Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez might be headed to one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, but she will always be a Blue Devil at heart. The Huntington High School senior plans to pursue her dreams at Colgate University.
“When it came time for me to commit to a school, the location and amount of financial aid really helped me narrow down my choices to Colgate,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “It has a beautiful campus and is only a four hour drive from home. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Office of Undergraduate Studies Scholars Program, which helps pay for my tuition, housing and books I may need.”
Huntington senior Kelly Alfaro-Alvarez plans to study biochemistry at Colgate University
Located in upstate Hamilton, New York, Colgate was founded in 1819. The university enrolls about 3,000 students in 56 undergraduate majors.
“During my time at Colgate, I plan to major in biochemistry because it’s always been something that piqued my interest,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “Since it’s such a small school, that means I will be able to have a better relationship with the professors and go to them if I have any questions.”
Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez is among a relatively small group of students selected for Colgate’s Scholars Program. “They have systematically sought the most demanding academic paths open to them and dedicated themselves to achieving success, particularly in the areas of advocacy, social justice, access and equity,” states the program profile. “Students in the Scholars Program are change agents; scholars [who] have a history of making significant and meaningful impacts on campus.”
The teenager has been a student in Huntington UFSD since her first day of kindergarten at Washington Primary School.
“Taking Honor and Advanced Placement classes throughout high school has definitely helped me prepare for college since they placed strict expectations and required work habits similar to those at college,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “The teachers helped as well since they treated us as adults and have helped me these past four years grow as a student.”
The senior has worked very hard to get to where she is today and her commitment to her studies has helped her earn top grades and the affection and respect of her teachers.
“The most valuable courses I have taken are AP Seminar, AP Research and AP Biology,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “Over the past two years Mrs. [Dianna] Cazzalino has guided my classmates and I through the process of how to begin collecting research and then using that to write a well formatted paper and presentation. AP Bio was one of the best classes I took during my junior year and was the reason why I decided I wanted to have a career within the science field. Mrs. [Deborah] Beck just has a way of teaching that makes learning fun and makes students want to participate.”
The teenager leads a very balanced life. She has enjoyed her time at Huntington High School and has used it to explore her interests and participate in some of the activities she especially loves.
“My favorite activity over the past few years has been being in the orchestra,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “This class was always the one that woke me up each morning my freshman and sophomore years, while it became something to look forward to at the end of each day during my junior and senior years. I would look forward to playing in chamber orchestra each year as well as helping the younger kids in the district during String Fiesta. Orchestra gave me an opportunity to hang out with my friends while also playing an instrument I love.”
Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez’s advice to incoming freshmen? “Join clubs and get involved because these four years will go by quickly and before you know it you’ll be in your senior year applying to colleges,” she said.
The easygoing teenager is well-liked by Huntington’s faculty and staff. She has a great work ethic and a nice way about her.
“The person who I relied on has always been Madame [Deidre] Mayer,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “She’s been there for me since I was a freshman and has always given me advice on things both in and out of school. She has made learning French an amazing experience and made the class into a fun one.”
While Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez is understandably excited about beginning her studies at Colgate, she isn’t about to forget where she came from regardless of her distance from home.
“The whole community and environment in Huntington has made it special,” Ms. Alfaro-Alvarez said. “Everyone is involved in school whether it be through sports, art, music and clubs. The events and sports games never fail to have great attendance by the students and staff. Everyone here supports each other and are proud to be Blue Devils. I’ll miss my time during high school and will always be a Huntington Blue Devil!”