Landing in Ivy

As a first-generation Ecuadorian-American and the oldest of four children, responsibility and hard work have always been important to Kimberly. When Kimberly was in the eighth grade, her mother struggled with depression, so Kimberly had to juggle transitioning into high school while taking care of her brothers and sisters.

In her junior year, she learned about Comprehensive Youth Development’s Junior College Prep program. She started with SAT prep, and then moved on to college prep – getting familiar with the application process, navigating financial aid, and more. With help from her CYD advisor, Kimberly applied to 20 schools, with Columbia her first choice, and in December 2018 she learned she’d been accepted.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a doctor since I was maybe four. My mother wanted to study medicine but didn’t have the right resources or the circumstances to pursue it, so I’m very proud to do it for her.” Kimberly reports that her first year in college “has been an adjustment – it’s the first time I’m living away from home, but it’s amazing.”