Long Beach Students Earn QuestBridge Scholarships

Long Beach Students Earn QuestBridge Scholarships photo
Long Beach High School seniors Alyscia Batista and Jaylyn Umana are among an elite pool of students across the country who have earned prestigious QuestBridge National College Match scholarships. They were selected for these honors based on rigorous applications that included essays and components comparable to the Common Application, and will receive full four-year scholarships to Ivy League schools.

QuestBridge received a record number of 16,248 applications, from which 6,507 finalists were identified. A total of 1,044 exceptional students went on to secure scholarship awards. Alyscia will head to Brown University, where she plans to start on the premedical track and major in literary arts or biology. Jaylyn will go on to Columbia University to study physics.

Both Long Beach High School students are International Baccalaureate Diploma Program candidates and very involved in their school and community. Alyscia serves as a National Honor Society officer, a senior editor for the Fragments literary magazine and has been a member of the varsity swim team since the eighth grade. She participates in the Book/Literary Club and Math Club and has won numerous distinctions for her poetry in competitions including the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and Adelphi Poetry Day.

Alyscia also excels in science, is involved in the high school’s science research program and attends the Columbia University Science Honors Program. She completed the Columbia Engineering Summer High School Academic Program for Engineers last summer, and it was there that a teacher recommended that she take on the QuestBridge challenge. Throughout the year, she works with a medical professor researching polio. Her IB Extended Essay focuses on a literary comparison of how author Betty Friedan affected Sharon Olds’ poetry.

Jaylyn is an award-winning science research student and a senior editor of the Tide school newspaper. He also headed a student effort to increase diversity through awareness, advocacy and opportunities such as the Erase Racism conference. Last year, he represented Long Beach High School at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair after placing second in Physics and Astronomy category and winning the Yale Science & Engineering Association’s Most Outstanding Exhibit in Comp Science, Physics, Engineering or Chemistry distinction at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair.

He has done research work at Farmingdale State College for two years and is part of the Science and Technology Entry Program, which introduced him to the QuestBridge opportunity. He is also a member of the American Physical Society, for which he will present at a meeting in March. He is involved in the African American Club, Mathletes and the National Honor Society, and works with the Latino Civic Association in Long Beach. His IB Extended Essay will cover the effect of supermassive black holes on the critical density of the universe.