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Meet our Scholars

Class of 2021

Mischael Anilus Mischael Anilus
Academy of Information Technology and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
BlackOut Step Team, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

For Mischael, one of the biggest highlights of his time at Tufts so far was his BEST summer. Although it was "a hard six weeks, it was a lot of fun, and we really made our own community." This made transitioning into the fall semester easier, as he already knew that he had friends that he could rely on like family. At first, "the thought of studying for a whole summer seemed crazy, but it was a great experience, and Iíll cherish the memories I made over that summer forever."
Adolfo Castillo  Adolfo Castillo
East Early College High School
Mechanical Engineering
Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES)

When Adolfo first found out about Tufts during his college search, he didnít know then that it would become his home for the next four years. On paper, it seemed ideal: it was a small engineering school with amazing resources in a city that he always wanted to explore. Adolfo applied to Voices of Tufts, and when he got here, he knew that this was "the place for me."
Alejandro Colina-Valeri  Alejandro Colina-Valeri
Wiregrass Ranch High School
Electrical Engineering
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES)

In his first year at Tufts, Alejandro learned that he was "not alone in this world; that to succeed in life, one has to learn to reach out for help and to work within a team; and that all of us have our own weaknesses and strengths, but by working together, each person compensates for another's weaknesses." The BEST program has given Alejandro a second family that he feels like he can rely on for support, as well as long-lasting friends.
Kimmee Dao  Kimmee Dao
South Carolina
Cardinal Newman High School
Civil Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Tufts Encendido, Tufts University Dance Marathon

Kimmee has always known that she wanted a place where differing interests and passions didnít drive the students apart, but actually brought them together out of respect and admiration for stories and interests different from their own. Previously, it was difficult for Kimmee to find an academic harmony between engineering, music, and visual arts, but at Tufts, "I found that I can do and embrace all of those things and more."
Jared Jaramillo  Jared Jaramillo
Itineris Early College High School
Mechanical Engineering
Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), Student-Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP), Tufts Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)

Jared has been able to participate in many incredible things during his short time at Tufts, but "I never forget why it is that I'm able to do as much as I can." Ever since the summer session, BEST has been an irremovable part of Jared's daily life. It introduced him to people who would become as close as family, and who he can depend on for any obstacles that he faces.
Korri Lampedusa  Korri Lampedusa
Design and Architecture Senior High School
Human Factors Engineering
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES)

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of Korri's major, she chose Tufts because she knew that she would learn many valuable concepts and skills outside of engineering that would complement the more technical side of her education. Korri is deeply passionate about "exploring the ways design and engineering influence each other," and she is excited to pursue the study of Human Factors "in order to one day invent products and interfaces that establish meaningful relationships between humans and technology."
Joel Lima  Joel Lima
New York
Elmont Memorial Junior-Senior High School
Biomedical Engineering
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

The BEST program has provided a ground for Joel to stand on during his first year at Tufts. He has "friends that I consider family, people I know I can go to for help if I need any, and most importantly, people who can come to me, should they need anything." To Joel, the BEST program is an amazing social network and academic resource that he is very grateful to be a part of at Tufts.
Raul Pech Figueroa  Raul Pech Figueroa
Thousand Oaks High School
Mechanical Engineering
Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES)

BEST has provided Raul with the tools and resources to confidently tackle his first year at Tufts. He feels like he can always count on the BEST family and his cohort to push him to be his best self. Some of Raul's favorite parts of his BEST summer involved the discussions they had in Physics class, and continuing those same conversations throughout the day with his cohort—"never would I have thought that Iíd be discussing Newton's Laws for hours on end and enjoy it!"
Derrick Sosa  Derrick Sosa
New York
High School for Math, Science, and Engineering
Environmental Health
Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), Tufts Encendido

From the beginning, the BEST program really became Derrick's second family on campus, providing him with many resources and tools that he did not think he needed when he first got to Tufts, but quickly realized how vital they were to his success here. More importantly, "BEST has supported me through my ups and downs, and has given me a community of friends where we are all supportive of each other and want to see each other succeed."
Talisa Watts  Talisa Watts
Pike County High School
Civil Engineering
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Women Entrepreneurs @ Tufts

BEST has helped Talisa make connections with people that have and will continue to help her thrive as a student of color at Tufts. Being a part of BEST has "provided me with so many opportunities and has helped me become a better version of myself than I thought was possible, as well has supported my growth in so many ways, more than I could ever articulate."
Yan Zhou Chen  Yan Zhou Chen
Washington Technology Magnet High School
Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Chinese Students Association (CSA), Taekwondo, Women Entrepreneurs @ Tufts

Yan fell in love with the campus the first time she visited during Voices of Tufts. Besides the "beautiful scenery from Tisch's roof, the colorful staircase, and all the greenery within the academic quad, I just loved the atmosphere at Tufts; I felt a sense of community here, even when I wasn't part of the student body yet." Now that's she's a student, Yan is passionate about becoming a scientist and conducting research where she can contribute to the world in positive, meaningful ways.