Scholar Spotlight: Ahmad

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Congratulations to Ahmad, our Class of 2019 awardee of an Earl M. Gardner Scholarship, now enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Boston: 

“I am interested in majoring in computer science and minoring in business because these fields are at the center of change.  I enjoy computer programming because it allows me to be in control of my creation and bring it to reality.  When I was younger, I developed several entrepreneurial ideas.  I taught myself through experience and, in doing that, I learned how to be ambitious, patient, professional, and most importantly, independent.  Now that I’m going to college, I would like to add onto these experiences and begin to develop a career.  These objectives will be more easily attainable with financial help and support of my school and my community.”

Scholar Spotlight: Josee

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Congratulations to Josee, our Class of 2019 recipient of a Friends of CRLS First Scholars Award!  Josee is enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Boston to study criminal justice:  “Being the first in my family to embark on a four-year college education means a lot to me and to my family.  Also, I am grateful for being the first, because I can show a good example to my little cousins so that they will be interested to go to college like me.  They can also use me as a resource to help them with school work and life’s situations.  I hope that one day I will become a detective and come to help people who don’t have a voice within society, especially people of color.  My goal is to do outreach and teach people about how the criminal justice system works.  Through workshops, I also want to teach them when and how to claim their basic human rights.”

Scholar Spotlight: David

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Congratulations to David, our Class of 2019 awardee for the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarship for Mathematics!  David is enrolled at Brown University, where he’ll be majoring in computational biology: “It was mainly my time in a summer internship at Day Zero Diagnostics, a startup company whose goal is to use genome sequencing and machine learning technology to modernize infectious disease diagnosis and treatment, that cemented my future direction to pursue computational biology — a field where I can actively contribute to saving lives while still pursuing my lifelong passion for computer science.  I want to be able to eventually help lead the research and development of this type of technology.”

Friends of CRLS‘s “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarships are funded by generous, community-minded, forward-thinking business leaders around our city.  Each year, we award five $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who have each demonstrated commitment through their years at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, our city’s public high school, to one of the STEAM fields:  Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. If you run a business and would like to join, find out how to be a “100 by 100” sponsor here or contact usOur Business is Student Success.

Scholar Spotlight: Benjamin

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Congratulations to Benjamin, our Class of 2019 awardee of the Dr. Christopher Saheed Scholarship for Future Educators, who is enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he’ll be studying psychology and early childhood education:

“I’m going to college to pursue a major in psychology and early childhood education. I want to receive my bachelor’s degree and possibly continue on to get my master’s in social work or teaching. I have experience in working with children in daycare and summer camp settings as well as foster children in a summer camp setting. Growing up as the youngest of ten children, I had always wanted to take on the role of the older sibling. Something about being that example for younger kids is really gratifying for me. In college I want to belong to groups that will do community service for the people in the area who may be less fortunate and I want to dedicate time to building a relationship with the people and adding something meaningful to the community and culture of the university.”

Scholar Spotlight: Sheden

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Congratulations to Sheden, who is Friends of CRLS’s 2019 awardee of both the Earl M. Gardner Scholarship and the Maria J. Tavares Memorial Scholarship.  Sheden is enrolled in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston and aspires to be a business leader: 

“I am not only a woman, but I am a Muslim woman of color, and my goal is to work on improving the lack of inclusion in the business world for women of color in America.  I would like to prove to young girls that the weight of constant criticism should not keep women away from sharing their gifts with the world.  Since the age of fourteen, I have pursued job opportunities, and working has given me insight into the business world.  Working has helped me make discoveries that I may have never learned of if I were restricted by the thoughts and ideas of others.  Other people’s assumptions should not dictate over one’s life, but, in fact, as a motivator for self success.”

Welcome, Alem!

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Friends of CRLS is thrilled to welcome Alem, our media & research assistant this summer, courtesy of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). She has been researching ways we can energize our fundraising efforts and will be posting on our social media and website.

We asked Alem to tell us about herself:

“My name is Alem Abraham Cherinet and I am a rising sophomore at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. My favorite subject in school is math, because I just love solving problems especially the ones that have to do with numbers. I also play volleyball at the school and on my free time. When I grow up I want to become a Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner, and my dream college is UMass Boston. I’m very delighted to have been picked to work with FOCRLS, and I have had a great experience so far!” 

Alem has already contributed to the smooth running of our organization, and we know she’ll boost our productivity.

Scholar Spotlight: Liana

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Congratulations to Liana, our Class of 2019 awardee of the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarship for the Arts, who will be attending California College of the Arts to major in community arts:

“I plan to work in art accessibility, community, and education to try and expand the number of people who get to benefit from art spaces. Expensive classes and materials let only those who can afford it be able to create to their true capability. Art belongs in spaces that don’t cut off people’s access to it, and people who create these spaces and this type of art are vital. My goal is to be one of those people.”

Scholar Spotlight: Katya

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Congratulations to Katya, our Class of 2019 awardee of the Mary Frances Monti Memorial Scholarship,
now enrolled at Simmons University, where she’ll be studying for a career in child advocacy:

If I don’t pursue law and become a child advocacy attorney, I would like to be a social worker for children in the foster/adoption system. By learning about social work and human services, I hope to leave Simmons University with enough knowledge to start making change. I plan to work with young children in the foster care/adoption system and put their priorities first. The most important question that I hope to have all the answers to is: Where is the best home for them where they can feel loved, cared for, and encouraged to pursue their passions? I know that I am only one person and that change is difficult to spark. However, by helping the youth, I am positive that I will be doing what I can to set people off on the right track so that they can make change in whatever way they see fit. I know the value education holds and the opportunities it brings forth. I believe it to be a basic human right that should be accessible to everybody, regardless of demographic.

