Parents, faculty and supporters gathered June 16 to celebrate as 36 rising college freshmen graduated from the Delaware College Scholars program.

"Each of you has truly accomplished something impressive," said keynote speaker Delaware Department of Education Secretary Susan Bunting. "You have proven that education is not a spectator sport. Your grit, combined with the skills and knowledge you receive in the DCS program, makes you unstoppable as you prepare for college success. You make Delaware proud."

Graduates, who come from under-resourced backgrounds and are often the first in their family to attend college, lived and learned together in a dorm setting for three weeks, three summers in a row. Student participated in college-style curriculum; took standardized test prep classes; and received individualized mentorship on understanding financial aid, scholarships and the best college fit for them while in the program. These graduates will work with DCS’ College Persistence Officers to ensure a successful transition to their first year of college. The persistence officers will continue to work with DCS graduates throughout their college career to ensure students remain on track to graduate from competitive colleges and universities in four-to-five years.

This year’s graduates include Hadiatou Bah, Brandywine High School, attending Capital University; Brenda Barron, Milford High School, attending University of Delaware; Alicia Bland, Caesar Rodney High School, attending Delaware State University; Mya Burrell, Appoquinimink High School, attending George Washington University; Miranda Burton, A.I. duPont High School, attending University of Delaware; Alyjah Callahan, St. Georges Technical High School, attending Delaware State University; Meisha Coles, Christiana High School attending Coastal Carolina University; Darwine Daniel, Seaford High School, attending University of Delaware; Cierra DePrisco, Lake Forest High School, attending Missouri Valley; Youssouf Drame, William Penn High School, attending University of Delaware; A'Deja Farlow, Sussex Central High School, attending North Carolina A&T; Silya Filo, Concord High School, attending Goldey-Beacom College; Diana Flores, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, attending University of Delaware; Jianna Fluellen, St. Georges Technical High School, attending University of Delaware; Amani Griffin, Dover High School, attending North Carolina A&T; Marsha Hardin, Howard High School, attending University of Delaware; Abbrielle Henry, Concord High School, attending Florida State University; Nathaya Ingram, William Penn High School, attending Delaware State University; Cindy Lin, Milford High School attending Boston College; Daniel Maldonado, Delcastle High School, attending University of Delaware; Connor McNamire, Lake Forest High School, attending University of Delaware; Nasr Mohamed, Concord High School, attending University of Delaware; Abena Nimako, Christiana High School, attending Howard University; Jason Nolasco-Menchaca, William Penn High School, attending University of Delaware; Charles Nyakundi, Christian High School, attending U.S. Military Academy West Point; Francia Olliver, Christiana High School, attending Howard University; Sara Parker, Laurel High School, attending the University of Delaware; Elvis Perez-Mazariegos, Seaford High School, attending Goldey-Beacom College; Ajah Quawiy, Delcastle High School, attending Lehigh University; Giovanna Reilly, A.I. duPont High School, attending the University of Delaware; Talley Ridgeway, Polytech High School, attending American University; Kayla Rutherford, Indian River High School, attending the University of Delaware; Savannah Willard, Caesar Rodney High School, attending Ursinus College; Aaliyah Wilson, Middletown High School, attending Delaware State University; Justin Yeung, Dover High School, attending Penn State University; and Tommy Zheng, Brandywine High School, attending the University of Delaware.

To date, 91% of Delaware College Scholars, who are often the first in their family to attend college, have gone on to four-year institutions of higher learning.

For more, visit delawarecollegescholars.com.