Big success for Baltimore Polytechnic Institute's senior class

On Sunday morning, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute’s seniors will walk across the stage for their graduation ceremony at Coppin State University. And among them will be four students heading to Ivy League schools in the fall and six students who earned a perfect score on at least one SAT section or subject test.

School officials say they’re proud of the accomplishments of these students, some of whom are planning to be the first in their family to earn a degree.

“The students are gifted, talented and hard-working,” said Sergei Zverev, the associate director of Poly’s Ingenuity program. “Every year, we’re crying at the end of the year. We love these kids.”

Julian Briggs, 18, is heading to Columbia to study mechanical engineering. He has classmates going to Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton.

He credits his Poly teachers for getting him ready for an Ivy League education, and says he hopes to help cities like Baltimore once he has his degree.

“I want to improve transit systems in cities and urban areas to allow everyone, no matter what socioeconomic status, to get where they need to go,” Briggs said.

The Poly students said the friendships they’ve made at the prestigious North Baltimore public school have helped them get through the stressful college application season. To get his mind off the pressure, senior Isaac Spokes said he and his friends went hiking on “Ivy Day” — the date all eight of the elite schools release their admissions decisions.

“We’re all in this together,” said Spokes, 18, who will study engineering and economics at Dartmouth. “If I’m successful, I want to remember Poly as the place where I developed as a person and made connections and friendships I’ll have for my whole life.”

Daisheau Player, 17, is going to Dickinson College. After attending the private college in Pennsylvania, she wants to study law and mentor future Baltimore students so she can show them “college is a possibility.”

Elijah Dukes, 18, also wants to come back and help the city after he finishes up at Cornell.

“We need to get to kids at a young age and try to build them up to believe all things are possible,” he said.

Other high schools in the city have also seen big success among the class of 2018. At Baltimore City College, for example, five students were named Banneker/Key Scholars, which is the University of Maryland, College Park’s most prestigious scholarship program.

And a senior from the Gilman School, an all-boys prep school, found out he was accepted into all eight Ivies before eventually deciding on Harvard.

Moufidatou Adedoyin, a senior at Poly, said there’s “so much talent in this class” — not just at Poly, but in the city and across the country.

“Being a part of this class is something I wouldn’t trade,” said the 18-year-old who will attend Johns Hopkins in the fall. “We’re just really great.”

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