Real Stories / Scholars
Education has changed everything for these promising Hartford Youth Scholars.
These talented and capable Scholars come from underserved communities in Hartford and have embarked on a rigorous educational program that has cultivated intellectual curiosity and a love of learning. Here are their stories.
Meet DIOMAND HENRY
“HYS helped me on my journey to achieve my goals by teaching me self-advocacy, hard work, determination and dedication.”
I was born and raised in Hartford, CT by my grandmother. I am a proud member of Cohort 3, and an alumni of The Loomis Chaffee School. I am currently a sophomore at Haverford College, majoring in Psychology with minors in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and Gender and Sexuality Studies. I intend to pursue a PhD in Psychology and a JD in Criminal Law. I believe HYS helped me on my journey to achieve my goals by teaching me self-advocacy, hard work, determination and dedication. My favorite quote from the program is “nothing is deserved”.
Meet PRATIMA SINGH
“Without HYS’ constant and unyielding support, I would have neither the drive nor ambition to discover and achieve my greatest dreams.”
My name is Pratima Singh and I am a Steppingstone Academy Hartford alumna and a member of HYS’ third cohort. I graduated from Berkshire School in 2014, and I am currently a sophomore at Syracuse University, where I am studying English and Education. Without HYS’ constant and unyielding support, I would have neither the drive nor ambition to discover and achieve my greatest dreams. I am especially thankful to HYS for introducing me to Berkshire, where I had the “ideal high school experience”. Because of HYS’ guidance and inspiration, I am determined to make a change in America’s educational system, just as HYS is doing in Hartford. I now live and breathe my alma mater’s motto, “Not just for school, but for life”, and because of HYS, I wholeheartedly believe in the idea that every student has the potential to change the world with their ideas alone.
Meet FRANCISCO CHANG
“This program also helped me with the College process and for that I am eternally grateful. I will be attending one of my top choices of college, and I feel ready and excited to attend.”
I am a member of Cohort 4 and will be attending Trinity College this Fall as a member of the Class of 2019. I live in Hartford with my parents. Steppingstone Academy Hartford has had a huge impact on my life. This program helped me by taking me out of my comfort zone and pushing my boundaries. Thanks to this program, I was able to be accepting of any academic challenge. I was also able to experience new things (like Sushi!) and I was able to explore new ideas in class. I heard different views and learned many different things. This program also helped me with the College process and for that I am eternally grateful. I will be attending one of my top choices of college and I feel ready to and excited to attend.
Meet ISAAC GUZMAN
“HYS is more than a foundation: we are a family. I aspire to change the world, because my family gave me the tools to do so.”
My name is Isaac James Guzman, and I am an alumnus of the Hartford Youth Scholars, Cohort 6. Currently, I am a junior at the Loomis Chaffee School. I would not be who I am today, without the tremendous amount of help from the Hartford Youth Scholars. Attending boarding school was a foreign concept prior to HYS, but now I return every fall to one of the best boarding schools in the nation. Now that I am an alumnus, it has allowed me to spend a great deal of time reflecting upon my experience. Every single time I look back, I am reminded of the love. The love that bonded everyone together, and the love that helped me grow. HYS is more than a foundation: we are a family. I aspire to change the world, because my family gave me the tools to do so.
Meet DAMARIS ESTRADA
“HYS is not only a program designed to serve students’ needs for school but also a group of wonderful people who genuinely care for students’ success.”
I am 20 years old currently working and attending college. Without the help and support of HYS, I probably wouldn’t be where I am. HYS Is not only a program designed to serve students needs for school, but also a group of wonderful people who genuinely care for students success. Throughout the years I have grown closer to the HYS Staff and I will like to thank them for their generosity and time spent in mentoring us not only academically, but socially as well. I would also like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to be an intern at their office. I will like to give a shout out to Erica Graff who shows dedication to the Scholars and goes beyond what is expected, like the time she spent taking me to different colleges and was there to support me in making the best choices. She has been a great mentor and advisor who I know I can rely on when in need of someone to talk to and whom will listen. Thanks again to all of you!