Congratulations to Christopher Cecila '20, who was recently named a 2019-2020 Scholar from the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program! Recipients must have over a 3.5 GPA by the middle of their junior year, reach a qualifying level on the preliminary SAT and identify as Hispanic. Chris has been an engaged member of the PDS community since he joined the school in the 6th Grade. He is a member of the Varsity Boys Ice Hockey and Varsity Golf teams, as well as a co-head of the Y Chromosomes a cappella group and a Peer Group leader.
Chris first learned about the National Hispanic Recognition Program this past summer at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Youth Leadership Institute. YLI is a four-day, overnight college empowerment conference for 200 high school juniors who identify as Hispanic. It is held at three top universities across the U.S. and Chris attended the University of Chicago conference. This program, which is highly selective, is designed to give young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities and have full access to scholarship opportunities. During the four-day institute Chris was able to refine his leadership skills, participate in college and career workshops and prepare for a successful future in college and beyond. Chris said that it was "humbling but also striking to see that many gifted people in one place and to be recognized as their equal."
When asked about his favorite class at PDS, Chris did not skip a beat in responding that the most influential class he took was AP Spanish Literature with Señora Simonds. Chris described the class, which had only five students, as very dynamic and interactive. Of key importance to Chris was the "collaborative environment, where [we] became a support system for each other." While it was one of the toughest classes he has taken, Chris said, he valued the meaningful connections and the in-depth discussions that flourished in the class.
Congratulations, Chris, on this notable achievement!