My name is Leah Nicole Boykin, and I am currently a freshman at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The Junior Frontiers program has had a tremendous role in shaping who I am today. Through the Frontiers, I have not only grown closer to my community and my culture, but I have found my own voice. I have learned the importance of “speaking up and speaking out”, and I have realized the importance of striving to be a leader in a world full of followers.  It is evident that the Junior Frontiers is a program that every student should participate in, and I am blessed enough to call myself an alumni. The Junior Frontiers aims to place youth on the road to success, and they have done a wonderful job. An old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Well, a vital part of that village is the Junior Frontiers.

    My name is Aaron Woodman and I am currently a freshman at the University of Rochester. I have been a member of the Mohawk Valley Junior Frontiers since 2015, and as the 2018-19 student co-president of the Utica-Rome Chapter, I learned the importance of putting the organization's four pillars into action for myself. Attending college and moving into the next phase of my education, I have seen the pillars of academic excellence, professional development, civic service and self-esteem, continue to be important in my personal and academic growth. Through various activities and lectures, I was provided a foundation of information about what to expect when I began my transition from high school to college.

    As a 2018, Frontiers International, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., scholarship recipient, I continue to put the four pillars into action, and have begun to understand what Dr. King meant when he said, “Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.”   

   As a serious learner, and valedictorian graduate from the Utica Academy of Science Charter School, I understand that academic excellence is achieved through hard work, commitment and sometimes asking for help. For these reasons, as a college student, I study, try to meet regularly during my professor’s office hours, and seek help from teacher assistants (TAs) when I have questions about a lesson or assignment. I also work hard to find balance in the things I need to do and what I want to do.

    As a Political Science major, I have involved myself in a few development opportunities to help me better understand my professional options. This included volunteering to be a juror for mock debates at the university, allowing me to observe how court cases are conducted, lawyers’ arguments are delivered, and how evidence is presented and reviewed to determine a verdict. Working as an election inspector, during the November 2019 elections, I was trained by Board of Election Fellows to assist voters at the polls, hand out ballots and explain voting technology. 

   The Frontier directors often encourage students to volunteer and to remember to give back. I continue to use some of my free time for civic service, as I recently did for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities store. Working as a cashier and packing bags for customers, the store is a fundraiser to support programs that help improve the health and well-being of children and families.

   Being able to begin stepping out of my comfort areas and try new things was encouraged by the Frontier directors with their motto “stand up and stand out.'' I am extremely thankful for all of the opportunities the Junior Frontiers have given to me, and the support and encouragement the directors continue to give me. The Junior Frontiers mean so much to me, and the things I have learned, places I have visited and people I have met as a Frontier, continue to have a positive impact on me.   

   My name is Ensonti Wigginson. I first joined Junior Frontiers in September 2019 oblivious to the impact that it would later have on my life. Since being a part of the program, I experienced growth academically, intellectually and overall personal growth. With supportive mentors and leaders, I was able to map out a plan to accomplish any set goals. Whenever I endured a tough time, Junior Frontiers always lent a helping hand all while simultaneously giving me advice to grow from the experience. I joined as a senior in high school and although it was late in my high school career, it was at the perfect moment to receive guidance for the next chapter in my life. I am grateful for the resources provided through both Junior Frontiers and 100 Black Men of Syracuse. I attended SAT Preparatory Classes at Syracuse University to succeed in the scholarship and admission processes. Junior Frontiers challenges all admitted students to grow. Each meeting I completed essays and public speaking tasks which contributed towards professional development. In addition to these challenges, Junior Frontiers granted me the opportunity to attend both the Ivy League College Tour and HBCU Tours. Thanks to the Junior Frontiers, I graduated high school in June of 2019 with high honors and a fully funded scholarship to Benedict College.                                                                                  Being an alumnus has not changed much of my academic life especially with the impact Junior Frontiers has on me. I’ve made sure to actively stand up and stand out which is what Junior Frontiers means to me. As a current freshman in college, I am an honors student maintaining a 3.6 G.P.A. Junior Frontiers instilled civic service within its program. Therefore, I am involved in my community with volunteer work and community service as well as extracurricular activities. Junior Frontier is more than a program but rather a family. I never get out of touch with the members, alumni or staff. They keep me motivated to push hard in school to provide a better life for myself and my family.

