A Flushing learner is up for one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
Emily Ramprashad, a senior at John Bowne High School, is a part of the school’s historic agriculture program. Affectionately known as the “John Bowne Aggies,” the over 500 students in the program learn about plant and animal sciences through hands-on research at the school’s four-acre land laboratory, exotic bird room and other unique on-site resources.
“It was very hard at first, but I’ve loved it a lot,” Ramprashad said.
The Jamaica resident originally wanted to be a pharmacist. However, after being accepted to John Bowne’s program, she changed her course.
The program has opened up a world of opportunities, Ramprashad said. Over the summer, she traveled to Cornell University to engage in pre-veterinary studies. Steven Perry, assistant principal of the program, also took the young learner on a trip to meet U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
After struggling with the loss of her father at age 14, Ramprashad said Perry has been like “a second father.”
“He’s taught me so much, and he’s done a lot for me,” she said. “I’m also very thankful for [teacher Patryja] Jamiolkowska.”
In her final year, Ramprashad has been focused on studying plant respiration and hydroponics. She hopes to study veterinary sciences at Cornell next year.
The humble student said the nomination for the program was a shock.
“I was very surprised that they chose me,” she said. “I have worked hard all my life. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Finalists chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive a trip to Washington, D.C., in June and the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. Announcements about finalists will be made in spring 2018.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic congratulated the student on her nomination.
“Queens students as talented and hard working as Emily deserve recognition by New York state, and I thank Commissioner Elia and John Bowne High School for elevating and nurturing one of our best and brightest,” the lawmaker said.
The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. One young man and one young woman from each state will be chosen and named a 2018 Presidential Scholar.
“The distinguished nominees are representative of the many talented high school students across our state,” state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Their commitment to academic excellence sets a strong example for their peers, and I am pleased to recognize their accomplishments. I wish them continued success as nominees for this prestigious award.”
Those interested in learning more on the Presidential Scholars Program can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.