An Exceptional Student Leader and Now a Gates Scholar

May 8, 2024

A photo of Aaryia N. '24 standing outside by The Wheeler School's front entrance in Providencde. She is wearing a purple Wheeler Warriors shirt and smiling at the camera.

Congratulations to Aaryia N. ’24 for being named a Gates Scholar! This highly selective program recognizes outstanding, underrepresented high school seniors who are exceptional student leaders. Aaryia is one of 750 Gates Scholars chosen from a pool of over 53,000 applicants nationwide.

“To be selected as a Gates Scholar is truly an honor,” Aaryia says. “I was super surprised, but it made me reflect on my high school career and appreciate all of the little things I did. Honestly, the scholarship reminded me to be proud of myself.”

To be fair, Aaryia’s impact at Wheeler was more significant than she modestly suggests. As Associate Director of College Counseling Ann Foye describes, “Aaryia blossomed at Wheeler immediately after she transferred here heading into her junior year. Her teachers praised her impressive intellectual talents and her determination to succeed in all her academic and extracurricular endeavors. This year, in addition to being co-head of the Black Affinity Group, she is an impactful member of our Best Buddies chapter and a talented player on our varsity basketball and ultimate frisbee teams, while immersed in a very rigorous course load. We look forward to seeing the amazing paths she surely will blaze in college.”

After she graduates, Aaryia will attend Howard University where she plans to major in Engineering. As she reflects on her time at Wheeler, Aaryia wants to thank all of her teachers, “but I would like to personally thank Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Bomba, Mrs. Foye, Mrs. Phildor, and Ms. Bell. They made me feel very welcome and comfortable at Wheeler, and they encouraged me to be confident, believe in myself, and to just do great things.

“One Wheeler experience in particular that helped me grow as a person was being a mentor to a younger student of color,” she adds. “It was rewarding to connect with a younger student who shared the same interests as me and just wanted someone to talk to. Through this experience, I became more actively engaged in the Wheeler community.”

Her advisor, Student Support Coordinator Rose Phildor P’28, notes that “Aaryia has, consistently and without fanfare, demonstrated what it means to know your powers and to use them for the betterment of others. Aaryia is a resilient, thoughtful, empathetic, and dedicated student leader who embodies what it means to be a valued member of this community. For all that Aaryia is and for all that she does, it was not a surprise that The Gates Foundation selected her as a Gates Scholar, and I am confident that she will continue to do great things in the future.”

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