    I am a proud alumnus of Junior Frontier who is passionate and faithful to the organization. I’ve met influential Junior Frontier alumni and phenomenal mentors who inspire me to follow the road of success. I believe with all my heart that my place is to follow this road. Junior Frontiers of Mohawk Valley shaped me into the resilient young woman that I am today. I am able to forge myself into a person who has the compassion, the desire, the love, the dedication and the capacity to survive, no, thrive during the trials and tribulations of college and the rigors beyond. 


My Name is Yasin Kulmiya, Coming to the United States as a refugee from Kenya with no educational experience I was forced to register into a public school that did not show me the value of education. Throughout my elementary until my freshman of high school I had no understanding the value of education. All I knew was my native language and few other languages and a broken English.  I remember the month December, I started participating in football and that same month I was introduced to the Junior Frontiers by a friend. When you ask me what does Junior Frontiers means to you? I can tell you it means everything to me. Junior Frontiers in my family and they challenged me academically, intellectually and more important my personal growth.  


  Junior Frontiers playing a huge part on my academic achievements in College. Every member I know experience is different some students excel in academic, others intellectually but for me is more of a personal growth. In high school I was more exited to just graduate than to take education serious. Junior Frontiers seen I was struggling with multiple areas and they were not afraid to tell me the truth. Most of my experience in public school, teachers would lie to encourage students and yes for some students it worked but I was one of those students that didn’t work for it. After I graduated high school with 2.9 GPA and offers for football on the table. I agreed to attend Tougaloo College even though they did not have football program. Junior Frontiers trusted and believed Tougaloo College is the place that will give me the confidence I need to be successful. It took me a semester to realize that education is my way out. After meeting amazing international students and lifelong friends I was motivated to excel in school. That next semester I did. I felt I can do more and I was confidence that I wanted to transfer school to play football and excel in my academic. I did that year and transferred to Benedict College in South Carolina. My first year there I did really well earned 3.3 GPA. Ever since that I never looked back. Last semester I earned 3.5 GPA.  


  Junior Frontiers means more to me then football. I love every members and alumni and I can only wish ever refugee experience this program. Junior Frontiers made me fall in love with HBCU. I am honored to be alumni for Junior Frontiers. I will always help anyways the program needs me. Now having control of my personal growth, I seek to educate myself. I enjoy reading books and being informed about the world. Junior Frontiers didn’t give me everything, but I can promise you I would not come this far without the program.  


    My name is Timere Lanterman and I was in the Junior Frontiers Program for 5 years. Throughout those years in the program, I was Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Junior Frontiers Syracuse Chapter. I am grateful for the opportunities that have I have been offered and how much knowledge I have gained and have been using in my daily life in college. I’ve learned so much about my culture, things that I wouldn’t have learned in school, I have further developed my writing and public speaking skills through being one of the presidents of the program and writing essays. When speaking in front of groups and crowds of people it is natural for me to engage with the audience, make eye contact every once in a while, and speak up through years of practice with the frontiers I was told to “ stand up and speak out” if I want to be heard and taken serious. Without the Junior Frontiers I wouldn’t have known that HBCU’s exist, let alone being able to visit them annually. I have been going on the Historically Black College University tours since the 9th grade gaining the experience of knowing what colleges have to offer, what I could do to make sure I get into college, and finding out if the colleges were the right fit for me. I was extremely thankful to get accepted into the 13 colleges I visited my senior year of high school and receive 2 full rides, which is everything paid for, one into Benedict College with the Founder Scholarship and the other into St. Augustine’s. 

