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Harlem Children’s Zone Scholars, Friends, and Now Students at Cornell University

Student in orange head scarf

Three Harlem Children’s Zone scholars.

Three friends.

And now, three Ivy League college students.

We’re proud and excited to share that our scholars Bintou, Aicha, and Rokiatou have been accepted to and are attending Cornell University.

Lighting the Path to College

With their acceptance to Cornell University, Bintou, Aicha, and Rokiatou are among the nearly 1,000 HCZ students now in college and on the path to achieving successful, self-sufficient careers.

At HCZ, our aim is to light the path to college. From cradle to college to career, we provide community-responsive and wraparound youth programs that support children and their families in every way and in every year of a child’s development. Bintou, Aicha, and Rokiatou are shining examples of what we can achieve through this revolutionary approach.

Three Scholars, Three Different Paths

These three talented young women joined HCZ at different times and in different ways. Bintou began her time at HCZ as an infant at The Baby College; then graduated from HCZ Promise Academy High School as valedictorian of her class; and finally, 18 years after beginning her HCZ journey, joined College Success Office (CSO), our program that empowers scholars with the tools and resources they need to thrive in college and earn a degree.

Aicha has been an HCZ scholar for nearly a decade, joining our HCZ reomise Academy Elementary School in the second grade. She met Bintou in class at our HCZ Promise Academy Middle School, where they became instant friends. In high school, they joined CSO.

In CSO, Bintou and Aicha met Rokiatou, who also participated in an HCZ after-school art program. Through that program, Rokiatou got the opportunity to attend a Summer Exposure Opportunity at Cornell University. 

Building Bright Futures

At Cornell, their futures are looking bright. Bintou is studying molecular biology so she can help advance critical cancer treatments; Aicha is studying pre-med to become a pediatrician who serves children without access to quality care; and Rokiatou is studying computer science to become a software engineer and improve information technology in schools.

Bintou, Aicha, and Rokiatou started as HCZ Promise Academy graduates, friends, and Cornell University students. In a few years, they will add cancer researcher, pediatrician, and computer scientist to that list.

We’re so proud of their success and will continue on this journey with them to Cornell University, through college graduation, and beyond.