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Tenth class of CTY Scholars heads to college

Posted July 11, 2017
After four years of participating in summer, online, and family programs, these CTY Scholars will attend some of the country's top colleges this fall. (Photo by Hector Alvarado) After four years of participating in summer, online, and family programs, these CTY Scholars will attend some of the country's top colleges this fall. (Photo by Hector Alvarado)

Twenty-six Center for Talented Youth Scholars graduated from high school this spring prepared to pursue their dreams at some of the world's most prestigious schools, including Georgetown, Princeton, Harvard, MIT, and Columbia. This talented cohort of Scholars was supported by generous multi-year gifts from four CTY donors: Sheldon and Cindy Stone, Cliff Burnstein and Sabra Turnbull, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.

The students were selected to join the CTY Scholars program as eighth graders, based on their impressive grades, test scores, interviews, and financial need. Throughout high school, they participated in CTY's summer, online, and family programs, and received academic guidance, SAT prep, and college counseling — all funded by scholarships.

Sheldon and Cindy Stone are past CTY parents and longtime donors to the Scholars program. They have enjoyed getting to know the Scholars they've supported over the course of the program by hosting dinners for them and receiving updates on their progress. Sheldon Stone, who also served on CTY's Advisory Council, said this type of philanthropy is deeply rewarding, as it gives them the chance to meet bright young people and cultivate the kind of talent that keeps society strong. His own educational experience also informs his support for the CTY Scholars.

"As the first in my family to attend college," he says, "I recognize the importance of helping others achieve their dreams."

In addition to their impressive academic accomplishments, CTY Scholars have also participated in sports, clubs, community groups, and musical programs. CTY Scholars Program Manager Makaya Jackson says it has been a pleasure to work with the students over the past four years.

"Their accomplishments are a testament to what motivated students are capable of when they are connected with resources that build their confidence and help them make smart decisions about the future," she says.

The Scholars credit CTY with helping them understand the college application process, make lasting friendships, and build the confidence to pursue big dreams.

"(The CTY Scholars program) made the college and financial aid process so much easier for my mom and me to understand and provided the personal counseling and advice that I needed," says Briana Harris, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who will attend Harvard this fall.

"If CTY is family, then the CTY Scholars are the long-lost brothers and sisters I never found out I had until high school," says David Alejandrino, of Torrance, Calif.

CTY will begin accepting applications for the next round of Scholars in late summer 2017.

To learn more about how you can support a CTY Scholar, please contact Margaret Walsh, senior director of development.