   The Junior Frontier Program has prepared me for greatness academically and intellectually throughout  every meeting. I was reminded that I had a large support system and I had and still have a lot of role models who I could ask for help. In school, I always strived to ask more questions in class and engage in learning subjects which helped my grades excel. I was also more engaged in the Junior Frontier program, participating in volunteer and fundraising activities offered to me. I cannot stress enough how much being in the program improved my personal growth. When I first began the program, I barely spoke two words but after some time I was always standing up speaking to other members in the program more and writing essays was an outlet for me to speak because I became a stronger writer and speaker. This program has taught me how to dress up for interviews, how to network and get to know people and how to speak in front of audiences of any kind . My confidence has definitely been boosted 100 percent and I am not afraid of what others think of me. I will take what I’ve been taught in this program as far as I go because I know what this program can do for students of color. Through the Junior Frontiers I was able to learn more about myself whether it be strengths or weaknesses and become a positive role model for everyone I am surrounded by. The Junior Frontiers has become a second family to me from meeting other members in other chapters to connecting with members from mine. This program definitely will help students to be successful and if you stick with it you will be. 

    I would like to thank everyone in the Junior Frontier Program who helped me get to where I am, chaperones on the college tours and at the meetings. I would like to thank Judge Rasheed, Ms. Elliot, Dr. Benson-Reid  and the late Ms. Flanagan for being such role models in my life and helping me to strive for greatness. Dr. Benson-Reid inspired me when I heard her story because she is very goal-oriented and hard-working and believed she could be successful and I believe the same in myself. Judge Rasheed and Ms. Elliot dedicate their time in educating young minds in how powerful they can be if they set goals, get their education,  and take the SAT’s, especially the SAT’s. There are countless scholarships you can receive with having high scores on the SAT’s. Being in the program I was rewarded easy money by just being able to write essays, answer questions, and handing in my report cards. Words cannot express how thankful and appreciative I am for these individuals who inspired me because I know they truly care about me and my future and through this program I’ve gained more self-confidence, developed my academics, character, and had the opportunity to further my education.


David Jordon Freshman at Hamilton College. The Junior Frontiers have been a fundamental pillar in my development as a scholar and as an individual. The Junior Frontiers are like a second family for me where I feel accepted and, know that for a few hours every other week people were actively working on improving my life. The program became a motivator for me because I saw other adults invest themselves in my future and I felt like I could not let them down. Beyond just academics, Junior Frontier has shaped my attitude and approach at the world. They teach the skills necessary to thrive in any setting. Because of the junior frontiers I feel confident leading, taking actions, and asking for support when I need it. The Junior Frontiers has helped me become the thriving young man I am today.

Sharifay Muhammad Freshman HCCC.  The Junior Frontiers of The Mohawk Valley is a family unit that kindles dreams and produces success. With the Junior Frontiers, I have learned that no dream is too far-fetched, and hard work and perseverance pays off. That as underdogs, we are just as capable as the next man. Junior Frontiers is composed of youth from all walks of life which establishes empathy and acknowledgment. It exhibits the importance of service in giving back, showing out in being leaders, and education in catering to our academic needs. To be a product of the Junior Frontier is to be a diamond in the rough; an ordinary soul on the surface with extraordinary willpower to succeed.

Lewis Lewis The Junior frontiers first and foremost has been a second family who have loved and cared for me as a whole. Whether I made achievements academically or physically they were there showing me in an appreciative manner of what I had accomplished.

Many experiences were made while being apart of the frontiers. Historical visits informing me about true past and where I’ve come from also college visits showing me what’s possible if I just put my best foot forward on all chances and opportunities that are given to me. The Junior frontier informed me of many things whether they were tips on what to do prepping for college, things to do after college with a degree or regular day things that can benefit myself positively creating a process of becoming the best me I can be. The junior frontiers showed faith in my abilities even when I wasn’t so sure myself. And I will always appreciate what they mean to me and keep them close to my heart.

