Finding Peace Within My First Day at NSLC

Amira has been passionate about becoming a sports medic since childhood. Read about her travel to the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington DC and her difficult parting from her family below.

When my family got to the bus at Port Authority, I felt tranquil. It was as if we were going on a family vacation to Washington DC. Halfway there, none of my feelings had changed. I felt neutral and the long bus ride made me extremely soporific. However, these emotions changed when we got to our rest stop in Silver Springs, Maryland because I knew that we were about thirty or so minutes away from Washington DC. I was going to participate in something that would guide me in my career, and possibly be one of the greatest experiences of my life. Why did that scare me?

The answer—family. I was worried about leaving my family; rather, my family leaving me. I had been in several situations before where I had to go places overnight without my parents, but this was different. All those other times, I was with people that I knew.  Whether it was my teachers or friends who had accompanied me, I had felt safe. We finally arrived in DC, hailed a taxi and drove the twenty minutes to the American University campus. It was a silent ride. I didn’t know what to say or how to hide my feelings other than by keeping quiet. My mother occasionally asked me what was wrong and I replied with “nothing”,  but she knew exactly what I was feeling.

When we pulled up to the campus, I took a deep breath and tried to relax, but that did not work. When I walked up to the registration table, I could feel my tension rising to the point that I looked like I did not want to be there. I talked gingerly, I shook hands hesitantly and I thought to myself, “you could still turn around and go home”.

It was painful saying goodbye to my parents. I did not want to. I wanted them to stay with me. For about an hour of unpacking, it almost felt as if they were going to stay. Too soon, it was time for them to leave. I could never have fathomed how I would feel or behave in this scenario. I gave them all hugs, and told them I loved them. They wanted more but I was unable to give more without breaking down. How did I handle this? It was very difficult for me, but I forced myself to say goodbye.

I’m here at NLSC now, on my own. I walked up to someone on the way to lunch and talked to him. He was not as nervous as I was, even though he came from overseas. He made me feel comfortable, and we hung out for the rest of the day. That same day, I made more friends. And I felt like I was at Port Authority on my way to my home. I felt at peace, safe and most importantly, at home.

Had a Blast at iD Tech!!

Meet Daniel, a high-school student interested in game design. He just finished a week at an iD Tech camp learning about 3D design; read about his experience below!

During my week with iD Tech,  I took 3D Level Design and worked with a program known as Hammer. Hammer is the official tool used by companies such as Valve for creating levels and maps in their games. It was such a great experience because there was just so much for me to learn and now I feel confident in my abilities to create difficult and creative levels in games such as Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2, which I can upload for others to enjoy!  

Attending this program has enhanced my abilities in design, and because I now find it very fun and interesting, I am now considering game design as a potential occupation for my future!  I would easily recommend this program to anybody.  There are many classes one can take, such as robotics, Java, C++, web design, etc.  Although you take classes, you do not feel like you are working because it so fun!  Also, the people you meet are all so kind and fun to hang out with.  I would also recommend staying overnight in a dorm; you will wish you were here longer!  My advice for anybody applying for this program is to take in all that you can.  You are only here for five days, so you will regret not trying out as many new things as you can!  Thanks to all my donors and everybody who has supported me through this!  I am very grateful.


Great Start to Summer Medical Institute at Georgetown!

Edmond, a hard-working student motivated to study medicine, is experiencing the life of a doctor at the Georgetown Summer Medical Institute. Read about his introduction to a cadaver, experience reading vital signs, and getting cupcakes from a nice RA!

My first day at the Summer Medical Institute at Georgetown was confusing at first, but it got better. I got to Georgetown late, around 6:00 pm, and I did not know what to do. I began to ask people for help. Some of the people that helped me started to ask where I was from and what hobbies I liked. Soon, we grew curious about each other and began to talk more. My roommate, Tom, was the most helpful. He showed me around our dorm floor and informed me about the schedule. We also had a lot of things in common like our passion and our interests. After dinner, all the students who were participating in the Medical Program had a big tour around Georgetown and its famous spots. Our RA also gave us cupcakes as a way to welcome us to Georgetown. Overall, it was a great first day!

