Senior Class President Solomina Darko '18 will be a member of Harvard University's incoming freshmen class, starting in the fall of 2018. She applied and was accepted through the school's Restricted Early Action. She will study Biomedical Engineering and plans to pursue a Doctorate shortly afterwards. Solomina was among over 6,000 applicants who applied Restricted Early Action to Harvard and was one of only 964 who were granted admission to the prestigious university.
"The Holy Cross community is extremely proud of Solomina and her accomplishments throughout her high school career," said Catherine Xeller, Director of Guidance. "This young lady is one of our top students academically, an avid volunteer and student ambassador."
"I found out on December 12th," said Solomina. "It was so surreal at first. My dad cried. My mom was really happy and thankful. Both of them have worked so hard for my education and success."
Solomina was born in Ghana and moved to the United States when she was ten with her mother. Her father came to the states earlier to earn his master's degree in Psychology. It was a huge adjustment for Solomina. However, her academic experience didn't change much. Learning English in Ghana helped her prepare for that.
Solomina's father researched Harvard during his daughter's freshmen year. At the time, she didn't even know that it was an Ivy League school. Solomina did her own research during her sophomore year and ascertained that she really wanted to study there. "It was at the top of my list," she said. "Doing Early Action really helped me. I figured that the worst answer I could have received was no."
The sciences have always interested Solomina. Since this past summer, she was a participant in MIT's MOSTEC (Online, Science, Technology, and Engineering Community) Program. Through the program she met other students who were interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Over the summer, she took courses in science writing and neuroscience. Solomina presented a final project on sleep and its effect on memory when the class ended in August.
An enrichment phase, which lasted an additional five months, made up the rest of the MOSTEC Program. "We did webinars related to the career of engineering," said Solomina. "A grad student from Yale spoke with us about her journey. We also talked with a manager from Microsoft."
Solomina and the other participants also had to write weekly blogs. She wrote about how she wanted to find a college that fit her. "These blogs could have been expressed through the written word, video or art. We also posted our college essays and resumes and had them critiqued by peers, advisors and program directors."
Solomina credits this program for preparing her for her experience at Harvard. "This exposed me to so many opportunities," she said. "I met many people who were so experienced in STEM. As the program went on, I realized some of my own strengths."
"Harvard has always been a dream for Solomina," said Ms. Xeller. "I am so thrilled her dream is now a reality!"