjoy learning and topics that do not interest me as much. 

13. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I overcame this year was probably time management (even though I still have a long way to go) and embracing that, like most people, I had to start high school during a pandemic. Grasping my head around this fact and accepting the things I can not change has helped me deal with stress and anxiety. 

 
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10TH GRADE: SHEZA SHEIKH

December 2020
Subita Sania

As conveyed by many of her peers, Sheza Sheikh has shown integrity, consideration, and hard work as not only a student but a leader. Her ability to successfully improve on her time management skills and start her own Business Club demonstrates her ambition and leadership skills.


1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Some of my strengths academically are being able to get work done in one sitting and being able to focus for a long period of time. Some weaknesses I encounter are procrastination and laziness. Outside of school, I feel like I have good communication and social skills. This reflects my actions in school as I am able to be engaged and participate during lessons, which allows me to grasp the material we are learning.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

I think quarantine has made me much lazier because I know I am home and I don't feel as pressured to do my work or tired as I would be during normal school. I think this has left some negative impacts on my academics as I tend to put off work much often now, but I always strive to sit down and try to finish my work. Once I start doing my work, I try my best to finish it.

3. What advice would you give to someone that is aiming to reach the student spotlight that you’re in right now?

I would definitely say to stop procrastinating and manage your time well. I know it's tough being at home and having a lot of assignments, but it pays off at the end.

4. How have you succeeded in school, especially in remote learning?

I try to finish my work and put time and thought into it to make sure I produce the best work possible. I take some extra time while doing my assignments to make sure I am doing everything right and with organization. During remote learning, I try to put my phone away or avoid distractions at home in order to fully concentrate.

5. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject would definitely be English and my least would be AP Bio. I feel like my bias has not affected my performance because I try to do my best and put equal effort in both classes, but sometimes certain material is more difficult than another.

6. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I hope to see myself at college possibly as a Business major. I want to learn more about business and financing and I am steering towards that career path.

7. Do you think every student should have a concrete plan in what they will do for the future or do you believe it is best to just go with the flow of life?

I feel like a balance of both is the best because you should definitely not stress yourself with what the future holds because that is not in our hands, but you should also have some type of direction or path you want to head down in your future.

8. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years?

I would definitely try to improve on time management because it was really bad before and I would be doing work for hours on end. Now I feel like I have improved and am able to get much more work done at a decent time frame.

9. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

My ELA teacher from middle school (Ms. Corvetti) has definitely helped me in my school career. She had always been very real and straightforward. Her attitude helped me learn how to face challenges in the real world at a young age. She also led me to become very interested in ELA.

10. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

I have made tons of mistakes that have helped me grow. Whether in my social or academic life, I have made mistakes that have left impacts on me. Others can learn from their mistakes by not repeating them and bettering themselves next time.

11. Do you have any advice to give for teachers, so they can help their students be more successful in their academic careers without pressuring them?

I would definitely say to not go overboard with the workload and to be approachable and organized. Maybe take a step back to check in with students if they understand the material or need any assistance.

12. What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

I feel like my time management skills have definitely improved across my academic career. I am able to get my work done efficiently and still have time for other activities.

13. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle I've overcome is probably opening up more, because I was not very social last year. I feel like it's easier for me to talk to my teachers and friends than it was last year. This might be because of how I've gotten closer to some of my friends and teachers, and I have been able to open up much more than I was before.

 
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11TH GRADE: IRIANNA PEREZ

December 2020
Akasha Jackson

Irianna Perez has demonstrated great initiative and success this school year even with all of the hardships the pandemic has imposed on us. She has maintained good grades and continues to thrive academically. Irianna contributes a lot of her time and energy to the DAC by scheduling meetings and managing them. Irianna is a fine example of students who are keeping strong and persevering during these unprecedented times.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

Some of my strengths include being attentive and detail-oriented, and some of my weaknesses include my timidness and constant unmotivation. My traits allow me to pay attention in class but my lack of motivation affects my detail-oriented nature, whilst my timidness inhibits me from participating in discussions and reaching out for help verbally.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has definitely changed me for the worse. Before the lockdown I had promised myself that I would fix my work ethics, and I was making progress by going to the library after school to complete work. But this quarantine has set me back on my old habits of completing work last minute, which just affects my quality of work and worsens my stress.

