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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 that path. 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’s Promise Academy High School as valedictorian of her class; and finally, 18 years after beginning her HCZ journey, joined Center for Higher Education and Career Support (CHECS).

Aicha has been an HCZ scholar for nearly a decade, joining our Promise Academy Elementary School in the second grade. She met Bintou in class at our Promise Academy Middle School, where they became instant friends. In high school, they joined CHECS, our program to help our scholars prepare for and persist through college.

In CHECS, Bintou and Aicha met Rokiatou, who also participated in an Harlem Children’s Zone after-school art program. Through that program, Rokiatou got the opportunity to attend a summer exposure program introducing her to Cornell. 

Bright Futures at Cornell University

At Cornell, their futures are looking bright. Bintou is studying molecular biology with the goal of advancing cancer treatment; Aicha is studying pre-med with the goal of becoming a pediatrician who serves children without access to quality care; and Rokiatou is studying computer science with the goal of becoming a software engineer and improving information technology in schools.

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

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

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