18 THE COURIER SUN • JUNE 19, 2014 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.couriersun.com BENJAMIN CARDOZO HS TO GRADUATE FIRST BLACK VALEDICTORIAN BY LIAM LA GUERRE email@example.com @liamlaguerre Shanelle Davis remembers that her parents instilled in her the importance of education so much that as a child wherever she went during the summer, she had to have a book. “‘Shanelle, take up a book,’” she recalled her parents saying. “Education was stressed in our house. I had to get good grades.” Her parents, both from the island of Jamaica, couldn’t afford a college education, but were determined that Davis, 17, would be the first in the family to earn a higher degree. Since then, Davis has consistently achieved high grades through the years and all that time studying has accomplished more than her parents could have foreseen. Davis will be the first black valedictorian of Benjamin Cardozo H.S., and the cherry on top is she will attend Harvard University starting in the fall. “Even though the valedictorian itself is an honor because not many people get to be the top student in their class, this is an incredible honor, because I’ve made history,” Davis said. Davis, a resident of Jamaica, Queens, not only studied hard, but she also took part in various clubs and activities to prepare for the next level. She took seven Advanced Placement classes, is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and the Gateway Pre-College Education program. She’s involved in academic enrichment organization Legal Outreach, through which she has participated in debates and interned at law firms in New York City. She has also helped struggling elementary and middle school students prepare for state exams through Future Educators of New York. And besides academics, Davis has been on Cardozo’s track team since sophomore year. “I had to give up a lot for studying, but I feel like it was worth it in the end,” she said. Davis is entering Harvard undecided, but plans to use her early semesters to figure out what field she wants to study. What she doesn’t have to think about though, is money. She will attend the university without paying a dime thanks to a partial scholarship from Harvard as well as outside awards, including the Milken scholarship, the Ron Brown scholarship, and scholarships from the United Federation of Teachers, the National Association of University Women and the YMCA. “We are living out my parents’ dream and mine without paying anything,” Davis said. VALEDICTORIAN THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre Shanelle Davis will be the fi rst black valedictorian to graduate Benjamin Cardozo High School. Renovation of Kew Gardens Hills library to be complete in 2015 BY LIAM LA GUERRE firstname.lastname@example.org/@liamlaguerre The $8.2 million revitalization of the Queens Library at Kew Gardens Hills is set to be completed in the summer of 2015, according to the organization. Representatives from the library and the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) informed the community about the construction at Tuesday’s Kew Gardens Civic Association meeting. The library is being expanded by 3,000 square feet to about 10,500 square feet. The renovation will include technology updates, a separate area for teens, a new sloped-concrete roof and a full interior renovation. Outside the library, there will also be a new handicapped accessible entrance ramp, new sidewalks, trees, a bicycle rack and fl agpole. Funding for the library was allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Rory Lancman, Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz and state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. Rendering courtesy the Queens Library The Department of Design and Construction’s vision for the renovation of the Kew Gardens Library.
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