Ellen Yiadom

Hometown: Chicago, IL

high school: St. Ignatius College Prep

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Government

GRAD. PROGRAM: University of Virginia School of Law (2010, JD)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Ellen's road less traveled began in her native country, Accra, Ghana. She was adopted at the age of seven by her mother's eldest brother and his American wife and moved to Chicago. From a very young age, Ellen learned the importance of hard work and the rewards that follow. Ellen's dedication to success shines through her strong academic record. She was voted Sophomore of the Year by her teachers, has received Honors with Distinction seven semesters in a row, and has maintained a 4.01 GPA. Ellen is a National Achievement Finalist, AP Scholar, and an Illinois State Scholar.

In addition to her academic success, she has been active in her school and local community. She was elected president of Middle Passage, the ethnic club at her school, chairperson of the Social Issues Committee of the Chicago Youth Council, and an executive board member of Club IsIs, a women's organization. Ellen has taken the initiative and founded the club Ignatians For Fine Arts, which promotes the arts and makes them available to those who would otherwise not have access to them.

Furthermore, Ellen has expanded her activities outside of school. In her sophomore year she joined Know Your Heritage, a television game show that airs Saturday mornings in Chicago, and led them to a championship. She has participated in the Junge Visionen Pupil Peace Workshop: Steps Towards a New Millennium in Hamburg, Germany. While there for two weeks, during the summer of 2000, she worked with students from around the world to explore different solutions for peace. The workshop promoted art as a medium through which the delegates expressed their ideas for peace. Delegates built sculptures, choreographed dances, painted murals, and made a CD. Ellen was also invited to join Future Leaders of Chicago her junior year. As a member of Future Leaders of Chicago, Ellen met with thirty-two other students from around the city once a month to explore problems of crime, drugs, health care, and education that face the city.

Ellen has participated in the LEAD Program at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. While there she gained insight into marketing, entrepreneurship, the stock market, and the everyday operations of specifics businesses such as Goldman Sachs, Lucent Technologies, KPMG, and McNeil. In December of her senior year, Ellen went to Washington D.C. to participate in the National Young Leaders Conference. While there, she worked on different simulations and became acquainted with her senators and congresswoman.

A personal family friend describes Ellen as "the type of person from whose influence the world will greatly benefit. Her level of excellence will only continue to increase exponentially as future opportunities and challenges to do so are presented to her." This fall, Ellen will enter Harvard University. She hopes to concentrate in government and French. She looks forward to working for human rights in the future.

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