Celebrating our Graduates – 2021

Celebrating our Graduates – 2021

Join us in congratulating the Hartford Public Schools Class of 2021. Please enjoy words of wisdom from some of our Valedictorians, Salutatorians, and exemplary students.

Meet our Valedictorians, Salutatorians and Exemplary Students


CO-VALEDICTORIAN:
Marilexis Abreu
Bulkeley High School
University of Connecticut – Real Estate and Urban Economics

CO-VALEDICTORIAN:
Saskia Linton
Bulkeley High School
“Our generation has resilience and power.”
Northwestern University – Biological Sciences
“Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world”
– Nelson Mandela

CO-SALUTATORIAN
Alimeline Irankunda
Bulkeley High School
University of Connecticut – Health Science and Business
 “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

CO-SALUTATORIAN
Sabrina Green
Bulkeley High School
Rochester Institute of Technology –
MAJOR: Individualized Studies, Engineering
MINOR: Environmental Science, Psychology & Entrepreneurship
“Your only competitor in life is YOURSELF, stay humble and motivated.”
CO-VALEDICTORIAN:
Anisah Colon
Capital Preparatory Magnet School
Wesleyan University – Political Science
“History has its eyes on you” – Lin Manuel Maran. Remember to be intentional in your choices, words, and behavior.

CO-VALEDICTORIAN:
Hla Mohamed
Capital Preparatory Magnet School
University of Rochester  – Health, Behavior, and Society – Minor: Bioethics
“I’m going to show you how great I am!” – Muhammad Ali

VALEDICTORIAN
Silsia Alam
Classical Magnet School
 Connecticut College
“No matter what life throws at you, however painful it may be, take it as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

SALUTATORIAN:
Matthew Rivera
Classical Magnet School
 University of Connecticut
“Love God, love others, serve community.”

VALEDICTORIAN
Emily Young
Great Path Academy
University of Connecticut
SALUTATORIAN
Elaineh Paulino Fernandez
Great Path Academy
Villanova University
“You may not end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you were meant to be.”

VALEDICTORIAN
Zaria Williams
Hartford Public High School
Clark Atlanta University
“Perfection is completely overrated, take a break and have fun. Trust me, you’ll look back and love that you had fun more than being perfect”.

SALUTATORIAN
Brihalia Kenton
Hartford Public High School

University of Connecticut Storrs – “Fortes In Fide Et Opere” (Steadfast in Faith and good work)

VALEDICTORIAN
Afrin Tarafder
Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
Yale University – Neuroscience, Global Affairs
“‘Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from achieving your goals. Take risks. Have faith.” 

VALEDICTORIAN
Ryan J. Johns
Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts
University of Connecticut – Civil Engineering
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

SALUTATORIAN
Samerah Shakoor
Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts
University of Connecticut
“You’re right where you belong.”

VALEDICTORIAN
Samra Mujcinovic
Sport & Medical Sciences Academy
University of Connecticut – Engineering
“There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking”.

 

SALUTATORIAN:
Madison Lee
Sport and Medical Sciences Academy
Northeastern University – Health Sciences and Psychology
“Expect nothing. Appreciate everything.”

VALEDICTORIAN
Saffiya Heyligar
Thomas Snell Weaver High School
University of Connecticut – Biological Science
“Step out your estimate, Step in your essence and know that you’re excellent- Rise”- Beyonce

CO-SALUTATORIAN:
Takera Bailey
Thomas Snell Weaver High School
University of Connecticut – Actuarial Science
“It is almost guaranteed to hear life lessons, but it takes talent to be able to listen.”

CO-SALUTATORIAN:
Savannah Greene
Thomas Snell Weaver High School
 Biological Science
“Stay confident in everything you do because when you go in with a positive mindset, you come out with excellent achievements; do not be afraid of failing or making mistakes, it’s all part of journey and will only make you better once you learn to accept it.”
 

 

 

EXEMPLARY STUDENTS

Capital Preparatory Magnet School
Hasani Lambert –

Coming from Tanzania, Lambert has worked extremely hard to earn his Seal of Biliteracy. Lambert has made significant strides, improving his grades every year he was in school. Lambert’s growth can be attributed to his desire to become the best version of himself. In the fall, Lambert will be attending UConn.

Scarlet Olivo –

Scarlet moved to the United States from Spain in 2015. When Scarlet arrived in the United States, she did not speak fluent English. She dedicated herself to learning English (through watching TV and committing herself to hours of studying). Due to her work ethic, Scarlet earned the Seal of Biliteracy, was a two-sport athlete and maintained a 4.2 GPA. In the fall, Scarlet will be attending UConn, where she will major in Business Administration.

Aesha Wali –

Aesha was born in Iraq and moved to the United States in 2010. When Aesha was a sophomore in high school, she struggled in mathematics (earning a D+ in Algebra 2). However, through her determination, Aesha improved her math skills. The culmination of Aesha’s efforts was demonstrated when she earned an A+ in AP Calculus. Her dedication to improving earned her the Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics (CSMP) scholarship at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Additionally, Aesha received the Seal of Biliteracy. In the fall, Aesha will attending CCSU, where she will major in Mathematics.

Sport and Medical Sciences Academy

Kedwin Vega-Ponce-  SMSA Senior

Over the last four years Kedwin has made tremendous growth and persevered during difficult times. With his mother and grandmother being diagnosed with cancer, Kedwin had to take to the workforce to help provide for his family. He was unable to partake in beloved extra-curricular activities such as baseball, because he was working. Kedwin has been at Sport and Medical Sciences Academy for the last seven years. Kedwin has earned all of the credits that have been offered to him during his time here, and has excelled in doing so. For Kedwin’s senior Capstone project he accepted the challenge of filming live SMSA sporting events so family and friends would be able to see these events while unable to attend in person during the pandemic. Kedwin will be the first person in his family to pursue post-secondary education, and has committed to Lincoln Technical Institute.

Raiynlynn Runyan- SMSA Senior

Raiynlynn Runyan is a a senior at Sport and Medical Sciences Academy. For her capstone project, she created 90 Christmas cards and an illustrative book for the residents at Vanderman Place in Willimantic, Connecticut. She spent 66 hours completing this project, from interviewing the residents and asking them for a story from their lives to creating and managing a GoFundMe to raise money to make the cards to carefully creating intricate drawings for the cards and book. For the cards, she had three different styles: Christmas tree style, ornament style and snowglobe style. The illustrated book she made, titled Vanderman Place Stories, included ten stories of the residents’ lives. Raiynlynn aspires to become a nurse anesthetist in the future, it was a great learning experience all around for her, further inspiring her to pursue a career in the medical field.