Upper East Side High School Grads Win Scholarship, Mentorship Honors

Caoimhe Boyle, a graduate of the Chapin School, will study math and economics at Princeton University this fall. | Photo courtesy of Milken Scholarship Program

BY SYDNEY PEREIRAThree 2018 graduates of Upper East Side high schools have been selected among this year’s Milken Scholars. Caoimhe Boyle, Roy Kim, and Angelo Osofsky were chosen for their academic performance, community service, demonstrated leadership, and ability to persevere in tough situations. In their high schools, the young scholars took the lead on efforts from reducing food waste and working with administrators to support transgender students to climbing up the ranks in New York State’s debate competitions

The scholarship program — founded three decades ago by philanthrophists Michael Milken, the former financier, and his wife Lori — is open to students in New York City, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, with scholars given $10,000 and a lifetime of mentoring and resources. A total of six New York high schoolers were chosen.

Caoimhe Boyle
Boyle has lived on the Upper East Side for 16 years, where her father is a building superintendent. She has
attended the Chapin School, a private, all-girls school on East End Ave. near Carl Schurz Park, her entire educational career and graduated in a class of 58 students. Since eighth grade, she has been a student government representative and last year became the student government president.

“In my role of president, I grew a lot as a leader in terms of the fact that I had new responsibility of organizing various events,” she said. “I ran weekly assemblies, and I had to get used to those responsibilities and larger projects and initiatives.”

During her time in student government, Boyle pushed for a no-uniform day on Fridays, raised money for brain cancer awareness, and was a student representative on Chapin’s Community Life and Diversity Council where she advocated for transgender students. One win she highlighted was the change in the designation of bathrooms from “ladies’ room” to “Chapin student restrooms.”

“Basically, the point of this project was to look at how culture and curriculum at Chapin impact trans students and what we can be doing to make the school a better place,” Boyle said. Although Chapin is historically an all-girls school, its mission statement is accepting of all gender identities, she explained.

Boyle plans to study math and economics at Princeton University this fall. She has competed in Chapin’s math and science bowl and earned first place in the Mathematical Association of America’s AMC 12 exam.

Her passion for math began as a small child, when she discovered what black holes were. At first, she was afraid of them, believing they could swallow up the planet. Since discovering how black holes actually work, Boyle said, “That has changed the way I approach my fears.”

Roy Kim, the son of Korean immigrants, is graduating from the Dalton School and will study economics and public policy at Princeton. | Photo courtesy of Milken Scholarship Program

Roy Kim
Kim, a Dalton School grad and incoming Princeton University freshman, was surprised about winning the scholarship.

“I was just so shocked,” he said. “It was a busy day, and I was getting ready to go home… It was an ecstatic moment. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say.”

But his work in battling food insecurity and food waste in his own backyard illuminates the qualities that earned him respect from the scholarship program. As a volunteer at the New York Common Pantry on Fifth Ave. and 109th St., he packaged Thanksgiving meals to be delivered to low-income families. Though he had always been involved in community service — from coat drives to cleaning up parks — that experience sparked his passion for fighting food insecurity.

“I felt like my eyes were opened about the food insecurity crisis in our own local vicinity,” he said. “It just seems so obvious to me that everyone should have housing and access to good and nutritious food.”

Kim has since started BLTeam at his E. 89th St. school, where he and other students make sandwiches for nearby food pantries, collect uneaten bread and food to donate, and advocate for the Dalton School to get to zero waste. Since its founding, the club has donated more than 10,000 sandwiches and other groceries to community organizations.

“Access to clean water is also rising on my priority list,” he said.

Come fall, Kim will be studying economics and public policy at Princeton. His parents grew up in Korea and came from low-income families who faced difficult financial challenges. Growing up in Queens with his parents and younger brother, he said the ethic of hard work and perserverence was instilled in him from the start.

“I owe a lot to them — both in terms of everything I’ve accomplished thus far but also everything I’ve tried to abide by and live by,” Kim said. “Because they are the ones who’ve taught me most of the lessons and values I try to live by today.”

Angelo Osofsky, a Regis High School grad, is heading off to Harvard University to study developmental and regenerative biology. | Photo courtesy of Milken Scholarship Program

Angelo Osofsky
Osofsky travels an hour and 45 minutes from Staten Island to Regis High School on E. 84th St. everyday. For him, the education is worth the commute. During his time at Regis, he interned at the American Museum of Natural History and Mount Sinai Hospital, where he confirmed his passion for becoming a doctor. Comforting patients in the emergency room and seeing if patients needed food, water, or anything else helped Osofsky build a more personal connection with them. After experiencing the bond between patient and medical personnel, he knew he wanted to become a doctor.

“I think that bond is really sacred,” he said. “And that bond is something that can’t be found pretty much anywhere else.”

This fall, he will attend Harvard University and plans to study developmental and regenerative biology. He hopes in time to do research on bacteria that becomes resistant to antibiotics, an interest sparked by his high school biology teacher.

“It’s become a prevalent threat that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, which is a shame because it could really be the next AIDS crisis,” he said.

Osofsky is also an avid debater. He is ranked 12th in New York State and spends most of his weekends debating everything from Catalonian independence from Spain to genetically modified organisms. As a first generation college student, beginning his higher education journey at Harvard to eventually becoming a doctor means a lot to his family.

“It means everything to me because it means so much to my family,” he said. “I can see when I talk to my parents or my brothers how happy they are for me.”

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