Extraordinary extracurriculars

Hoboken High students take part in prestigious college programs

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Hoboken High School upper class students talked about experiences, academics, and college preparedness. (Ricky Colon, Angel Quinones, Angeline Veloce, Amanda Hichez Denise Peguero,)
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HHS students attending the national NACAC Fairs and interacting with over 300 admissions reps from a wide range of postsecondary institutions.
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Hoboken High School upper class students talked about experiences, academics, and college preparedness. (Ricky Colon, Angel Quinones, Angeline Veloce, Amanda Hichez Denise Peguero,)
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HHS students attending the national NACAC Fairs and interacting with over 300 admissions reps from a wide range of postsecondary institutions.

Hoboken High School junior Amanda Hichez has big goals for where she wants to go to college.
“Princeton is my dream school, and I’ve been looking into other Ivy League schools, but Princeton is definitely my goal. I mean, Michelle Obama went there,” she laughed.
She’ll get her start by attending the Brown University Pre -College Law summer program this year, where she will learn about international human trafficking.
She’d like to study politics as an undergrad, followed by Harvard Law School.
Junior Denise Peguero was recently accepted into the Boston University Summer Pre College Journalism Program, where she said she is looking forward to studying broadcast journalism.
“I want to be a sports broadcaster when I’m older,” said Peguero. “My guidance counselor emailed me about this program and I followed up and I was happy I got in.”
Both Hichez and Peguero are also part of the St. Peters University Model United Nations Debate Competition, where Hichez received honorable mention for her role as a delegate.
“We are very proud of the many achievements of Hoboken High School students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson.
High school students also placed second at Stevens Technology Trade Day, with more than 20 schools across New Jersey taking part. Several students also participated in a chemistry tournament at the Washington University in St. Louis over Spring break.
“We didn’t place, but as a whole our group, there are seven of us, really collaborated well and worked well together,” said Junior Angeline Veloce, who added that it was good preparation for their upcoming AP Chemistry exam.
She also will attend a pre-med biology summer program at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. She wants to be physician’s assistant.

Global learners

Students also recently returned from a trip to Italy as part of the Classrooms Without Walls Travel Program. To date, this program has brought global learning experiences to students who may not have had the opportunity to travel. Over 80 percent of the students who have participated are economically disadvantaged.
Hoboken High School students have visited the UK, Spain, and France. The upcoming four-year schedule of travel opportunities includes A Civil Rights Historical Tour to Atlanta, Montgomery and Birmingham, along with Japan, Greece, The Galapagos Islands, and China.
Junior Angel Quinones, who has been to England, France, and Italy, said his experiences have been amazing.
“I feel like it’s opened so many opportunities for me on my resume, for example, or on college applications,” said Quinones.
Quinones said he got to see the coliseum in Rome, ride a gondola in Venice, and really get to know the people in Florence which was his favorite part of the trip.
“Hoboken High has given me so many different opportunities,” said Hichez. “I also went on the London and Paris trip. It was good branching out and exploring whole new countries. Harvard Model Congress, mock trial, and clubs have definitely been great opportunities.”

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“I feel like it’s opened so many opportunities for me on my resume, for example, or on college applications.” – Angel Quinones

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The results are in

As of April, Hoboken High School seniors have gotten responses to their college applications and are preparing for the next step.
School administrators say 97 percent of the graduates will pursue degrees at two- or four-year colleges and universities. They’ve been accepted to more than 80 colleges across the United States and have earned more than $13.5 million in academic scholarships.
The 80 schools include Boston University, the University of Connecticut, New York University, Rutgers University, Temple University, Syracuse University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Hoboken’s own Stevens Institute of Technology.
Senior Ricky Colon, who plays defensive end for the Hoboken Redwings, has chosen to go to Milford Academy, which was originally established in 1916 as a Yale preparatory school, to do a postgraduate year before hopefully attending The University of Buffalo, a Division 1 school.
“I want to prepare myself better for college and sports,” said Colon. “I thought doing a PG year was a better idea for me because I wanted a fresh start and I felt I wasn’t fully ready as far as football…In high school during football season people doubted and me and said I wouldn’t be a D1 caliber player, and I want to prove people wrong.”
Colon said he does well academically, citing his current A average in calculus, but hopes to further improve his grades at Milford Academy.
Students are looking at majors including art, biomedical, computer science, criminal justice, digital media & design, education, engineering, fashion merchandising, film, physical education, political science, psychology, social work and theatre, and pre-med.

Paying off

In addition to scholarships offered directly from colleges and universities, all students participate in the RaiseMe.com Micro-Scholarship Program, a platform that allows all high school students to track their accomplishments and earn scholarship dollars. The class of 2018 has earned an additional $2,360,274 in scholarships as a result of participation in RaiseMe.com.
Junior Angel Quinones has already received $17,000 through RaiseMe.com.
“It’s easy,” said Quinones. “We put in our activities, sports, test scores, and grades, and different schools offer you scholarships. For example, I received about $17,000 from Wagner College, which would be almost $4,000 each year.”
Johnson said that Hoboken High School has also reported a 70 percent increase in the number of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who chose to participate in the preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, from 24 percent participation in 2015 to 95 percent in 2017.

Marilyn Baer can be reached at marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.