3. What advice would you give to someone that is aiming to reach the student spotlight that you’re in right now?

Work on the small things instead of trying to top (although that's not a bad ambition). I'm definitely not the best student in my grade work-ethic wise but I am attentive to the clubs I participate in.

4. How have you succeeded in school, especially in remote learning?

I still turn in the vast majority of my assignments on time!

5. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite subject is math, while my least favorite subject is English. Ever since I can remember, I've had a bad relationship with English, and it's prevalent in the order I complete my hw! I usually start off with math (unless I have an impending deadline for another class), then I move onto History, AP Bio (if the due date is more than a day away), then finally English. Because I prefer to leave my English for last, I definitely don't produce the best quality of work, but I do still try.

6. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

I see myself continuing my academic career by attending college. As to what I want to study, I'm wavering between Business Administration, a type earth science, and maybe even computer science.

7. Do you think every student should have a concrete plan in what they will do for the future or do you believe it is best to just go with the flow of life? 

Different things work for different people. Having to conform to a concrete plan might put some people off, but if you're able to make one and follow it, go for it! I personally would rather have a rough idea of some things I want to do in the future while still going with the flow of life.

8. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years?

I would definitely have started working on my work ethic from early on, and made stronger connections with my peers and school faculty.

9. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Although there are many notable adults who have helped me during my high school career, the advisors at BronxWorks, a community-based organization, have definitely opened me up to a lot of opportunities, such as free sat prep and college tours, preparing me for college.

10. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them? 

I think that the biggest mistakes that I've made during high school are not building strong connections with teachers and not reaching out for help after class. Building a connection with your teachers is important because they need to know you well in order to write an amazing letter of recommendation, and not receiving help after class even though I needed it has hindered my level of understanding in certain topics. I would say that if you still had the opportunity to work on the mistakes I made, you will be making strides.

11. Do you have any advice to give for teachers, so they can help their students be more successful in their academic careers without pressuring them?

There are definitely students who will be scared to reach out for help, although the student should take the initiative to do things like receive help or bond with you, it doesn't hurt to make some exceptions and reach out. It might make someone's day.

12. What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career? 

(I believe that one's academic career is definitely affected by social factors) The biggest improvement is probably how much more social I've become. Although I hate to say it, I had some circumstances in middle school that led to me developing a very mild superiority complex over my peers and I was probably the least expressive student, garnering me the nickname "robot". Ever since entering high school I've definitely changed and am happy to think of my "past life" as some lucid dream. But there is always room for improvement.

13. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

An obstacle that I am still trying to overcome is my participation, but in comparison to how much I participated a year or 2 years ago, I've definitely improved.

 
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12TH GRADE: SIDRAT HABIB

December 2020
Isaac Lal

Sidrat Habib has shown an extreme passion for the work that she does in her classes. Her excellent work ethic and ability to become a leader has isolated her from the majority of students in the school as she is determined to get the work done. As she has excelled in the classes that she is placed in, she is an outstanding example to follow as she shares her tips for succeeding as a student.

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses academically and outside of academics? How do you think that reflects how you act during school?

My greatest academic strength is that I harbor a passion for learning. Even though some content feels bothersome and irrelevant to the real world, I don't mind just doing the work (which helps me get things done fast and efficiently, as I see it as brain practice). One of my weaknesses is that I  overwork myself to the point that I experience mental and physical burnout very very often. I do this because I am constantly anxious about getting work done and even done ahead because I always feel like I'm running out of time in life. In terms of school, this sometimes leads me to take it easy and not pay attention in class, drawing me into a loop that leads me to doing homework or studying last minute.

2. How do you think quarantine has affected you academically? Did it change you for the better or worse?

Quarantine has definitely affected me academically, as there have been many times where I lack the motivation and attention span. It's incredibly discouraging sometimes to be trying so hard and struggling in school while stuck inside with none of my friends around me. Thankfully, I have kept close touch with my friends and classmates and they encourage me to keep going. I try to take advantage of this time at home and the luxury of remote learning and execute everything to the best of my ability.  With all of this time at home too, my time management has improved a lot, as I find myself doing homework as soon as it's assigned to get it over with quickly.