Malcolm Jackson Freshman at HCCC, The first time that I came to a Junior Frontiers meeting, I did not want to be there at all. I hated coming especially when I had just finished practice and all I wanted to do was eat dinner, do homework and go to sleep. Throughout my life, I don’t ever believe I was actually a bad student. However, as I started to come to the meetings more often, I started to realize that there were some things that I needed to learn that could not be taught to me in a classroom. As I started to make coming to meetings more of a regularity, the Junior Frontiers became like another family to me. The Junior Frontiers actually cared about my future endeavors and wanted to help me reach those goals and aspirations. The advisors and other adults in the program taught me lifelong skills and knowledge that my school education would have never instilled in me. They took the time and effort out of their own personal lives to make sure that I was doing what I needed to do to make my future a priority. This program opened me up to a whole new world of opportunities that went beyond just my community and city. I have made several connections and friendships, not just with other Junior Frontiers, but with people in different states as well. I have been awarded numerous opportunities to prepare for getting into college and being aware of what to expect on this next journey in my life. I honestly believe that without the Junior Frontiers, I would not be the young man that I am today in this position to be successful. 


My name is Crystal Lin. What is college? That is the type of question I asked myself two years ago before I joined Junior Frontiers. Now in college, I look back to my personal growth and the knowledge that I’ve gain about higher education just before I was sent off. I am absolutely grateful to the Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley. Without their guidance and patience, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
   Growing up, I have a vague understanding of what college meant. When my White, middle-class peers talked about their college plans in the eighth grade, I did not join the conversation. Part of it was me being ashamed of my ignorance in the subject. College was never a topic in my family nor was I ever informed by my counselors, whom I rely on for my education. I don’t know how to apply, where to apply to, what to prepare, and most importantly, why am I applying. All I that I know is that I will apply to a college and continue to learn just like the past 16 years. This was no longer true when I joined Junior Frontiers, a program that changed my life. I found my purpose and mission in perusing higher education. I was taught the process of applying to college and the steps that I should take prior to attending college. I learned how to network, how to speak publicly, and how to present myself. I was given a opportunity to reshape my life. Sometimes we think that opportunities meant success. But the truth is that opportunities without guidance, persistence, or the hunger for success brings us nowhere. I was surrounded by opportunities but without the guidance of the Junior Frontiers, I wasn’t going anywhere.

My name is Nakiesha Newton and I am a Sophomore at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama. My major is history in hopes of one day becoming a corporate lawyer. Without the Jr. Frontiers of Mohawk Valley I would have never ended up at Tuskegee. Both of my older siblings were also apart of the organization. My senior year of high school I decided to go on the annual Historical Black College Tour. I never pictured myself going to an HBCU until on the trip. Once we got to the college fair I found myself applying to colleges that I could never see myself attending. The first college I got into on the trip was Wilberforce and after that my confidence was through the roof and I kept going. When we got to Tuskegee I fell in love with the college instantly. I just know I had to go through. I did not apply to Tuskegee before the trip. When I got there I applied on site and was accepted  on site. Without the help of the Jr. Frontiers I would have never had the opportunity of seeing what young successful African Americans are doing outside of Utica. The Jr. Frontiers of Mohawk Valley have influenced my life greatly and I will forever be thankful. Thank you so much to all the adults and leaders in the program because each and every one of you had a hand in helping me with my future. Thank you.


