Long Beach High School seniors Alyscia Batista and Jaylyn Umana are
among an elite pool of students across the country who have earned
prestigious QuestBridge National College Match scholarships. They were
selected for these honors based on rigorous applications that included
essays and components comparable to the Common Application, and will
receive full four-year scholarships to Ivy League schools.
QuestBridge received a record number of 16,248 applications, from which
6,507 finalists were identified. A total of 1,044 exceptional students
went on to secure scholarship awards. Alyscia will head to Brown
University, where she plans to start on the premedical track and major
in literary arts or biology. Jaylyn will go on to Columbia University to
Both Long Beach High School students are International Baccalaureate
Diploma Program candidates and very involved in their school and
community. Alyscia serves as a National Honor Society officer, a senior
editor for the Fragments literary magazine and has been a member of the
varsity swim team since the eighth grade. She participates in the
Book/Literary Club and Math Club and has won numerous distinctions for
her poetry in competitions including the Scholastic Art & Writing
Awards and Adelphi Poetry Day.
Alyscia also excels in science, is involved in the high school’s science
research program and attends the Columbia University Science Honors
Program. She completed the Columbia Engineering Summer High School
Academic Program for Engineers last summer, and it was there that a
teacher recommended that she take on the QuestBridge challenge.
Throughout the year, she works with a medical professor researching
polio. Her IB Extended Essay focuses on a literary comparison of how
author Betty Friedan affected Sharon Olds’ poetry.
Jaylyn is an award-winning science research student and a senior editor
of the Tide school newspaper. He also headed a student effort to
increase diversity through awareness, advocacy and opportunities such as
the Erase Racism conference. Last year, he represented Long Beach High
School at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair after
placing second in Physics and Astronomy category and winning the Yale
Science & Engineering Association’s Most Outstanding Exhibit in Comp
Science, Physics, Engineering or Chemistry distinction at the New York
State Science and Engineering Fair.
He has done research work at Farmingdale State College for two years and
is part of the Science and Technology Entry Program, which introduced
him to the QuestBridge opportunity. He is also a member of the American
Physical Society, for which he will present at a meeting in March. He is
involved in the African American Club, Mathletes and the National Honor
Society, and works with the Latino Civic Association in Long Beach. His
IB Extended Essay will cover the effect of supermassive black holes on
the critical density of the universe.