BY JASON COHEN
Two students from KIPP
College Prep High School in
the Bronx, who are both the
fi rst generation in their family
to attend college, were recently
accepted early decision to Yale
Stacey Lopez immigrated
to the Bronx with her family
from the Dominican Republic
at 9-years- old and only spoke
Spanish when she began attending
KIPP. Despite the language
barrier, she excelled in
her studies and got a full scholarship
to her dream college.
“This still feels surreal,”
she told the Bronx Times. “If
you told my younger self a few
years ago I would be going to
Yale I would say no way. All my
hard work and dedication has
Lopez’s path to higher education
was not easy.
When she fi rst arrived in
America it was a major culture
shock. The big buildings, bright
lights and fast pace was scary,
“I was defi nitely terrifi ed,”
she said. “I didn’t know much
English at the time.”
She originally moved to
Manhattan with her mom and
three siblings, but in sixth
grade relocated to Riverdale.
Everything became easy when
she enrolled at KIPP.
“KIPP offered more support
than my other school and
I was able to pick up the pace
and learn more,” she explained.
“I was defi nitely more comfortable
According to Lopez, the
teachers are welcoming and
made her feel at home. The past
four years have helped her realize
she wanted to go to college
and was ready for the next
chapter in life.
She is involved with the
dance team at school and a
member of LEDA (Leadership
Enterprise for a Diverse America)
and an organization called
With the help of her college
counselor, Ms. Lloyd , she zeroed
in on Yale with hopes becoming
a doctor. Lopez was
looking at several small liberal
art schools, but before COVID-19
arrived she visited Yale and fell
in love with the campus.
Lopez told the Bronx Times
she would not have gotten this
far without the guidance of her
mom. While working as a home
health aide, she also raised four
Apply online: https://metlcs.schoolmint.net/signin
ELL scholars and scholars with IEPs are welcome!
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, F 36 EB. 19-25, 2021 BTR
“She was defi nitely a major
motivation for me behind my
school work and college applications,”
The teen noted that if she
didn’t get into Yale she wasn’t
going to tell anyone she applied.
Fortunately, things worked
“I remember the same day I
opened my acceptance letter I
saw the screen and it said welcome
Yale Class of 2025 and I
was shocked for milli-second
and I was like is this for real
and iwas crying,” she recalled.
Her classmate, Mariama
Sow has a heartwarming story
Sow’s parents Halimatou
and Ousmane emigrated from
Guinea in West Africa to the
Bronx, where she was born.
They struggled at fi rst, but today
own a store in the neighborhood.
Raised in a two bedroom
apartment with fi ve siblings in
Melrose, nothing has been easy
for Sow. But her mom and dad
made sure Sow kept her head
on a swivel and she did well in
It was at KIPP where she
found her second home and saw
the potential for more.
“Going to KIPP has brought
me a lot of opportunities,” she
Her days are fi lled with extracurricular
activities, as she
is captain of two dance teams,
involved in social activism at
KIPP, plays violin in the orchestra
and volunteers with Robin
Sow visited Yale her freshman
and eventually realized it
was the place for her. However,
she kept it a secret from her parents
that she applied.
She was accepted Dec. 16,
2020, the day before her birthday.
“I feel like if I told my parents
and I didn’t get in I would have
failed them,” she explained. “I
feel like they were really proud.
It’s an accomplishment that not
a lot of people are able to experience.
My acceptance was everybody’s
Sow plans to study women’s,
gender, and sexuality studies as
well as race, ethnicity, and migration
and eventually become
“I just can’t wait to tackle
what’s coming,” she stressed.
Stacey Lopez who is going to Yale.
Bronx College Success Story
Mariama Sow of KIPP who is going
to Yale. Photos courtesy of KIPP
Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School
For the 2021-2022 school year, MetLCS will be serving scholars in
grades Kindergarten through 8th Grade.
Metropolitan Lighthouse College Preparatory
For the 2021-2022 school year, MetCPA will be serving scholars in
grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.
The application for the new 2021-2022 school year is now open. At Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School, we have sibling,
district 9, IEP and ELL preferences in our lottery. The lottery application closes at 11:59pm on April 1, 2021.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to have your child potentially attend our school!
Scan these codes with the camera on your phone to enroll and watch a quick video of our school!
ng,180 West 165th Street Bronx, New York 10452 Phone: 718-893-0640 met.lha.net