Congratulations, Yadah!

A 2013 graduate of Holland High School, Yadah graduated from the University of Michigan with her degree in Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience.

One day Yadah will do research, but for two years she is “giving back” to the community having taken a position with the College Advising Corps at Holland High School. In this role she encourages and advises students to attend college.

Yadah credits her high school English teacher for awakening an interest in biochemistry. He assigned the class to do a research paper on a career they might want to pursue. For that paper, Yadah interviewed professors at Hope College and chemists at a local pharmaceutical industry, Perrigo. That research paper piqued her interest in science which in turn led Yadah to the summer internship program at Hope College called REACH (Research Experience Across Cultures at Hope).

While in high school, Yadah participated in Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP) as well as LAUP’s Adalente and Mas Adalante programs which teach students leadership skills, public speaking skills, and also encourage students to give back to the community.

Her high school community service activities included: Youth Representative on the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony, the Board of Destination Education, Ottawa County Student Leaders Initiating Change and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Bert Jara, former Executive Director of LAUP and currently Executive Director of Destination Education,had this to say about Yadah:

“Yadah is one of the most motivated individuals I’ve had the privilege of working with. This young woman possesses a passion for learning with an equal passion for applying that learning in a way that benefits the community.”

Right after high school, Yadah participated in U of M’s Summer Bridge Program for first-generation college going students. The SBP allow students to take three classes for 9–12 credits prior to their freshman year. In addition, they engage in activities and events that help them build networks with other students, faculty members and even alumni. The goal is a successful entry into the challenging experience of attending a large university.

Yadah’s advice for high school students:

“From the start of high school, do your homework. Work for good grades, because grades are what help you receive scholarships. And believe and trust in your values.”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise