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Seven students who will be graduating from New Jersey charter schools this spring received full four-year scholarships to attend some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges through QuestBridge, a national program that helps high-achieving seniors from low-income backgrounds realize their college dreams.
The seven seniors will be attending Yale University, Wellesley College, University of Chicago, Tufts University, Brown University, Vanderbilt University and Haverford College.
Out of more than 16,000 applicants from across the nation, 1,674 students, including 79 in New Jersey, received scholarships.
“QuestBridge is among the most competitive scholarship programs in the country and we are extremely proud of these talented students who will have the opportunity to attend top colleges without the worry of how to pay for their education,” said Harry Lee, president of the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association. “Considering that only 79 students from New Jersey received QuestBridge scholars and nearly 10% are from public charter schools, it speaks volumes about the quality of education that economically challenged students are receiving at these schools.”
Seniors from three New Jersey charter schools received the scholarships. Uncommon Schools North Star Academy in Newark had four, KIPP Newark’s Collegiate Academy had two and the Academy for Urban Leadership Charter School (AULCS) in Perth Amboy had one.
North Star Academy’s four QuestBridge scholars are Stephanie Akuakolam, who will be attending Wellesely; Oladayo Oladitan, who’ll be attending University of Chicago; Oluwadamilola Ekundayo, who’ll be attending Yale; and Alijah Jackson, who’ll be attending Tufts.
“Our students are powerful and these awards demonstrate how well they persisted in spite of the many challenges they have faced,” said Julie Jackson, the president of Uncommon Schools. “The awards show their readiness to excel in college and life beyond college. We congratulate them and their peers during this exciting time when college acceptances and scholarships keep rolling in.”
Collegiate Academy’s two QuestBridge scholars are Fadloullah Adome, who’ll be attending Vanderbilt and Fabian Castro, who’ll be attending Haverford.
“The commitment to academic excellence shown by Fadloullah and Fabian is truly an inspiration to our entire KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy community and underscores our school values of humanity, excellence and courage,” said Sharmaine Lewis, the school leader of Collegiate Academy.
“The award of the QuestBridge National College Match is a testament of their hard work and all they’ve accomplished so far as well as a preview of amazing things to come,” Lewis said. “Fadloullah and Fabian are true luminaries.”
Adriel Fernandez, who has attended AULCS’s since eighth grade will be attending Brown.
“Adriel has demonstrated a deep commitment to personal development, the service of others, and academic excellence,” said Peter D. Salek-Nejad, director of Special Programs for AULCS. “He has proven to be a dedicated individual who remains committed to his studies and extracurricular activities, and credits his success to the close-knit community at AULCS, which enabled him to reach beyond even his own expectations of himself.”