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Two HarlemLive Staffers Receive New York Times Scholarships
Fairusa Ibrahim
Edward Diego
by Jean Charles

The New York Times Scholarship awards scholarships to distinguished New York High school students. Recently, optimistic seniors, Edward Diego and Fairusa Ibrahim received this award.

Fairusa, a student at George Washington High School, came to New York City from Ghana about four years ago. The first sentence of her essay begins, "I believe obstacles cannot prevent an individual from becoming what he/she wants to become."

In her award-winning essay, Fairusa explores a few of the emotional factors that make her strong. Growing up with an abusive relative in Ghana, her homeland, she writes about being virtually imprisoned. Even as she has grown and moved to the U.S. she writes about the difficult transition of tribal-community life to living in New York City -"a world that moves faster and no one stops to think about anyone else." Edward Diego, another recipient of the award also has a similar story.

Edward, a senior at Urban Peace Academy in East Harlem is Valedictorian of his graduating class. Like Fairusa, he reflects on the difficult parts of his life which strengthens him. He ultimately discusses, his dedication to academia and the relation between it and the love of his mother. before she died in 1993. He says,"If it wasn't for her and her tragic death, I don't think I would have developed the strong mind that I have today." The optimism these students share is similar.

Despite societal and other setbacks these students transcend the norm to become some of the most outstanding students in NYC. As a result, the New York Times gave them each $5000. Fairusa has also received numerous scholarship and grant offers from schools such as Skidmore and SUNY Binghamton. Edward has decided to attend Syracuse University in the Fall of 1999.

Read Fairusa's award winning essay and about her long wait on getting to the USA.

Read Edward's Award winning essay.

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There was a man in the bus that would not give his name. The police wanted to take him to the precinct as John Doe. He began to get fresh with the police. He then became aggressive. I didn't quite understand what was happening. Apparently, the officer wanted to cuff him, although he was already cuffed. The officer asked the man to stand up to be cuffed. He refused. So the officer told him that if he didn't get up, he would forcefully cuff him. There were two cuffed men, shielding us from the struggle between the police and the cuffed man. So, it was hard to see. 'John Doe,' complained that the officer had punched him in the face. The officer denied it. At first I just thought that the guy was lying and that he just wanted to make a scene.