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“Without YPIE, I wouldn't have the opportunities I have now. YPIE just helped me to do better.”

  • YPIE Scholar, 2017-2021

  • Palisades Preparatory High School, Graduation June 2021

  • Incoming college student, New York University

How did you get involved with YPIE?

Raheema moved from Ghana to the United States in April of ninth grade. She heard about YPIE from Shemar, a student she met at Palisades Prep, who enthusiastically encouraged her to apply.

“I was really interested in the after-school tutoring. I just knew that I wanted extra help. I also heard that YPIE provides support with the college process. It was the perfect help I needed at that time.”

Raheema started coming to the College Zone after school, studying Algebra and Living Environment at first. “The YPIE College Zone Teachers really helped me. It was all new. I took some science in Ghana, but it was so helpful to have this program.” Raheema continued in 10th grade studying Algebra II.

“Everyone at YPIE was really welcoming. I walked with my friends from school to YPIE. It was really nice, a little community.”

How did YPIE assist in the college process?

Raheema has three older siblings, all of whom have or are still attending college. “My siblings have definitely been a push in my education. They have been pillars in my growth and always have motivated me to do my best.”

With her YPIE coaches and advisors, Raheema visited several colleges, developed her college list, learned about financial aid, practiced for interviews, and wrote her college essays. Raheema applied to about 20 schools and was thrilled when she was accepted at New York University (NYU).

“I knew I wanted to go to a good school. NYU was my top choice. It was the perfect school for me.”

How have YPIE advisors and coaches been a part of this process?

Raheema worked closely with her YPIE college readiness manager during high school and her YPIE college advisor and essay coach during the college process.

“My college readiness manager was like my mom at YPIE. The advisors are the best part of YPIE."

"My college advisor helped with creating my college list, applying for financial aid, and scholarships. My college essay coach was very understanding, she helped with everything and made sure I stayed on track. My college advisor and essay coach were like the power couple to my college success. I loved working with them.”

What do you plan to study in college?

Raheema looks forward to studying Global Public Health at NYU.

Growing up in Ghana, I saw many defects in the effectiveness and availability of healthcare. It is often inaccessible to the majority of the population because of poverty, and even when the population can access healthcare, the quality is well below standard. My long-term goal is to become a public health professional and devise solutions to improve care in underprivileged societies, like my homeland, Ghana."

When you reflect on your high school years, what has been the impact of YPIE?

“I always had people telling me I could do this and people who believed in me. Without YPIE, I wouldn't have the opportunities I have now. My school doesn’t have the same support. YPIE just helped me to do better.”

What will you take to college from your experience with YPIE?

“YPIE taught me to believe in myself and try new things. You never know who you will meet and how they will impact your life.”

May 2021

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