Zora Says Goodbye to FOCRLS

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Zora, who was our student assistant for four-and-a-half fleeting months, made a major impact on our work and morale here in the FOCRLS office. One of her major contributions was being our official Spring Bash photographer, taking well over a hundred images at our biggest fundraiser of the year. She also took photos of FOCRLS mascot Friendly the Falcon around the school, livened up our social media, designed flyers she posted on numerous bulletin boards, and created several cheery graphics we used to promote our Spring Raffle. In addition to putting her varied skills to use, Zora brought a refreshing and informative point of view to FOCRLS, made us laugh, and charmed everyone she met. Her last day with us was Thursday, June 13, as her school year drew to a close and summer beckoned her. We miss her already and are grateful for her being with us for a memorable semester.

2019 Faculty Distinction Awards Presented

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Mr. MacLaury, Ms. Chaney, Dr. Lam, and Mr. Dagher honored by CRLS Class of 2019

Four of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s most beloved and skillful teachers took the stage at the high school’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2019 to receive Faculty Distinction Awards.  Duncan MacLaury, Melissa Chaney, Eva Lam, and Ibrahim Dagher were nominated by members of the CRLS Class of 2019 for having the most positive influence on their high school years.  For the thirteenth consecutive year, Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, a nonprofit association supporting opportunities at the high school, sponsored the awards, providing framed certificates and helping to convey the students’ admiration and gratitude.

Duncan MacLaury has been a U.S. History teacher at CRLS since 2016. He earned both his Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in Teaching from Tufts University, in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2018, his research on the Black Panther Party of Boston was published in the edited collection, The Black Panther Party in a City Near You. Duncan is grateful to be teaching young people, and in particular, the diversity of youth in Cambridge, about history each day. By using complex primary sources and scholarly texts in his classes, he engages students to study history and its importance to the world. His teaching pedagogy strives to uplift the voices of people marginalized in the traditional study of U.S. History and emphasize the power of people in making change in the world. By providing students with tools to use as active agents of progress, he encourages them to create the world in which they wish to live.  One nominating student wrote, “Mr. MacLaury’s style of teaching is very accessible, and he can reach many different students and keep everyone engaged with the material.  I think Mr. MacLaury deserves a lot of appreciation for his teaching, and I love being in his class!”

Melissa Chaney is an artist and educator who has been teaching art for 20 years. She has been at CRLS since 2015, beginning at the High School Extension Program, where she taught for 8 years. Her earlier years involved teaching at a therapeutic school for adolescents. She holds a Master’s Degree from Lesley University in Creative Arts in Learning and a BFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She has taught as adjunct faculty at MassArt and received the Massachusetts State Universities Educator Alumni Award in 2016. Ms. Chaney believes in encouraging all students to create their best work and to find their own unique artistic voices by creating a positive and supportive learning environment that focuses on students’ strengths and potential.  One nominating student wrote, “I have taken three art classes with Ms. Chaney, and she is one of the most supportive and encouraging teachers I have ever had.  She cares about her students as people, not just in the classroom, and wants us to learn and grow in an encouraging environment.  I really love how she takes time to engage individually with each student, and I would have taken so many more classes with her if I could!”

Eva Lam is finishing her first year of teaching AP World History and AP Comparative Government and Politics at CRLS. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard University and a doctorate in education from the University of Oxford. Her classes encourage students to develop a broader perspective on the world and to seek a deeper understanding of history and politics. She strives to make complex questions understandable, but not simple.  Eva is grateful to her students, and particularly to the Class of 2019, for their curiosity, their hard work, and their excellent sense of humor.  One nominating student wrote, “Dr. Lam is not only an effective teacher but one with a contagious enthusiasm for the subjects she teaches. By the time I was finished with AP World History, I was equipped with not just a vast array of knowledge but the critical thinking skills to dissect and breakdown information. She is also one of the most compassionate teachers at Rindge, knowing when to pause and give students time to process, and she is more than happy to be there for students. Dr. Lam is amazing as a teacher and as a human being.”

Ibrahim Dagher has survived wars, economic meltdowns and, now, 10 years of teaching at CRLS. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Northeastern University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.  Mr. Dagher pioneered CRLS’s Arabic Language Program, developing its curriculum, and growing it to four levels serving over 150 students per year.  He encourages his students to be open and fair-minded freethinkers, driven by inquiry and sound principles, resistant to any herd mentality or prejudgment and, underneath it all, laughing and maintaining a sense of humor as a skill to help them through their own journeys of survivorship. Mr. Dagher is the proud advisor of the school’s UNICEF and Arabic Clubs and serves on the CRLS Extra Curricular Committee.  One nominating student wrote, “Mr. Dagher taught me so much and is the reason I’m going to study Arabic in college.  He wasn’t afraid to stray from the strict curriculum — to talk to us about life, ask how we were doing, laugh — but still got through a ton of material in a very thoughtful, methodical way.  He works harder than he has to and brings so much positive energy into the day of his students.”    

Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School joins the graduates in thanking these four extraordinary teachers for making high school education an inspiring and meaningful experience.

To learn more about Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, volunteer, donate, establish a scholarship, or add your business to the roster of “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community STEAM Scholarships” sponsors, please visit focrls.org, email info@focrls.org, or call 857-235-9290.