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Hi, I'm Melody Qian!

Founder of Equitable Education Access

I’m a current student at Choate Rosemary Hall, an acclaimed school known for its academic rigor and high selectivity. After spending time immersed in classes, extracurriculars, and in the community, I can say for certain that the education, opportunities, and facilities available to me have helped me to discover my passions and afforded me the tools to pursue them into adulthood. 

However, unlike many of my peers, I didn’t come from a private middle school or pay the expensive tuition out-of-pocket. I grew up in the New York City public school system, where most of my peers didn’t even know these types of schools existed. I conducted my own research to find somewhere where I could flourish better, with more individualized attention from teachers, and a more balanced schedule where I could have time for academics, athletics, the arts, and extracurriculars all in one place. I’m lucky enough to have a family that has supported me and values education so heavily that they were willing to let me pursue education outside of the city in which I’d lived happily for most of my life. 

I know that many of my public-school peers have the same aspirations but feel restricted in their school options. For example, in New York City, many students base their entire future on being admitted into one of eight specialized high schools by taking a test similar to the SAT. Naturally, the pressure to get into one of these schools is immense, as many students consider their academic careers close to over if they don’t score high enough. While the resources available at specialized high schools tend to be better than those at zoned schools, many students sacrifice precious time traveling back and forth in unpredictable commutes and are lost among the vast sea of students.

For these reasons, I want to spread awareness to lower-income communities about the opportunities available at college preparatory and private schools in hopes that more students like me can thrive there. Furthermore, I want to advise and help them through the long and complicated admissions process, so that I can share my own insights, having personally gone through the process. Considering my interests in government and public policy, I want to eventually identify and address the systemic barriers and inequities in the education system so that the quality of education is improved across all schools and access to higher education is standardized across all income levels. Until that day, it is my mission to help as many students as I can succeed by assisting my talented peers with unlocking their potential beyond the public school system.

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