Caprice Gray

Hometown: New York, NY

high school: Hunter College

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Psychology

GRAD. PROGRAM: Harvard School of Public Health (2010, MPH)

Caprice has won numerous awards throughout high school and college, including being named a scholar Summa Cum Laude by the National Latin Award, the 1st Place Winner for Memoir in the highly competitive Bertelsmann World of Expression contest, and a repeat Gold Key Winner from the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for, among other accomplishments, Dramatic Script; Original Essay, and Short Short Story. She has also been recognized through the NAACP ACT-SO Competition, where she was named the national 1st Place Winner in Playwriting, as well as the regional first place winner in Poetry and Original Essay. Her work is soon to be published in What I Know Is Me, a collection of stories; and in an anthology from the National Book Foundation (presenter of the coveted National Book Awards), titled Sounds of this House. She is currently working on a novel.

Caprice graduated from the exclusive Hunter College High School with top honors, including being awarded the Marie G. Berne Memorial Prize for her abilities in Latin, as well as top awards in English and Literature. Excelling in a range of areas, Caprice was recognized as an AP Scholar; a National Achievement Finalist; and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She was a finalist for the coveted National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Award in Writing and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also familiar with journalism; having worked as Executive Youth Editor of the regionally-circulated newspaper, Harlem Overheard, and as staff reporter for her school’s newspaper. In addition, she is involved with the theater community as President of the Ethnic Performers’ Guild at Yale.

Born and raised in the heart of the inner city, Caprice was also fortunate enough to attend one of the most prestigious magnet schools in the nation. For this reason, she was able to see firsthand the repercussions of “academic apartheid” -- the gross discrepancies between the education afforded to children of the privileged versus those in marginalized communities – and the startling abundance of dreams that were not only deferred; but, too often, never provided the fodder on which to grow. Caprice has long striven to fight for the needs of the people in such ignored communities, and was awarded an Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award from New York City Councilwoman C. Virginia Fields for her dedication. She has volunteered as a counselor for the Children’s Aid Society, working with young children, many of whom were homeless; and tutored adolescents at The Harlem Children’s Zone in Biology and the Natural Sciences as well as in English and American History. Having been raised in a household which experienced domestic violence, Caprice served on the board of T.A.R.A. (Teens Against Relationship Abuse), a group which strove to promote healthy relationships and alleviate domestic brutality from communities wherein there is already too much surrounding violence. She continues this commitment to community even at Yale. She is involved in clinical work with residents who suffer from severe mental illness; volunteers as a mentor with New Haven adolescents; and has worked consistently with America Reads in the New Haven public school system. She even brought her concern for social justice to the international scale, working in Mexico with impoverished communities; victims of domestic violence; and developmentally disabled individuals during the past summer.

Fascinated with public health, Caprice began researching diabetes in high school; spreading awareness of the disease with the assistance of Harlem Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian. Living with a father who was often so sick with the illness that he suffered from bouts temporary insanity; once slipping into a coma from which he eventually recovered, Caprice’s work was heart-felt. A psychology major, she is currently working on a year-long directed research project at the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale, hoping to investigate the phylogenic relationship between humans and C. apella (Capuchin primates); and is preparing to go abroad again, this time in a public health program on epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland.

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