Check out the latest news from Democracy Prep Alumni Relations! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
issue VI FEB 9, 2016
Being a student-athlete is hard, and that’s exactly why Jackson Amkarah chose to play ball at Southern Vermont University.  “I have always have had the mindset to push through even when I face adversity,” he explains.  Jackson earned all A's and B's during his first semester as a student-athlete and plans to make the President’s List, awarded to students who earn a 3.8 or higher during their first year.  

When Jackson struggled––with his Advanced Composition essays, for example––he sought out help at the Writing Center. When he succeeded––making the Provost List, for example––he gave shout outs to those who helped him along the way.  “What I am most thankful for is the faculty and staff at my high school Democracy Prep...they always made sure I was doing the right things all the time...they play a huge role in my success and I appreciate that.” Keep working hard, Jackson, and your degree in Business Administration + Healthcare Management will pay off soon enough.
I would like to write my first gratitude letter of 2016 to myself. As the start of the New Year, I am doing more soul searching, finding out what makes me most happy. From high school to now, I have always made sure my friends and people I care about are okay and this has resulted in me placing my own feelings first. During my Fall 2015 semester, I found myself upset on many occasions because it was hard for me to say “no” even when I wanted to. I am glad that I was able to come to this conclusion before it became worse or too late. In addition, I also had to realize that it is okay to not be okay all of the time. I keep a great deal of my feelings and concerns bottled up, taking it out on the one person I know that I can always turn to for help. As of this year, I am working on placing my feelings first without expecting people to consider how I feel.

–– Ariel Bishop, via required grant request essay
A McNair Scholar (woot, woot!), Melia Douyon is interning this semester at the Children's Center, a safe haven for children whose parents are in court. The Center provides a model for early learning and links families to needed services. In addition, Melia works under the Social Chair of She's the First to help plan all their events. She’s the First’s mission is to provide scholarships to girls in low income countries with the goal of creating our next generation of global leaders. They have independent chapters are tons of universities in the U.S.  So far, Melia’s chapter has worked to help send four girls in India to school and they plan to send at least five more by the end of this school year.
AR had an awesome winter break! We held two very successful albeit very different events within days of each other so that alums could catch up and stay connected. With our team out of the office for the holidays, we counted on our Alumni Captains to perform outreach and generate turnout. The first, We Can Skate, was held on January 7 at Riverbank State Park’s ice-skating rink. To participate, alums were required to bring canned goods for donation to the Harlem Salvation Army. Nearly 40 alums joined us for food, skating, and hilarious wipeouts. A few days later on January 11, nearly 50 alums reconvened at Badger Park to discuss race and racism on college campuses. They watched videos, broke out into smaller discussions, and engaged as a large group to hash out some solutions. Even our own Honey Badgers Amber Adams, Ryan Howell, Stephanie Miller, and Linda Easton stuck around for the event and engaged in this discussion. Next up: spring college tours!  
Here’s the fun-part: numbers!  97% of DP17, 98% of DP18, and 93% of DP19 persisted from fall ‘15 to spring ‘16. Also, we’ve collected nearly 70% of fall transcripts. Our team is in full data-analysis mode, so be on the lookout for updates in the coming Posts. 
“One of my favorite memories was our year-end trip to DC when we stayed at Howard (I think it was the class of 2018). Every time anyone showered, the fire alarms would go off and we would have to exit the dorm. Mr. Howard was a chaperone too and so was Mr. Andrew. Mr. Howard was being a goofball and Mr. Andrew slept through every fire alarm. Everyone was outside in the courtyard in their pajamas and towels!”

–– Katie Duffy
meet the team
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Stephanie Fiorelli Ralph Johnson
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Cinthia Pimentel Ahmad Al-ashqar
Major S/O to Ahmad of AR, for recently celebrating his one year work-a-versary at DP! 
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Democracy Prep Alumni Relations
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