CDI News | Summer 2018

Sisters Make History at MCNDHS!

Manhattan Comprehensive Valedictorian Jiayi Huang addresses the crowd at graduation last month alongside her sister, Salutatorian Xiaofeng Huang

History was made at Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School this year when sisters Jiayi and Xiaofeng Huang graduated as Valedictorian and Salutatorian. The sisters excelled in AP calculus and AP Chinese among their other classes. Jiyai was also a member of the Biobuilders Club and helped present their Synthetic Biology Project at MIT in March. When the sisters got to the school, they joined other new immigrants from more than 50 countries who represent roughly half of MCNDHS’s population every year. Jiayi said, “At first both of us were reluctant to speak up in class because we thought our English wasn’t good enough. Some of our classmates were braver and answered questions anyway. That gave us more confidence to try. All of us learned a lot from each other.”

Jiayi closed by telling her fellow graduates “I want to share with you what my CDI college advisor Ms. Patience told me: No one can be perfect. Let’s enjoy the process.” Jiayi will be attending Hunter College and Xiaofeng will be attending Baruch in the fall. Congratulations to the Huang sisters and all graduates from the Class of 2018!

Where Preparation Meets Summer

CDI Board Member Ellen Taus helps sharpen HPHS student Sara R’s college essay

During the summer, CDI hosts three installments of a two-week Summer College Bridge Program at The High School for Health Professions and Human Services that help prepare rising seniors for the college application process. Ninety-five students are taking part in the program which includes trips, writing workshops and meetings with CDI counselors. One day was devoted to having professionals from the outside edit students’ college essays. Volunteers with a wide range of business and writing backgrounds come to the school to offer their input and expertise. CDI Site Coordinator Fatimah Shalash says “It’s a great way for the college and career staff to come together over the summer and get a head start on building relationships with students. It’s amazing to see the transformation the students go through – they come in nervous and leave feeling more confident and prepared.”

Other days have been devoted to helping students look at their range of college opportunities. Student Diana C said “Ms. Shari taught me how to do a college search. I had a list of dream schools that I had chosen based on their prestige. I didn’t take into consideration things like school size, tuition and how much of that my financial aid might cover. Also I didn’t realize that some of the schools I chose didn’t even have the major I’m interested in. Now I’m actually looking forward to doing my college applications.”

If you would like to volunteer for the final college bridge seminar on August 14th from 12-1 pm, contact fatimahshalash@cdi-ny.org.

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