My name is Ciara Studstill, a senior at Thomas J. Corcoran High School, located in Syracuse, New York. The past five years that I spent in Junior Frontiers have gone by quickly, almost too quickly now that my time in the program is coming to an end. Throughout my time with the Junior Frontiers, I have learned many valuable lessons that I will carry with me to college and beyond, I got the chance to be exposed to different cultures, and I’ve made friends and many memories that I know will last a lifetime. Being a member of this program has given me the chance to be able to find my voice and learn to speak up and speak out. The young woman you see standing before you today is definitely not the same girl that started Junior Frontiers five years ago. With the help of the co-directors and parents, I have been shaped and molded into a multitalented, confident and cultured young lady, and I will forever be grateful for that. The Junior Frontiers has many opportunities where students are able to get geared up for college, practice hard work and connect with other students such as the annual Ivy League and HBCU tours, SAT prep classes at Syracuse University, participate in various fundraisers for the program, Saturday Academy and trips to museums and historical sites within the United States. During my third and final year of the HBCU tour, I got the chance to interview with some of the schools at the HBCU fair and the schools we visited. While on the tour, I was accepted into my first choice, Bennett College, and will be attending the school in the fall of 2017. I know that with the guidance, advice, unwavering love and support from both my parents and Junior Frontiers family, I will be able to persevere through the next four years and become the woman that God intends for me to be. Thank you.

DuWayne Engram (Associates in Applied Science in Human Services, MVCC, May 2015; Bachelors in Social Welfare, SUNY Albany, May 2017). I was a member of the Junior Frontier program from 2004-2006. This program held meetings, gave me experiences, taught me different things, and put influential people around me that helped me develop into a man that can achieve his goals and dreams. Some of the experiences that Junior Frontier program provided me with were tours of historically black colleges, a high school cyber security program, fund raising missions, sporting events such as golfing and bowling, and even meeting influential scholars, and celebrities. The Junior Frontier program gave me the opportunity to compete a leadership position such as the Vice President position. As of late, this program has connected me to resources that supported me in returning to college full time , and allowed me to assist the program as an alumnus and further support current students by telling my story.

Katrina Springer - I was a member of the Syracuse Chapter of the Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley throughout high school. As a member, I participated in the Jr. Frontiers Annual HBCU Tour for several years. While on the tour as a senior, Lincoln University awarded me a full Presidential Scholarship.


I spent three years at Lincoln where I majored in Political Science, minored in International Relations, and took advantage of several internationally-focused opportunities. These opportunities included study abroad through Semester at Sea, serving as a student delegate at the U.S.-China Student Summit, studying Arabic at Middlebury Language School, and interning at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. In my senior year at Lincoln, I was selected as one of 30 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellows with the U.S. State Department. Through this fellowship, I have secured internships at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, the United States Senate, and the House of Representatives. I will graduate from Syracuse University with a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a Master of Science in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in May. Following graduation, I will be commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer—also known as an American Diplomat—in the U.S. Department of State.


I consider my time at Lincoln University to be the springboard for recognizing and achieving my career aspiration of representing U.S. foreign policy and interests abroad. Without the Jr. Frontiers and the HBCU Tour, I doubt that I would have attended Lincoln and recognized my full potential. I am forever grateful to the Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley and the chapter directors for the role they have played in my success.

A message from Charlene Renee Murray. "Mr. Rasheed... I just want to thank you for mentoring me as a middle school and high school student. I think about your contribution to my life very often and I just want you to know that it had a major effect on me in every positive aspect. In 3 weeks I will begin my Masters in Public Health degree program at the University of Albany. I was selected for a grad assistantship that comes with a stipend and a tuition award. I'm also receiving GTOP, which is the graduate version of EOP/HEOP. I am so excited for this new journey. Thank you so much for pouring into my life and the lives of others, you are truly a blessing."

My name is Hilda M. Jordan and I am a pre-law student at Harvard University double majoring in Philosophy and African-American Studies. I want to describe just how grateful I am for being a member of the Junior Frontiers for four years.


The Junior Frontiers has given me a number of opportunities and experiences that I would have never dreamed possible. It has always been a lifelong to dream to be a Harvard Student and in many ways without the help of the Junior Frontiers I wouldn’t have gotten there. As a sophomore the Junior Frontiers gave  me opportunities to shadow judges and begin interning with attorneys. My junior year I was accepted to the Harvard Summer School program at the price of 11,000 dollars within the time frame of a week. With the community support, effort, and backing of the Junior Frontiers I was able to achieve my nearly impossible goal in not seven days but four. Then my senior year, the Junior Frontiers took me on an Ivy League tour where I toured, interviewed, and experienced some of the country’s best universities and small liberal arts colleges. Had it not been for the Junior Frontiers, I would have never been able to afford those experiences and be confirmed that Harvard was the place where I rightfully belong.


