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The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

MAST students recognized by College Board for exam performance

On August 31, 44 MAST Academy students were congratulated for winning an award from the College Board National Recognition Program. 

As college application and scholarship registration deadlines loom closer, high school students are frantically trying to gather information from college counselors and the internet about what programs they should be applying to in order to have the greatest effect on the Admissions Officers of their dream colleges. Open to upcoming juniors and seniors, the College Board National Recognition Program Scholar reaches out to students through e-mail at the end of their sophomore and junior years and awards students who attend school in the United States and fit the requirements. 

In order to apply for this award, students not only have to have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a PSAT score in the top 10 percentile within the program in the state of Florida, but they also have to identify as African American, Indigenous, Hispanic American, or attend high school in a rural or small town. In MAST, 37 students received the National Hispanic Recognition Award (NHRA) and 7 received the National African American Recognition Award (NAARA). 

Awardees reflected on what it could have been like for their parents if they had the chance to sign up for this program. 

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“My dad…always said that if he had the opportunity to study in America he would have really taken that. …He says, ‘If I had come to America before I was in my twenties and I was still in high school, I would have done so much.’ I feel like he would have loved to have a program like this even in his country. He would have taken advantage of this program. So, when I told him about it he said, ‘Yea for sure, go do it. It’ll be a great thing for you.’,” NAARA recipient and junior Keslyne Gedeon said. 

Although it was difficult to be nominated for the program because of its academic rigor and specific requirements, the application process was simple. 

“I think it was fairly easy to just apply for it once I got the e-mail saying I was nominated. I just had to fill out a few things and from there they let me know a few months after that,” NAHRA recipient and junior Federico Aquarone said. 

The program awards students with all kinds of family backgrounds and cultures with the goal of recognizing the academic achievements of communities that are underrepresented in colleges throughout the United States. 

“Probably a lot of families see it as a really cool achievement. Especially my family because I’m gonna be the first one going to college, so my entire family is like ‘Oh my God, you’re like the coolest person alive!’,” NAARA and NAHRA recipient, junior Mia Reyes said, “I think it is really cool for everyone to be recognized like this.” 

“I think it is important to highlight…minorities and underrepresented communities because… the majority often receives the most attention and the most support. So, if you highlight the achievements of those more underrepresented communities you can boost their confidence,” NAHRA recipient and junior Edgar Batista said. 

This program recognizes the struggles of students in minority groups whether the struggle be being held back in school due to difficulties in understanding the language or being a target of discrimination and prejudice, awarding them based on their academic achievements and hard work.

“I think it is [important]. I think that it creates a good distinction when you are applying for college to kind of set you apart from other students that maybe have a lot more opportunities than you do,” NAHRA recipient and senior Victoria Alonso said.

MAST Academy’s National Recognition Program Winners

Alejandro Perez: NHRA
Alexander Ambroise: NAARA
Alexis Jose: NAARA, NHRA
Ana Rosanosam: NHRA
Ana Cecilia Balabuch Dal Bo: NHRA
Annelise Zea: NHRA
Anthony Ramirez: NHRA
Bradshyr Mortimer: NAARA
Carlota Gillard: NHRA
Christopher Estrada-Garcia: NHRA
Christopher Aleman: NHRA
Cristobal Munoz Legarre: NHRA
Daniel Dinamarca: NHRA
Dante Funez: NHRA
Edgar Batista: NHRA
Eduardo Sourd: NHRA
Elena Quintela: NHRA
Emma Almanza: NHRA
Ethan Lopez: NHRA
Eva Reyna: NHRA
Federico Acquarone: NHRA
Hannah Schmidt: NHRA
Ignacio Rivero: NHRA
Jorge Ramirez: NHRA
Juan-Felipe Paredes: NHRA
Keslyne Gedeon: NAARA
Kevin Obando: NHRA
Laura Prieto: NHRA
Lorenzo Alvarez: NHRA
Maria Eduarda Claudino: NHRA
Maya Funez: NHRA
Maya Collie: NAARA
Mia Reyes: NAARA, NHRA
Milo Akerman: NHRA
Mylah Tate: NAARA
Rafael Calderon: NHRA
Sebastian Navarro: NHRA
Sienna Lallemand: NAARA
Sofia Sassone: NHRA
Thomas Green: NHRA
Tobias Urcuyo: NHRA
Vanessa Convers: NHRA
Victor Palomino: NHRA
Victoria Alonso: NHRA

National African American Recognition Award (NAARA)
National Hispanic Recognition Award (NHRA)

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MAST students recognized by College Board for exam performance