Through service, sports and dance, this Townsend Harris High School student in Queens earns scholarship

Photo via Google Maps, inset courtesy of the Milken Scholars

Josselyn Navas, a student at Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, is one of six New York City students that will join the 2018 class of Milken Scholars.

Since 1989, the Milken Scholars have honored exceptional young men and women who have demonstrated the potential to make a profound difference in the world. As of 2018, more than 400 Milken Scholars from a variety of backgrounds have been selected from over 175 high schools in Los Angeles County, New York City and Washington, D.C.

In additional to receiving a $10,000 scholarship, Navas will receive a lifelong support system that can assist her pursuit of any post-undergraduate career goals, including career-related counseling and opportunities for community service and internships.

“The Milken Scholars Program provides a lifelong support network for the best and brightest young minds throughout their academic and professional careers,” according to Phyllis and Sidney Bresler and the Robert I. Schattner Foundation Inc., which helps to sponsor the New York City Milken Scholars. “These young men and women faced adversity most would find crippling, yet persevered and are positioning themselves to be the future leaders in their communities and beyond.”

A National Hispanic Scholar, Navas belongs to the National Honor Society. She earned a Summa Cum Laude Award and a perfect score on the National Latin Exam.

Every morning, Navas walks her younger brother to school before taking on her own busy day of learning and extracurricular activities. In addition to captaining her school’s varsity volleyball team and serving as first chair alto clarinet, Navas tutors young students in math and science and contributes some of her earnings for her brother’s child care.

For the past four years, Navas has participated in Townsend Harris High School’s multicultural dance performance, Festival of Nations. In addition to teaching her peers to salsa and merengue as the festival’s Hispanic group head choreographer and instructor, Navas has also joined in the Korean and Punjabi performances.

After gaining a strong interest in Sikh religion and Punjabi culture, Navas began to emcee fundraising events and performed on the bhangra dance team for the Sikh Student Association. She volunteered last summer at the Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society, where she took Sikh camp classes in exchange for preparing and serving lunch.

Navas will be attending the University of Chicago this coming fall. She will study economics and plans on a career in policy planning.

In addition to joining the Milken Scholars, Navas received the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship and the University of Chicago’s Odyssey Scholarship.

“In the nearly three decades since Lori and I cofounded the Milken Scholars program, these leaders of tomorrow have consistently inspired us by their achievements, leadership and dedication to service,” said Milken Institute Chairman Mike Milken. “This year’s class of outstanding New York Scholars is no exception. In welcoming them to the Milken Scholars family, we are confident they can change the world.”

For more information about the Milken Scholars Program, visit www.MilkenScholars.org.

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