Haitian-American teen gets into 4 Ivy League schools
Getting into one Ivy League school is a big deal, but four?
That’s what happened to Marie-Fatima Hyacinthe, 17, a first-generation Haitian-American student who was born and raised in New York's working class neighborhood of East Flatbush in Brooklyn.
The teenager talked to ESSENCE.com about being accepted at Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University and University of Pennsylvania. She also discussed why she settled on Harvard and the importance of education. Here’s part of the interview, and you can find the rest at ESSENCE.com, here.
ESSENCE.com: Can you tell us about finding out you had been accepted into Harvard, Yale, University of Pennsylvania and Brown?
MARIE-FATIMA HYACINTHE: I’m still in shock. My friends were really excited and said they weren’t surprised, but I was....
ESSENCE.com: Tell us about your high school career. What helped you get to where you are?
HYACINTHE: In the seventh grade my family applied for a program called "A Better Chance" which helps students of minority backgrounds get into independent schools all over the country. Because of that I was able to attend the Hewitt School, an all-girls independent school in New York City. It’s really small -- there are only 30 of us in our grade -- so I was able to see where my passions lied and really cultivate my interests. I can say my school played a huge part because its so small and we got individualized attention.
ESSENCE.com: What kind of student are you?
HYACINTHE: I’m one of those people who loves to learn new things. I’m a very big reader and I like having conversations at all times. I think some of my best learning moments have come from my peers, which is the reason why I chose Harvard because I felt like the students there would have a lot to teach me. I hate math, but other than that I’m a very open and interested learner.
ESSENCE.com: What about the way your parents raised you made it possible for you to be so interested in learning?
HYACINTHE: I come from a family that is very interested in education. My mother works as a social worker in schools, I have an aunt who is a teacher and another who is a principal. I’m a first-generation Haitian-American. My parents are Haitian immigrants so they value education and hard work above everything because of their background. That taught me to try my best and constantly work at my highest potential. I think I’ve learned a lot about self-motivation and being community-minded from my parents.
ESSENCE.com: Have you thought about what this means to you as a Black female?
HYACINTHE: The school that I just graduated from is on the Upper East Side of Manhattan so I’m used to being one of a few students of minority background. I feel like it’s not going to be that much of a change, besides, Harvard has a very strong African-American community so I think I’m prepared. I’ve had this conversation with my family and I think I’m ready.
Follow my blog all day, every day by bookmarking washingtonpost.com/answersheet. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed Bookmark it!
| June 28, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories: College Admissions | Tags: cc, getting into the ivy league, haitian american accepted into four ivy league schools, ivy league admissions, teen accepted into four ivy league schools
Save & Share: Previous: Obama policy blamed for popular principal's reassignment
Next: Willingham: Newsweek story on single-sex ed research misses mark
Posted by: Cal_Lanier | June 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: eaglechik | June 28, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | June 28, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BerkeleyBW | June 28, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hainish | June 30, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.