One thing that surprises me about this program is that we do hands-on activities. At first, I thought that this program was going to be just lectures and field trips to museums, but I was wrong. Some of the activities that I weren’t expecting were taking the glucose levels, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate of a patient because we evaluated a real person! Another activity that was also fascinating, but could not be done on a real patient, was drawing blood out of a mannequin’s arm. I did not think that we will actually become the doctors and actually do what doctors do in their daily lives. However, the one activity that surprised me the most was the cadaver lab. Seeing a cadaver for the first time made my group and me nervous, but the medical students working there mitigated our discomfort and motivated us to get excited to learn by explaining different parts of the human body to us.

If I had one piece of advice to give to someone who is doing the same program next year, I would say to not be nervous. Before the program started, I felt nervous about the activities we were going to do at Georgetown and and how many friends I was going to make. I just want to say: do not be nervous. I can tell you that the program is not hard, but is very fun! Also, be yourself and you will naturally make friends. Everyone I met so far has been nice and helpful. Below are two pictures. One is a picture of me at one of the famous spots on the Georgetown campus.  The other is a picture of me drawing blood from a mannequin arm.



Great times at Summer@Brown!

Cristian is a hard-working mathematician attending a summer program at Brown University to learn higher-level math. Read about number theory, futbol, and the elusive “BroSquad” below:

My first day of Summer@Brown went fairly well. After our orientation, we met up with the people in our dorm floors and our R.A and had dinner. My floor is the Jameson floor; “The BroSquad” is pictured below.


I had my first day of Number Theory in the morning the next day and it was pretty challenging, but also interesting. The teacher made it clear that we were to mostly learn from each other, with short lectures at times. The fact that, for the majority of class, we learn by discussing the problems in groups is surprising. This implies that we will instruct one another and learn from one another without teachers or textbooks, although we will also get stuck on certain problems. Eventually, the teacher provides a solution or solutions to the problems we’re interested in or stuck on.

With FIFA World Cup 2014 occurring this summer, we had the option to watch the exciting games or play the sport ourselves. Overall, my first two days were relaxing.  The friendliness of the students in the program combined with their intelligence is also surprising. Although Brown is an open campus, the campus is generally peaceful.

Great Experiences at Skidmore!

Mirelly is a budding writer/poetess improving her craft at Skidmore College’s Pre-College Program. Read the beginning of her writing adventure below!

My first day at the Skidmore Pre-College program was one of pure fascination. I discovered that there were several people from New York City along with me! The people here at Skidmore are very kind and I instantly made friends. Today was not the first day of classes; all we were required to do was attend orientation. We had our first dinner this evening and it went by swiftly.  

After dinner, my new friends and I enjoyed talking about our experiences back home and how we got to the program. My first day at Skidmore was amazing. One thing that surprised me was how close all of us really are and how small this world really is. Even if none of us live near each other, the amount of hobbies and activities we all share have made us much closer than we would have expected and, of course, brought us together.


Kicking Off the Summer with Food, Stories, and Fun

Last week, Wishbone students met with Wishbone’s staff and Board to share their experiences and perspectives. The students shared their passions, their motivations for applying to Wishbone, and their excitement for their upcoming programs. 

Julissa expressed nervous excitement for her Georgetown Medical Institute program, which she wants to attend to gain more experience in the medical field. Edmond will also be attending a different session of the Georgetown Medical Institute to pursue medicine as well. Sandra is also taking off to the East Coast later this summer to attend a criminal justice and forensics program at the College of Saint Rose and pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer. Octavio will attend Brown University’s summer program to learn programming, where he will get a sense of college life even though he just finished 9th grade! Staying closer to home, although no less adventurous, Janely is pursuing web design and digital photography at iD Tech Camp on the campus of UC Berkeley.

These stories were shared over a delicious lunch, as well as an honest discussion about the Wishbone application process and ways it can be improved.

We’re so excited to send off all of the amazing Wishbone students to amazing opportunities this summer!

- Martinique, Wishbone Summer Intern

Wishbone alum, Anthony, recently published an article about his campaign to curb school bullying. 

Anthony’s leadership extends beyond this initiative. He is also in his third year as a leader in the NYPD Explorers Program, and has risen to the rank of Explorer Lieutenant. He’s received tremendous accolades for his performance in this program, including Explorer of the Year in 2013.

Anthony’s participation in the NYPD program is part of his career goal of becoming the first Hispanic NYPD Chief of Department and the first Hispanic Police Commissioner for the NYPD.  

Anthony attended Honor Code! US Military Camp at West Point through Wishbone.

Wishbone Student Receives Full-Ride Scholarship to UCLA Summer Design Program

Sarahi is an 11th grader from San Mateo, who applied to Wishbone to pursue her interest in sewing and design. We were struck by Sarahi’s description of her passion:

“People listen to music, go running, sing, and dance to make them feel whole. Call me odd, but my escape from reality is sewing. On a teenage girl’s birthday she would usually ask for the latest thing at school; I asked for my best friend, my sewing machine… My passion is creating something beautiful from something someone failed to realize as beautiful due to simply being blinded by society’s definition of beauty. I was once that ugly piece of cloth; it took one person to see potential in me. I now express seeing potential in what seems out of the ordinary through my creativity.”


This summer, Sarahi will attend the UCLA Design Media Arts Summer Institute to immerse herself in technology-based design and media, giving her the opportunity to expand her skills and creativity by using state-of-the-art technology and media.

We weren’t the only ones impressed by Sarahi’s story; The Department of Design and Media Arts at UCLA selected Sarahi as the recipient of their 2014 Summer Institute Scholarship, which is a full-ride scholarship to the summer program.

Sarahi is a participant of the RisingLeaders mentorship program, a wonderful program that pairs young professionals with high school students to help build professional and life skills. Sarahi’s RisingLeaders mentors, Pamela and Min, have been by her side throughout the process of applying to Wishbone and UCLA. Pamela shared with us,

“Sarahi inspires me and I can see that she is turning into a mature, driven, and resourceful young woman. Sarahi grew up in a single family home and went through a lot of challenges growing up…Through these experiences, she developed a stronger introspectiveness about herself…Her self-drive will continue to push her to pursue opportunities like this and make the most out of them.”

Congratulations Sarahi! We’re looking forward to hearing about the exciting summer ahead!

Congratulations to the Wishbone Class of 2014!

This spring, Wishbone high school seniors are sharing great news about their plans for the fall: COLLEGE!!! In the fall, our students are headed to top institutions across the country to continue their education and follow their passions.

Liysah is attending Daemon College as a scholarship student, where she will continue to pursue her dream of becoming a trauma surgeon.

“I want to thank Wishbone again for supporting me last summer in attending the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. The program opened my eyes to the world of medicine and the impact it makes on lives.”

Luis is attending Columbia University. He is a Kluge Scholar and recipient of the Menlo Park Rotary Award in Calculus BC.

“Taking AP biology last summer at UC Berkeley helped solidify my notion that I want to pursue a career in biology and ultimately go to medical school.”

Christina is attending Pomona College and received the National Achievement Scholarship and Society of Women Engineers Scholarship.

“My experience at COSMOS summer program played a huge role in influencing my career choice. I had fun and learned so much in a real college setting when I was just 15 years old. It definitely inspired me to continue doing well in school and made college seem like such a wonderful experience. I am now happily on my way to a four-year private college. Thank you so much Wishbone!!!”

Victor is attending UC Riverside.

“Getting the scholarship from Wishbone to attend LEAD Computer Science has allowed me to learn more technical skills that are required for a Computer Science major and thus allowed be to purse it as a major in college.” 

Aldina is attending St. John’s University

“Wishbone has allowed me to explore my interests in ways I did not think was possible. I learned about my passions and I was able to elaborate them even more. I know that I want to pursue a career in medicine and Wishbone finalized my decision to do so. I will continue to follow my passions because I know that will bring me a lot of happiness and success for my future.”

About Us

Wishbone is a new non-profit sending low-income high school students to after school and summer programs.