2016 Cloud Peak Fellows
- Tyler Millis, Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, FL, MIT (also accepted to Harvard)
- Nahisha Alabre, Dunbar High School, Cornell University Human Ecology
- Judah Bertolotti, Dunbar High School, Cornell University Human Ecology
- Bennett Hunter, Dunbar High School, Grinnell College
- Lisi Maria Moreno, Island Coast High School, Cape Coral, FL, University of Florida
- Eric Garcia, Immokalee High School, Immokalee, Florida, Cornell University Hotel Administration
- J’djouna Pierre, Immokalee High School, University of Florida
- Fritznick Thelusca, Palm Beach Gardens High School, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Duke University Engineering (also accepted to US Naval Academy)
- Santiago Ospina, Park Vista Community High School, MIT (also accepted to Princeton, Yale, Columbia)
- Melanie Lam, Park Vista Community High School, Emory University, Oxford College (Early Decision)
- Tsun Fung (John) Lam, Abraham Lincoln High School deferred admission for one year to Cornell University School of Agriculture, Animal Science; will go to Syracuse University for first year.
- Ilyas Tezekbaev, FDR High School, Brooklyn, NY, Amherst College
- Yan Lin Chen, FDR High School, Lehigh University
- Xiao Han Jiang, FDR High School, Cornell University Arts and Sciences
- Malika Jones, Gill St. Bernard’s School, Gladstone, New Jersey, Barnard College (Early Decision)
2015 Cloud Peak Fellows
From Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, Florida, special thanks to science teacher Dr. Jennifer Kalish, guidance counselor Mrs. Mary Turner, and guidance director Mrs. Betsy Lyon:
1. Thuyet (Tyler Dao) attends Stanford University in California, where he will be pre-med. Thuyet is planning on becoming a medical doctor, and is also interested in becoming a research scientist and in bioengineering. As a hobby, Thuyet paints. He spent his childhood in a camp for Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines before emigrating to the U.S. His parents are employed as nail technicians. He was second in his class at Park Vista.
2. Zain Talukdar attends Swarthmore College, where he will also be pre-med. Zain was president of the Multicultural Club in high school, where he made it his mission to spread a message of tolerance and understanding. He was also very involved in HOSA as parliamentarian, where he developed skills in mediation and group problem solving. Zain is an observant Muslim.
3. Therese Tran attends Middelbury College, where she will also be pre-med. In addition to being the Pathfinder nominee in biology from her high school, Therese is a dancer, choreographer and musician. She combined traditional Vietnamese dance with hip hop and modern dance and led a dance troupe while she was in high school.
From Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York, special thanks to college counselor Mrs. Meredith Kelly and assistant principal Mr. John Xavier:
1. Nikita Samsonov attends MIT in Massachusetts, where he will study computer programming, mathematics, and physics. Nikita wrote a program in 10th grade that helps teach 3-D geometry, and won a national science award in Belarus. He rapidly learned English at Lincoln after immigrating to the United States before 11th grade. Nikita started a Tech Club to teach programming at Lincoln, and led the Math Team. He may be happiest about playing on the lacrosse team in senior year, which is a uniquely American sport.
2. Solomiya Petlyak attends Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and she plans on becoming a journalist or diplomat. During senior year of high school, she was the editor in chief of her high school newspaper, which she also founded. Solomiya is very concerned about the political situation in the Ukraine, as many of her relatives live there.
3. Onur Calikusu received some services from Cloud Peak, and attends Columbia University. He was valedictorian at Lincoln.
From Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida, special thanks to science teacher Mrs. Laurie Metz, guidance counselor Mrs. Melody Madigan, and Cambridge Program coordinator Mr. J. Tyler Bumsted:
1. Dariel Padilla attends Swarthmore College in Pennslyvania, where he will study computer engineering. Dariel attended Dunbar’s nationally recognized Academy of Technology Excellence, where he earned many professional computer industry certifications. Dariel developed an interest in humanitarian activities in high school, and participated in training with the Red Cross. He also participated in the Humanitarian Open Street Maps Team on the West Africa Ebola Project, where he helped create maps in rural areas so the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders could ship supplies.
2. Regine Cooper attends Colgate University, where she is interested in studying psychology. In addition to being an excellent student, Regine was the power forward on basketball teams that went to the Florida state championships. She began throwing the shot in senior year, and also participated in the state championships, and plans on participating in track and field at Colgate.
3. Rex Gonzales attends Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he intends to eventually earn an MD/PhD, so he will eventually become both a medical doctor and a research scientist. Rex received a highly competitive Michael Bloomberg Merit Scholarship from Johns Hopkins. He participated in many projects and competitions in the excellent Engineering Club at Dunbar, under the tutelage of Mr. David Paulus and Mr. Dan Trembley. Rex was also the valedictorian at Dunbar.
4. Melissa Boneta Olivares attends Nova Southeastern University in Florida, which offers a very diverse student body. She is interested in studying English and journalism in college. Melissa was co-captain of the soccer team and the cross-country team at Dunbar, and was also President of National Honor Society. She worked as a professional portrait photographer while in high school.
From Island Coast High School in Cape Coral Florida, special thanks to science teacher Dr. Allan Dyen Shapiro, English teacher Mrs. Rhonda Russell, and guidance counselor Angela Higgenbotham:
1. Dario Labrada attends Grinnell College, where he plans on studying physics and possibly entering Grinnell’s 3/2 engineering program. Dario has a deep interest in science, particularly electricity and magnetics. He also participated in the math team and the wrestling team at Island Coast. Dario moved many times during elementary school and junior high, so adapting to college will not be a completely new experience for him.
2. Another outstanding student (not pictured) from Island Coast received an offer of admission from Cornell University.
From Immokalee High School in Immokalee, Florida, special thanks to Mrs. Elda Hernandez at the Immokalee Foundation:
1. Regine Francois attends Columbia University in New York, where she will study international development. Regine graduated 2nd in her high school class from Immokalee High School, and also received an associates degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. Regine had a truly outstanding extracurricular career in Immokalee, where she was captain of the track team and participated in the state championships, as well as holding leadership positions in student government and in BETA, a statewide organization. She also developed “Hygiene for Haiti,” a charitable effort to fight the cholera epidemic there. Her parents are housekeepers. She received a Footlocker Scholarship for student athletes.
2. Efrain Gonzales, attends University of Florida, where he received an excellent Machen Florida Opportunities Scholarship. Efrain will study engineering at UF, and his brother recently graduated in engineering from UF. Efrain was an excellent math student at Immokalee High School, and also participated in statewide math competitions with BETA. He was valedictorian of his class at Immokalee High School.
3. Alfredo Villalobos Perez attends Grinnell College, where he will study pre-med. In addition to being an excellent student at Immokalee High School and attending FGCU for his last two years of high school, Alfredo was also on the Board of Directors of Immokalee Little League and participated in “Taste of Immokalee,” a project which developed a marketable salsa product now on sale in stores. Alfredo also had a high school internship at Fort Myers Hospital, and that positive experience influenced his decision to study pre-med at Grinnell. Alfredo’s parents are migrant farm workers, and Alfredo spent the summer before college working as a field worker in South Carolina.
From Staten Island Technical High School in New York City, Veronica Brusilovski (not pictured) received some services from Cloud Peak, and attends Columbia University.
2014 Cloud Peak Fellows
2014 Cloud Peak Project worked with fourteen Cloud Peak Fellows who completed applications to private and public colleges in 2014.
In New York, from Abraham Lincoln High School, special thanks to college advisor Mrs. Meredith Kelly, and assistant principals Mr. John Xavier and Mr. Ed Rubinchuk: Iram Asghar will attend Middlebury College in Vermont, where she is interested in studying environmental sciences, languages, and fine arts. Iram speaks Urdu and Turkish fluently in addition to English, and she is interested in learning Japanese and French.
Masha Ikromova will attend Barnard College at Columbia University, where she will study pre-med. Masha won awards for her scientific research on language and memory while in high school, participated in the Intel Science competition, and was president of national Honor Society. She joins Nathaly Santana, Island Coast Cloud Peak Fellow 2013 at Barnard.
Joseph Nelzy will attend Cornell University where he will major in pre-med. Joseph was an outstanding athlete in high where he was on the soccer, track, and wrestling teams, and decided that he will focus on academics in college. Joseph joins Abraham Lincoln Cloud Peak Fellow 2013 Janeil Dennis at Cornell.
Jayson Vivas will attend University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, where he will study accounting. Jayson was the captain of the baseball team at Lincoln, and also president of the History Club.
From Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida, special thanks to guidance counselor Mrs. Melody Madigan and science teacher Mrs.Laurie Metz : Jonathan Amezquita will attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he will study pre-med and possibly philosophy. He joins Eric Conner, Dunbar Cloud Peak Fellow 2013, at Macalester. Jonathan was inspired by the Engineering Club at Dunbar.
Mathew Thomas will attend University of Florida, where he will study pre-med.
From Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Florida, special thanks to Mrs. Laurie Metz: Wahay Frenot will attend Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa, where he will study astronomy and physics, and is interested in participating in the 3/2 engineering program. Wahay joins Island Coast Cloud Peak Fellow 2011 Hellen Barroso at Grinnell.
From Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida, special thanks to guidance counselor Mrs. Julie Zehnder, English teachers Mrs. Jan Klein and Mrs. Rhonda Russell, and science teacher Dr. Allan Dyen Shapiro: Brandon Rodriguez will attend Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, where he plans to study business. Brandon was president of National Honor Society and also commencement speaker at Island Coast.
Morgan Whitman will attend Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, often referred to as “the Harvard of the Christian colleges”. Morgan plans on studying mathematics in college, and she also will play for Wheaton’s excellent DIII soccer team. Morgan was a leader in her church youth group during high school, and also spent ten years in New Guinea, where her parents worked as missionaries, and she loves playing soccer.
Mario Alvarenga will attend University of Central Florida, where he will study engineering. Mario is an excellent jazz guitarist and has experience managing a retail business. Anna
(Thuong) Nguyen will attend University of South Florida on a full merit scholarship, where she will study chemical engineering. Anna is also an excellent 3D artist, and certainly a very able student.
From Lehigh High School in Lehigh Acres Florida, special thanks to Mrs. Katie Tanner, education coordinator at the Foundation for the Lee County Public Schools, Mrs. Claire Forester, director of guidance, Mrs. Jaclyn Golia, guidance counselor: Daniela Cossio will attend Skidmore College in New York, where she is interested in studying neuropsychology, biology, and becoming a veterinarian. She choose Skidmore in part because she would be able to pursue her academic interests and also her personal interest in clarinet, and Skidmore has excellent programs in music and art in addition to strong science programs. She joins Abraham Lincoln Cloud Peak Fellow 2013 Lena Khudoyazarova at Skidmore.
Anthony Napodano will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he will become a medical doctor. Anthony is a very accomplished student and an excellent trumpet player, among many talents.
Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth Florida, special thanks to guidance counselor Mrs. Mary Turner: Nhat Nguyen will attend MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will study computer science and mathematics. Nhat grew up in a remote fishing village in central Vietnam and immigrated to the United States at the start of 11th grade. Fortunately for Nhat, he took physics in 11th grade at Island Coast from Dr. Allan Dyen-Shapiro, who recognized Nhat’s unusual math ability, and recommended him to become a Cloud Peak Fellow. Nhat transferred to Park Vista Community High School for senior year, where he was again fortunate to work with Mrs. Mary Turner, who provided crucial support and guidance in a challenging task. Nhat worked extremely hard during the first half of his senior year to become completely fluent in English (on advice from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth), and earned his acceptance to MIT.
2013 Cloud Peak Project worked with eleven Cloud Peak Fellows in 2013, six from Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida; three from Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida; and two from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York. The six Fellows who are attending private college (and the one who received the Machen Scholarship at UF) will receive an estimated total of 1.4 million dollars in scholarships and financial aid during their four years of college. Cloud Peak Fellows from 2013- 2014 have now completed their first year at:
- Barnard College, affiliated with Columbia University;
- Bryn Mawr College;
- Cornell University;
- Macalester College;
- Skidmore College;
- Middlebury College
- University of Florida
- Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Nathaly Santana from Island Coast High School attends Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City, where she was admitted early decision. Nathaly will pursue environmental studies and may opt for an engineering degree.
Noribeth Cubias from Island Coast High School attends Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where she was admitted early decision. Nori is planning on studying pre-med, and would like a career working with children.
Janeil Dennis from Abraham Lincoln High School attends Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she plans on pursuing her interests in biology and anthropology.
Eric Conner from Dunbar High School attends Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he plans on studying mathematics and possibly participating in the 3/2 engineering program. Eric plays football for Macalester.
