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DPS Senior Spotlight | Arrissa Tachie-Menson

Arrissa Tachie Menson

Arrissa Tachie-Menson is a graduating senior from Hillside High School and was nominated for Durham Public Schools Senior Spotlight for her academic achievements and being a valuable member of her school.

“Arrissa Tachie-Menson is one of three students at our school who was selected as a finalist for the Quest Bridge scholarship this year,” said Dr. Logan, Hillside High School Principal. “Arrissa, however, is our first student to be matched with an Ivy League through this program and our only student to be matched this year. She is excited to be matched with Brown University on a full scholarship valued at over $320K!  I have included the press release provided by Quest Bridge.”

Tachie-Menson is the first DPS student to match with an Ivy League school for the Quest Bridge Scholarship. The Quest Bridge Scholarship is a highly sought-after and very competitive scholarship to receive.  This year, more than 18,500 students from across the country applied and Tachie-Menson was one of 1,464 students selected. She plans to attend Brown University in the fall and study political science with the hope of becoming an international lawyer to give back to communities across the world.

A part of the scholarship process was writing an essay and a portion of the essay that won Tachie-Menson the scholarship is below:

“My inquisitiveness, born out of my anxiety, was the reason that I pushed myself to do more than earn good grades and win awards. I am always curious, leading me to be a good student, but also to seek more answers than my school projects can provide. For instance, the numerous stereotypical jokes I heard were what made me wonder how African history is taught in American schools. I learned that Americans are not taught much beyond slavery, European colonization, and the Apartheid. I thus decided to educate myself about Ghana's history, so I could meaningfully respond to how others saw me. My inquisitiveness also helped me examine my privilege of being born British, with hardships incomparable to what my family suffered. The more I asked, the more I became interested in learning more, and ultimately, in improving the quality of life in African nations. In this way, my endless questioning led me to find a new definition of my identity as a first-generation Ghanaian immigrant. I now see that not only do I want to succeed in our new home, but I also want to improve our old home. Although I do not know yet what I will do for my career, I hope to begin by traveling to Ghana, using my inquisitiveness to understand the communities and the basis of their circumstances. And ultimately, I hope to work to improve life there, perhaps through social impact investing or nonprofit work. My journey from an uncertain immigrant child to a determined Black British woman owes a lot to my anxious, inquiring mind. As long said in Ghana, a child who asks questions does not become a fool.”

Congratulations Tachie-Menson on being nominated as a senior to be spotlighted.  We all are very proud of your hard work and achievements.