The RISE Postsecondary Success team partners with CT high schools to ensure that all students graduate on time and complete milestones for their identified postsecondary plans. Throughout the month of June, we will be celebrating the accomplishments of graduating seniors in our core network schools. Their dedication, hard work, and resilience have led them to this important goal. Congratulations to the class of 2023!
Today, we are sharing an interview with Nyshawn Robinson (above, left), Christopher Torres (above, center), and Delanjo Wright (above, right), from Hartford Public High School.
What is your plan, after you graduate high school?
Nyshawn: I will be attending UCONN, majoring in engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering. I became interested in this as I like the environment and being on the computer, and I have the desire to help the environment in a career capacity.
Christopher: I will be attending UCONN. I’m planning to study either business or graphic/digital design, as I ultimately want to do something creative.
Deljano: I will be attending UCONN in the fall, majoring in exercise science with a concentration in biology. I hope to pursue a career in physical therapy. I first became interested in this career due to my interest in human biology and athletics. I want to understand how the human body works and use this knowledge to improve my own practice as an athlete and within my career.
Have you received any scholarships or special acknowledgments?
Nyshawn: I received the Hartford Promise scholarship, as well as local Hartford awards and alumni awards.
Christopher: I received alumni scholarships, the Hartford Promise scholarship, which is awarded to Hartford residents that meet a certain GPA and attendance requirement, and the Fox Scholarship.
Deljano: I have received several scholarships, including one from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Through UCONN I received grants for my tuition and alumni awards from the school.
What support did you receive to help you form your postsecondary plan?
Nyshawn: I already knew that college would be the plan but wondered how I would be able to pay for it. I received an email from Mrs. Crittenden in the summer about the Hartford Promise scholarship. From that moment, I was able to follow up with her to get everything done and “made her my best friend.” Before this, I didn’t know about a plan for FAFSA and she really helped me with the FAFSA process.
Christopher: Ms. Crittenden helped me with scholarships, using Google Classroom for resources, grants, and scholarships to help make tuition affordable. She also recommended that I apply for the Fox Scholarship and was very helpful with the process.
Deljano: Ms. Crittenden, the College & Career Readiness Coordinator, persuaded me to pursue college. My teachers were supportive in dedicating their time to write letters of recommendation and giving advice on my continuing education journey. My academic advisor was also helpful in keeping me on my pathway.
What advice would you give to a rising senior? What resources or support should they take advantage of?
Nyshawn: Know what you are getting yourself into, but always be prepared for a different outcome. Don’t run away from help. You are not alone in this and someone can help you. Also, don’t run away from your college counselor!
Christopher: Advocate for yourself. If you don’t ask, it’s always going to be a no. Don’t pass on applying to college even if you don’t have the funds to afford it. There are always scholarships and ways to pay. Just apply and have a positive mindset.
Deljano: There will be challenges, so have an open mind as to where your life might go. I wanted to be a Marine and really thought this would be my plan, but the plan changes sometimes in life. Don’t wait to get things done – having things left on the table is what causes stress.
What are you most proud of, as you look back on your high school experience?
Nyshawn: Staying on task from Grade 9, and not letting anything sway me through the process. I just kept going.
Christopher: I’m proud of the moments I had here, the friends I made, passing my capstone (graduation class), and earning the Hartford Promise scholarship.
Deljano: A number of things come to mind, but mainly, that I needed to manage a lot of different things, including school, extracurricular experiences, and home responsibilities. But I stood up to the challenge, embraced the difficulty, and did what I needed to do to be successful.
What are you most looking forward to, as you look ahead to the future?
Nyshawn: I’m looking forward to saying, “Look at all the challenges I faced and overcame.” I became something.
Christopher: I’m looking forward to the college experiences and getting to do more things. My high school experience was different because of what didn’t happen in high school during COVID. I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish from here
Deljano: I am most looking forward to becoming an excellent physical therapist. I also hope to improve on certain skills in life, like my favorite hobbies of chess, running, and learning other languages.