Returning to High Schools in New York City

The Yale Ambassadors program sends current Yale undergraduates to high schools in their home areas during vacations to speak with students that do not traditionally hear about Yale. The program has been around for more than 10 years and sends students to visit schools all across the country. Last year more than 300 student ambassadors visited more than 600 high schools in 48 states and met with more than 8,000 high school students to spread the word about Yale’s affordability and accessibility.

High School for Dual Language & Asian Studies - one of the high schools I visited during winter break

I have participated in the Ambassadors program since the Spring of 2016 and I love it. I visit high schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York and lead presentations on the college application process and life at Yale, emphasizing my personal experiences here.

Here, I am giving my presentation to a classrom of sophomores.

I always make sure to touch on two things: financial aid and diversity. Too many students do not apply to Yale because they believe they cannot afford to, which is a huge misconception. Yale offers generous financial aid from which I have personally benefited from. Too many students do not know this.

We also have an incredible amount of diversity - students stretch from different parts of the world with different passions, talents, and stories. My freshman year alone, I had three suitemates - a champion swimmer from Texas, a singer from Los Angeles, and a student government aficionado from New Jersey. We were different, yet connected in ways that I could have never imagined. Yale also has four Cultural Centers - La Casa Cultural, The Afro-American Cultural Center, The Asian American Cultural Center, and the Native American Cultural Center - literal buildings on campus that celebrate diversity and culture, inviting all students to participate in their events. They also always have free food! This is so important for high school students to hear - Yale is more accessible than you imagine, not only because of financial aid policies, but also because Yalies welcome students of all backgrounds. No two Yalies are identical and I love that.

My suitemates and I - We are different, embodying one of Yale's most important values.

I really enjoy connecting with students that do not imagine themselves at institutions like Yale. Although no one is really certain that they will get into Yale, there are clear distinctions between students that can envision themselves at top-tier universities and those that do not because of factors that are outside their control. As a Yale Ambassador, I remember how much power Yale students have. I also remember how important it was to learn that not all Yalies come from a particular background. I emphasize this to every student I speak with and am always pleased with their reactions. It is so incredible to hear a student promise that they will at least consider Yale because of me.