3. What advice would you give to someone that is aiming to reach the student spotlight that you’re in right now?

Just do your work!!! I find that a lot of kids complain about work, which is very inconsiderate and lazy. College is sure to be 10x as much work, so as expected, you are being prepared in our early college school to succeed. I understand school is very damaging to mental health at times, but try to view things in an optimistic light. It helps you stay motivated and on top of your work knowing you will go through college in a breeze AND have time for a social life/other priorities.

4. How have you succeeded in school, especially in remote learning?

Time management!! I suddenly don't procrastinate anymore. As I mentioned before, I find myself doing homework as soon as possible to get it over with and clear up my time, leaving me space in between my day to carry out the other priorities in life. I'm not able to have time to carry out many other responsibilities at home.

5. What’s your favorite subject and what’s your least favorite subject? Has your bias affected how well you do in those classes?

My favorite and most fun subject was probably Studio Art because it was a non-academic class in Hunter, as well as my passion and hobby at home. It's nice to take classes outside of strictly academic purposes because it feels freer and liberating to do so. It also reminds me of my middle school experience in a visual and performing arts school, therefore it is extremely nostalgic and heartwarming. Other than that, I can't say I have a least favorite subject because as for my academic classes, I'm just pretty good at critical thinking and retaining information, nothing special, I do well in those classes without trying much (critical thinking is fun so I enjoy those classes too).

6. Where do you see yourself after graduation? What are you planning to learn in college (or are you even planning to go to college)?

After graduation, I'm hooked on continuing to attend Hunter College. Kids get clowned on choosing Hunter since it is "the easy way out of things", but that's not true. I am working smarter, not harder. I have the connections, credits, and even the experience of some Computer Science in order to pursue a CS degree. Using all of these factors I one day hope to get hired into a really nice tech internship or company. Maybe even design and launch my own game on the side!!!

7. Do you think every student should have a concrete plan in what they will do for the future or do you believe it is best to just go with the flow of life?

Of course it would be very nice to have a concrete plan of what someone plans to do for the future as it really helps you feel motivated and get started. However, it is totally fine not to have a plan. I prefer the motto "go with the flow" because it is important to recognize the events and feelings happening in the present in order to be prepared for the future, especially since we don't know what the future has prepared for us. Go with the flow because if your plan is too concrete and specific, you are bound to be hard on yourself when something doesn't go your way.

8. What would you change about your academic career in earlier years?

I wouldn't really want to change anything about my academic career in earlier years, as I've realized that my every action was completely necessary for developing into who I am today. Without my past faults and mistakes, I wouldn't have learned such valuable lessons.

9. Who is a teacher or other adult that has helped you the most during your high school career or even before then? How have they helped you?

Mr.Prem has left the greatest impact on me in high school. I think a lot of people already know this because they tease me for always staying in his room till 7pm after school even though I don't have his class. But even in Physics in Freshman year, he was very supportive and he was able to see me not only as a student but as a person. I spent the most time in his classroom in sophomore year after school because it felt like a safe space for me to focus on doing homework (since I had trouble doing hw at home). I felt very productive and I was able to hold meaningful conversations with Mr.Prem, especially when it was a very existential and hard time in my life. I appreciate him.

10. Have you made any mistakes (big or small) during high school? How can others learn from them?

Take criticism! Don't be so discouraged when you get a low grade or a very hard-hitting piece of constructive criticism. These things only happen for the betterment of yourself. Use these low points as an opportunity to improve. Your grades or mistakes do not define you.

11. Do you have any advice to give for teachers, so they can help their students be more successful in their academic careers without pressuring them?

One piece of advice I have for teachers to help their students be more successful in their academic careers without pressuring them is to prioritize quality over quantity. I find that when my classmates and I are given a load of work, we get more focused on rushing to complete it more than indulging in the content. Instead, I noticed a pattern that students tend to be more passionate about the content they are given when it is just the right amount and also meaningful/relevant/impactful to their lives. I felt this way about classes such as AP Lang and APUSH.

12. What is the biggest improvement you’ve made in your academic career?

Gaining optimism makes time for my mental health since I realized how much that impacts my academic career and performance.

13. What’s an obstacle you’ve overcome this year?

Pessimism. It's easy to be negative all the time, but I have worked my way around it!