Janessa Gonzalez from Island Coast High School attends Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where she is interested in becoming a wildlife biologist or veterinarian. Janessa was also the recipient of the “Take Stock in Children Scholarship” provided by the Lee County Foundation for the Public Schools. During the summer after her first year, Janessa has an internship with Dr. Carol Rizkalla, regional biologist at the Florida Wildlife and Game Commission, and another internship with Miami Dade Animal Services. Cloud Peak Project assisted Janessa in her internship search, and she also received funding from Middlebury College. In her sophomore year, Janessa will be an FYC (first year counselor) at Middlebury, where she will assist first year students in adjusting to college life.
Lena Khudoyazarova, valedictorian at Abraham Lincoln High School, attends Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she plans on pre-med. Lena was the recipient of the Porter Presidential Scholarship for Science and Math at Skidmore.
Four students are attending University of Florida, the flagship university of the state of Florida. Shantyria Jacob from Dunbar High School received the Machen Florida Opportunities Scholarship from UF, which provides outstanding financial aid. The other Fellows who choose UF are Julian Toyloy Stanton also from Dunbar High School, and Evelyn Drysdale and Jessica Rossi from Island Coast. Zack Horn, a student from Island Coast High School, attends Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Florida.
2012 Cloud Peak Project worked with four Cloud Peak Fellows in 2012, three from Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida, and one from HSMSE (High School of Math Science and Engineering) in New York City. 2012 Fellows were accepted to outstanding colleges and universities, including Bryn Mawr, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Macalester College, MIT, Occidental College, Scripps College, Skidmore College, Swarthmore College, University of Richmond, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and University of Richmond,and additionally, Florida State University and University of Florida.
Maria Soto (Island Coast 2012) attends Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she studies pre-med and majors in chemistry. Maria interned under the supervision of Dr. Georgia Hodes, neuroscience post-doctoral fellow at Mt. Sinai Medical School during the summer after her first year, and during the summer after her sophomore year shadowed a doctor at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida.
Joshua Acosta (HSMSE 2012 valedictorian) attends MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he studies mechanical engineering. Joshua has interned with the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Agency, where he went underground to experience new subway construction. During the summer after his sophomore year, Joshua worked at New Valence Robotics, an MIT start-up in 3D printing technology.
Elayne Medina, 2012 Cloud Peak Fellow from Island Coast High School attends University of Florida where she majors in engineering.
2011 In the 2011 graduating class at Island Coast High School, Cloud Peak Project worked with senior Hellen Barroso. Hellen has now graduated from Grinnell 2015 with a BA in Biological Chemistry. She is employed by Teach for America, and will teach high school chemistry in Miami.
Hellen was fourth in her high school class, played the flute, and was president of the Key Club. She is a Cuban refugee who arrived in the US when she was 5 years old. Hellen, who is fluent in Spanish, was inspired by her disabled younger brother to study to become a medical doctor specializing in neurology, inspired by a disabled younger brother. Hellen’s optimism, hard work, sense of purpose, ambition, and strength of will made her an excellent candidate. Hellen has now finished her junior year at Grinnell, where she is a biochemistry major, and also co-manages Grinnell Social Entrepreneurs, and independent non-profit. She serves as a mentor at the Grinnell Science Project, a groundbreaking program that helps women, minorities, and first generation college students succeed in majoring in the sciences or mathematics. Hellen’s summer internships medical research experience at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York City in the neurology research laboratory of Dr. Charles Mobbs, and Grinnell College provided an additional scholarship to fund this internship. During the summer after her junior year, Hellen has been selected for a “MAP” Mentor Advanced Project working with Grinnell chemistry professor Dr. Heriberto Hernandez. MAP research projects at Grinnell are designed to create an academic or scholarly work that is the capstone of an undergraduate academic career, with an audience broader than the instructor and a class. Grinnell values undergraduate research.
Cloud Peak Fellow Hellen Barroso visits Barnard College
2010 Cloud Peak Project began in 2010 with Luis Ramirez at Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida, with the inspiration of guidance counselor Mrs. Susan Shoemaker.
In June 2014, Luis graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in computer science and a minor in biology. He is now employed by the largest computer security consulting firm in United States as an Associate Engineer.
Luis’s internships were at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NEST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Luis also worked in a medical research laboratory at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York. During summer 2011, Luis worked at Swarthmore as a computer systems administrator. During the summer after junior year, Luis interned in a research lab in Virginia, where he reverse engineered an Android malware virus.