Liberty LEADS

Liberty LEADS Alum Earns NY Times Scholarship

Posted by Nick Gray on March 13, 2013
Eddy Cruz '13
Eddy Cruz, Liberty LEADS alum and recipient of the New York Times Scholarship

Eddy Cruz '13 is one of eight bright college-bound seniors to receive the New York Times Scholarship, out of hundreds that applied.

Eddy joined Liberty LEADS in the Spring of 2010. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Eddy has ranked second in his class for four years straight at Cardinal Hayes High School.

Through Liberty LEADS, he traveled abroad to China in the summer of 2011 with the Experiment in International Living program. When asked how Liberty LEADS has shaped his life, he responded,

"Liberty LEADS takes a talented individual and helps that individual blossom over the years. It molds competitors, global citizens, and potential leaders of the future. Upon enrolling in the program, I was a shy freshman with the dream to be a part of the medical field. Over the years, I was reminded to work to my full potential. Now, as a senior in high school, I know exactly what I want to do... This all happened without me even realizing it.”

Eddy’s Liberty LEADS advisor, Gina Jones, said she was delighted but not at all surprised by Eddy’s achievement. “I’ve been proud of him since day one of working with him at Liberty,” she said.

Eddy Cruz (center) with his Liberty LEADS advisor Gina Jones (left) and Elizabeth Dickey, Bank Street's president
Eddy Cruz (center) with his Liberty LEADS advisor Gina Jones (left) and Elizabeth Dickey, Bank Street's president

Eddy credited Bank Street with contributing to a level of maturity and self-reflection that led in part to his scholarship. “Liberty LEADS definitely shaped my confidence,” he said. “It has given me the strength to keep working towards my envisioned future.”

Liberty LEADS takes students ‘above and beyond.’

Eddy isn’t the only Liberty LEADS student who feels this way. Queen Adesuyi, one of last year’s New York Times Scholarship winners, shares Eddy’s sentiment.

“Liberty LEADS did and continues to do a phenomenal job at not only motivating us but providing us with resources and support,” she said. “That allows us to go above and beyond any and all barriers that we face as young men and women of color hailing from the inner city neighborhoods of New York City.”

Queen is currently a freshman at Georgetown University. Reflecting on her time at Liberty, she said,

“I cannot help the nostalgia I sometimes feel as I reminisce about my family, friends, and high school experience. Every time I look back, I am filled with gratitude for all the people and organizations that dedicated their time to convert the ‘potential’ seen in myself and the rest of my cohort into reality. I owe Liberty LEADS so much and I am incredibly proud to be an alumna. The accomplishments of current Liberty LEADS students and its alumni attests to the influential presence Liberty LEADS has in each of our lives."