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Meet our Scholars

Class of 2018

Osvaldo Calzada
Waukegan High School
Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), Tufts Encendido

What Osvaldo enjoyed the most about BEST is the friendships formed over the summer. Osvaldo also enjoyed meeting new people with incredible stories and opposing views to his own. "After sharing our first bonding experience by seeing Mexico lose to the Netherlands in the World Cup, we shared mutual feelings of sadness and hatred towards the Dutch soccer team. So, the BEST cohort and I immediately became great friends."
  Raymond Fasano
New Mexico
Bernalillo High School
Mechanical Engineering, minor in Physics
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Residential Life, Tufts Mountain Club, Tufts Racing Team

What Raymond liked the most about BEST is the way in which the program provided him with academic and social support. Raymond took full advantage of the resources that BEST provides in order to improve his experience during the summer program and the academic year. "I am very proud to be a BEST scholar because BEST provided me with a support group that feels like family."
  August Frechette
Woodstock Academy
Mechanical Engineering and Physics
Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

August believes that the amount of resources and opportunities that BEST gives to incoming students is extremely beneficial. "Without the BEST program, I would not feel nearly as comfortable or oriented on campus. I feel weeks ahead of other freshmen in terms of knowing campus, faculty, and various programs that the university has to offer."

  Mateo Galeano
New York
High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College
Civil Engineering
S-Factor, STEM Ambassadors

Mateo chose Tufts because he encountered an atmosphere of smart and artistically passionate students. He is passionate about music, literature, films, and architecture. He chose BEST for the connections offered by the program. "The BEST summer made me realize how different college is from high school. In the end, it was very rewarding being able to gain the connections that I did. I was able to get an advantage that most incoming college freshmen don't have."
  Aleksandr Kirpach
Cascade High School
Civil Engineering, minor in Engineering Management
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Residential Life, Tufts Quidditch

Aleksandr appreciates the connections he made during the BEST summer program, both with his peers and the school faculty. "I can honestly call my fellow BESTies my best friends here at Tufts, and I am confident they can do the same for me."
  Cionna Orr
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Chemical Engineering
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), ENVY (Women's step team), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Cionna believes the support the BEST program provided was instrumental to her transition into college. She said the upperclassmen and tutoring sessions have been beneficial to her continued success. "It is nice having a group of people on campus who I am familiar with; it is great having all of the older BEST students around to talk to and learn from. I really feel like the summer in BEST put me at an advantage going into the school year."
  Faith Patrick
Labelle High School
Civil Engineering
Jumbo Raas (Garba Dance Team), Tufts Symphony Orchestra

Faith believes that BEST was an amazing program that reinforced her decision to attend Tufts. "The BEST experience this summer was a good way to get me into that college vibe already. We attended workshops and met leaders in the Tufts community, and it all seemed to emphasize the interdisciplinary, and even more, the collaborative nature of Tufts."
  Khalil Payton
Uplift Hampton Preparatory
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Tabletop Gaming Club, Tufts Anime Brigade, Tufts Racing Team

Khalil believes taking classes during the summer was one of the best benefits of the BEST summer program. "I liked taking the classes over the summer as I think I would have initially done terrible in college otherwise. It was fun and allowed me to learn a lot."
  Adrian Portela
New York
KIPP NYC College Prep High School
Civil Engineering, minor in Engineering Management
STEM Ambassadors

Adrian is grateful that his BEST cohort was given the opportunity to develop a strong bond before starting their college careers. "Although extremely challenging, we were not only able to get ahead, but develop relationships with our soon-to-be classmates. In doing so, we have created our own support system and will be able to go to one another in times of need."
  Taseen Rahman
Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School
Biomedical Engineering
Tufts Crew, Tufts financial group

Taseen is grateful for the support system that BEST provided during the summer and into the school year. He liked having the support from upperclassmen and staff, as well as a network of close friends to help him get through college. "If I have any sort of problem, I know who to go to for help."