Currently, I am an alum of the organization and I am so blessed to say I am where I am because of the giants of the Mohawk Valley Junior and Senior Frontiers. I am so grateful to now see my younger brother and cousins going through the program and seeing college not as an impossible feat or far away dream, but a life changing choice. I thank the Junior Frontiers and the Mohawk Valley for the blessing they have been to my family and me!

Daileny Guerrero - Junior Frontiers is just like a family, it disciplines you and most importantly, supports you. When I first joined, I was so nervous to stand up and recount something good that happened to me during the week. However, just that simple act has taught me to always establish my presence in a room and to not let anyone undermine my words. I was taught to always ask questions, never take no for an answer, and to go beyond what is expected out of me. Every HBCU tour, Ivy League tour, SAT class, and community service has encouraged me to grow academically and socially.


I am immensely grateful to the directors and parents who invested so much time in making sure I had no excuse to not do well in school. I now attend Barnard College and am a Gates Millennium Scholar which pays for 10 years of my college education. I have all the resources I need to obtain a bachelor, masters, and PhD and I will be forever thankful to everyone who believed in me.

Delvin Moody - “One of the greatest decisions in life, was to join the Junior Frontiers. The program not only broadened my knowledge on options in the world, but it is the single most important reason why I am at the University of Rochester. The Junior Frontier program gives so many young people an opportunity to better their lives and reach their God given potential. Three years later, I am at the University of Rochester studying Political Science on a Pre-Law track and have a 3.47 GPA. I am making history on campus with innovative programs never done at University of Rochester. I have traveled the Middle East and I am directly involved in Israeli Politics with AIPAC. I am a proud Utican and I proud Alumni of Junior Frontiers.”

Greetings everyone, my name is Samantha Tavarez. I am the co-president of the Utica/Rome chapter of the Junior Frontiers. I am a graduating senior from Thomas R Proctor high school and will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall majoring in Biomedical Sciences.


There are few organizations in which lift up students to obtain a higher education. Therefore, one may question where my motivation and desire derive from? It is the Junior Frontiers? Due to this organization, I have the scope of knowledge and preparation which aid me for college and beyond.


We are a program dedicated to help students, from various ages and grades, surpass the average standards and to ultimately pursue a higher education. To do so the Junior Frontiers gives students countless opportunities to help them get ahead. Some of these include SAT prep, Saturday Academy, tutoring, and college tours. We also participate in many fundraisers and community service events throughout the local area such as Pancake Breakfast and Fish Fry. Our students always feel motivated to contribute to the Junior Frontiers because of what is called the point system. Students get rewarded for doing tasks such as writing essays on the topic assigned, attendance to the meeting, and participation in volunteer work or fundraisers. All the awards being given out today this evening are from our successful and hard working peers.


I have been a member of the Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley since my freshmen year of high school. Not only has the organization influenced me on the importance of college preparation, but also on networking, social skills, and self-acceptance. The directors and chaperones offer an immense amount of guidance through the college process and construction in which I did not obtain before. I realized how I present myself reflects who I am as an individual. With my participation in community service, I am aware it is beneficial to give back to my community and share my success for others to do the same.


To have met such an inspiring group of people who embrace struggles as an embodiment of one’s character admires me. To recognize I am surrounded by people who have similar backgrounds as me, morally demonstrates I am not alone with the barriers I have and continue to face. My parents always visualized me as a person who is not afraid of expressing myself and realizing the amount the strength that I carry to pose decisions. Now they have the chance to see me embark to a new chapter in my life.


I can positively ensure my experiences within the Junior Frontiers, will set an example for students to flourish with prosperity, alongside mentors enriched with inspiration and motivation beside them. The key is to strive, not only survive!

