Meet Kelsey, Valedictorian of Boston Prep's Graduating Class of 2017

For the seventh year in a row, 100% of Boston Prep's graduates have been accepted to a four-year college.  Kelsey-Ann Leslie is one of the many seniors looking forward to beginning her journey through college this fall.

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Kelsey was born in Jamaica and lived there with her mother and younger brother as a child, while her father worked in America.  She first came to the United States with her mother and brother when she was in the fifth grade, her first experience with American schooling.  Kelsey's family was aware of her strong skills and drive to achieve.  They quickly realized that in order to achieve excellence, college needed to be an option for Kelsey.  Kelsey's parents' sacrifices and years of hard work to enable her to pursue a better life galvanized Kelsey to always strive for excellence in all she does.

Kelsey joined Boston Prep as a ninth grade student.  A month into her freshman year, teachers realized that she was excelling with high A’s in every subject.  Teachers asked Kelsey to take the freshman year final exams in October and were impressed to find that Kelsey demonstrated mastery of concepts and skills across all subject areas.  Kelsey was immediately promoted to tenth grade, only a month into her freshman year.  She continued to excel throughout high school, earning a 99.60 cumulative GPA.  

Not complacent to simply immerse herself in her studies, Kelsey has been active in a variety of extracurricular activities as well.  She serves as co-president and secretary for National Honor Society, is an officer in the Red Cross Club, and is a member of the Dean's Council, a group of upperclassmen who mentor and council students who are referred to the Dean's Office for behavioral issues.  In addition, Kelsey participates in MIT’s Saturday Engineering Enrichment and Discovery (SEED) Academy.

When it came time to apply to college, Kelsey applied through QuestBridge, a program that partners with highly selective colleges across the nation to provide full scholarships to the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth.  She will attend Northwestern as a QuestBridge scholar studying engineering.  Kelsey will be the first in her family to attend a four-year college. 

Looking back on her high school experience, Kelsey shared the following advice for younger students: "My advice may actually sound contradictory at first.  On the one hand, when you start high school, know that it may not be easy.  Take some time to get used to the new environment, be yourself, and don’t spend too much time dwelling on the little things. You may not find your niche right away, but eventually everything will fall into place. Make sure to enjoy your high school years; they go by faster than you think. At the same time, don’t forget that your education is very important. Take all your classes seriously.  Grades in freshman year do matter, and you may just find something you're truly passionate about!"

We are incredibly proud of not only Kelsey but all of our seniors.  Please join us at graduation on June 12 to celebrate their tireless effort and dedication as they step into the next phase of their journey to college success.  Graduation will be held at 6PM at the Strand Theatre (543 Columbia Road, Dorchester).