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Meet our Scholars

Class of 2024

Zharia Akeem Zharia Akeem
Renaissance High School
Biomedical Engineering
MARCH (Maternal Advocacy and Research for Community Health), MCH (Maternal and Child Health) Journal Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

My favorite thing about the BEST program, as well as Tufts in general, is how much fostering a community to collaborate and share with. Ever since I became a BESTie, I have always felt that I able to talk to another BESTie about how my day went, what’s bothering me, what I need help with and obviously about assignments in classes. Outside of BEST and inside of the classroom, we are always encouraged to work and brainstorm together, and it has honestly been such a great experience to learn how to work with other people and hear different ideas from people from many different backgrounds. I definitely value the communities and spaces that I have joined here at Tufts, and I look forward to still being a part of these communities even after I graduate.
Dennis Bazan  Dennis Bazan
Ooltewah High School
Civil Engineering Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), Tufts InterVarsity, STEM Ambassadors

Being a first-generation and low-income student, I knew it would be overwhelming and difficult to move to a new environment, especially during a pandemic. However, BEST provided me with a safe and supportive community with whom I share similar backgrounds and interests. I was able to meet beautiful people who soon became my friends and soon my family. This made the transition from being far away from my family less difficult when I arrived at Tufts. Through the BEST program, I was able to obtain access and reach to resources that I never thought would be possible; and therefore, I am grateful. This program did not only give me a safe space but also a family that I could trust.
Angel Cruz Salvador  Angel Cruz Salvador
North Carolina
Durham School of the Arts
Computer Science
Society Of Latinx Engineers and Scientists (SOLES), Indigenous Student Organization at Tufts (ISOT), United For Immigrant Justice (UIJ), Association of Latin American Students (ALAS)

Whenever I need help with homework, I can always rely on many BESTies for help. Over the summer when I was unable to come home, I was able to live with BESTies. Whenever I am at my lowest, I cry on the shoulders of my BESTies. BEST serves not only as an opportunity to continue the development of your collegiate experience and career. BEST also serves as the opportunity to laugh when days are miserable, to smile when life seems sad.
Xamier Ferran  Xamier Ferran
Lawrence High School
Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Robotics, NSBE, SOLES, ALAS, BSU, Boxing

So far, my Tufts experience has been made by the identity centers and programs here including BEST. They each provide a source of community, resources, and opportunities and the more I take advantage of them the better of an academic and career position I find myself in.
Davonte Hudson  Davonte Hudson
Chicago Bulls College Preparatory High School
Mechanical Engineering

My experience at BEST made me more comfortable with failing and struggling because we all share that similar struggle. It also taught me to interact with BIPOC members more and made me apart of Tufts.
Manpreet Kaur  Manpreet Kaur
New Jersey
Carteret High School
Computer Science Women in Computer Science (WiCS), Tufts Tae Kwon Do (TKD), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Sikh Students Association (SSA)

Manpreet was unsure about how her college experience would turn out, especially starting during a pandemic, but she was blown away by how welcoming and helpful the Tufts community was to her. The BEST program, especially, was the greatest resource that she had ever received from her Tufts acceptance. She was very thankful to have a community, get ahead with her academic goals in engineering, and plan out as much as she could to prepare for the years ahead. She truly could not have found a better support system than the one she made within BEST and at Tufts.
Anneka Le  Anneka Le
Hershey High School
Computer Science
Vietnamese Students Club, Chinese Student Association, Tufts Burlesque Troupe

Being at Tufts and a part of BEST has really given me a second family, not just among my fellow BEST Scholars but also within the clubs I have joined and the friends that I have made. There are always people that I can turn to for support whether it be about academics, mental health, or just life advice. I know throughout my four years at Tufts, I will grow into my next stage in life with ease especially with the support that I have.
Tylee Nez  Tylee Nez
Sonoran Science Academy
Environmental Engineering and Civic Studies
Indigenous Student Organization (ISOT), United for Immigrant Justice (UIJ), Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientist, & Boxers on the Hill

One of the best experiences Tylee has had at Tufts is rolling in the snow with other BESTies.
Brianna Starling  Brianna Starling
New Jersey
Burlington County Institute of Technology
Biomedical Engineering
Black Student Union

During the pandemic, Tufts and BEST had been a pillar in helping to keep on top of my academics. Through BEST summer, I was introduced to a group of people that have become a support system and helped to ease my transition into college. Now at Tufts, I feel more open to engaging with others and taking advantage of the wide opportunity of resources Tufts has to offer. In the future, I hope to continue in my efforts to be a helping hand within the community as well as furthering myself in my studies.
John Waller  John Waller
New York
Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts
Biomedical Engineering on the Premed track
Black Student Union, Tufts S-Factor

What I have loved most about Tufts so far is truly the people. There is something so refreshing about being able to interact and learn the stories of so many different people that come from different walks of life. What I love most about BEST is this immediate web of connections that you gain access to. Everyone is always willing to help assist and support you and it is like a family. There is something so comforting about being able to look to people who look just like you and have experienced similar things as you for a helping hand, especially at a PWI.