Lynn, MA- December 5, 2019- Two KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate students have been awarded the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship, which connects high-achieving low-income high school seniors with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges and universities. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. Hermon Kaysha will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Destin Fernandes will attend Stanford University. QuestBridge received 14,926 applications for the Match Scholarship and 1,127 students were awarded the scholarship.
Hermon Kaysha immigrated with his family to Lynn from Ethiopia in 2018. When he came to KIPP, he didn’t speak English but felt completely welcomed by the students and teachers. He learned about QuestBridge last year from a senior and decided to apply. “I never thought that I was going to apply to an elite college. When I was selected as a finalist it was my biggest achievement. Last Monday I found out I was matched to MIT, which is my dream school. It’s just a dream come true. It was the best day of my life, I will never forget it.” At KIPP, Hermon started the Math Club and was a teaching assistant in precalculus. He intends to major in math and hopes to discover his own theorem one day.
Destin Fernandes started at KIPP in eighth grade. He said the QuestBridge application process was rigorous and time consuming, but the end result makes it all worth it. “When I saw I got into Stanford, I screamed. I put it on my list just to put it on there, because I knew it would carry over to regular decision when I didn’t get in. I had no thought that I would actually get in. I was crying and just couldn’t believe it.” At KIPP, Destin is the co-President of the National Honor Society, does slam poetry with Indigo Society Poets, and is part of the Innocence Project club. Destin also works 30 hours per week at a movie theatre and takes Composition I at North Shore Community College. Destin intends to major in sociology and wants to become a civil rights lawyer or a public defender in the future.
KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate Principal Emily DoBell says, “Every now and then, incredible things happen for incredible people. This was one of those times. I cannot express how excited I am for the communities of MIT and Stanford and all that Hermon and Destin will add to those spaces.”
About KIPP Massachusetts
KIPP Massachusetts is part of a non-profit network of college preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP MA operates five public charter schools across Boston and Lynn, serving more than 2,000 students in grades K-12. KIPP MA has a 15-year track record of preparing students in educationally under-served communities for success in college and life.
KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating over 100,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds.
QuestBridge, a national non-profit based in Palo Alto, California, connects the nation’s most exceptional low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education to further life opportunities. By recruiting, developing, and motivating these students- beginning in high school through college to their early career- QuestBridge aims to help talented low-income students attend the nations’ best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their respective careers and communities.