It’s a moment New Haven’s Daniel Reyes has worked hard for. Surrounded by family, the Achievement First Amistad High School senior saw online he’s now accepted into Yale University.
“I felt a bunch of pressure on me,” said Reyes, who still says it’s hard to believe after a year that was unbelievable.
He says it was a support team that helped as he adjusted to remote learning for his last year of high school, and the remote application process which included several virtual college visits and webinars.
“My parents and certainly the college guidance team that kept me on top of things,” said Reyes.
“It’s awesome. It’s rewarding. Daniel has worked so hard,” said Attallah Sheppard, dean of college and career services.
She says the relationships between students and counselors are critical, so they have gotten creative during remote learning. The school also has a course on college.
“That’s where a lot of our counselors are doing their work, to meet with students and move them through the process of admissions and financial aid applications as well,” said Sheppard.
During the pandemic, she says students are looking at what works best for them, from four-year schools to workforce training programs. So far, the senior class of 151 students has more than 300 acceptances.
“When he got accepted, I felt like I was accepted too because we were so happy,” said Roberto Reyes, Daniel’s father.
Daniel is a first-generation college student who is excited Yale is committed to student diversity in race and financial background.
“Inclusive environments, I feel like, are always the best in terms of intellectual engagement and getting to know the different perspectives all-around,” said Reyes.
He’s still waiting on two other Ivy League schools, but he’s pretty sure he’ll be a voice at Yale.
“There’s a lot going on in my head… but as of now I think so.”