Christine Samuel (Tuskegee University, Junior Psychology Major). The Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley has been a pillar in my life for as long as I can remember. The Junior Frontiers has played a pivotal role in my success throughout grade school, high school, and now at Tuskegee University. As a member of the Junior Frontiers I was able to gain valuable experiences through SAT/ACT prep courses, college tours, writing seminars, summer camps, the annual historical black college tour, and many more opportunities that were provided.


Through the Junior Frontiers I was provided with multiple opportunities and I have taken every opportunity presented to give back what was given to me. Last year I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for children from Macon County through the Youth Hope Builders Program at Tuskegee University. It is my mission to develop a program similarly setup to the Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley once I am in my career. I know I did not get to where I am today on my own, I had a village behind me supporting me, encouraging me, and passing their knowledge on to me. I want to be like the people in my village, unselfishly giving of themselves to better someone else and being the catalyst for change in some else’s life.

Marquis Palmer - Being a Junior Frontier taught me so much more than how to excel in college; more importantly, it taught me that I must create opportunity myself and pursue it purposefully. Before becoming a Frontier, I knew that I wanted to go to college and eventually practice law or teach—but I didn’t know how, nor why, I was going to do any of this. During my time as a Junior Frontier, however, I was brought to realization that one must create opportunity in the pursuit of one’s goals, that one must actively dig one’s path toward success because very little can be passively achieved. But from where does one derive the energy to dig one’s own path - to create opportunity? The most valuable lesson I learned in Junior Frontiers is that to do anything meaningfully - especially to dig one’s own path and walk on up it - one must find purpose in what one is doing, for only purpose can drive one forward as far as one wants to go.


With these valuable lessons given to me by the Junior Frontiers, I have managed to shine during my time at Hamilton College, where I’m pursing a BA in Philosophy, and the University of Oxford, where I’m currently studying as a Visiting Student for my Junior Year Abroad. After I receive my BA, I hope to pursue a joint JD and PhD, first engaging in legal practice and then using that experience to inform the policy and scholarly work I hope to do. In the end, I aim to lift the voices of the most marginalized members of our society.

Gloribel Difo - As a Junior Frontiers alumna who just finished her first semester of college I can honestly say everything I learned through the organization contributed to me having a successful first semester. So many high school students are unaware of amazing organizations such as the Junior Frontiers that prepare students for a better future. Everything from how to carry yourself professionally and confidently to college tours and so much more the Junior Frontiers provides. The organization provided a safe space where I could join other students in striving towards a better future when I was in high school and continues to do that for other students today.


Besides all the resources I was given that led me to become a thriving college student the biggest benefit I received from the Junior Frontiers is support. In the three short years that I was a student in the program the people who formed part of it became like a second family to me. Everyone involved with the organization is dedicated to the success of its students and that kind of support and dedication is hard to find in other organizations. Even after graduating high school the Junior Frontiers continues to offer its support to me which I am forever grateful for.


My name is Nakiesha Newton and I am a Sophomore at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama. My major is history in hopes of one day becoming a corporate lawyer. Without the Jr. Frontiers of Mohawk Valley I would have never ended up at Tuskegee. Both of my older siblings were also apart of the organization. My senior year of high school I decided to go on the annual Historical Black College Tour. I never pictured myself going to an HBCU until on the trip. Once we got to the college fair I found myself applying to colleges that I could never see myself attending. The first college I got into on the trip was Wilberforce and after that my confidence was through the roof and I kept going. When we got to Tuskegee I fell in love with the college instantly. I just know I had to go through. I did not apply to Tuskegee before the trip. When I got there I applied on site and was accepted  on site. Without the help of the Jr. Frontiers I would have never had the opportunity of seeing what young successful African Americans are doing outside of Utica. The Jr. Frontiers of Mohawk Valley have influenced my life greatly and I will forever be thankful. Thank you so much to all the adults and leaders in the program because each and every one of you had a hand in helping me with my future. Thank you.