Mercedes Steele is an incoming freshman from Howard Beach, Queens, New York studying Psychology and Criminal Justice in the Honors Program at Utica College. She's also the first female in her family to graduate from high school! Keep on reading to learn more about Mercedes' life at Utica!
Mercedes (right) with her best friend Fauzea at their high school graduation!
What extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school?
I was the Business Manager and writer for my newspaper at my high school (A. Philip Randolph Campus High School). I was also my Global History teacher's assistant. I helped him organize his classroom and created vocabulary posters for students to understand global studies more in depth. In my junior year, I was the co-founder of a fundraiser for students who weren’t financially stable to help them pay for AP tests. I also contributed to a documentary program about the school-to-prison pipeline during my senior year. I also participated in a program called Project Rousseau which helps kids with SAT prep and tutoring. I tutored students in Trigonometry, Algebra and Global Studies.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are reading fantasy, true crime and psychology books, watching Netflix, going on adventures with my friends to different food/dessert spots in the city and drawing.
What's a cool fact about you?
During my first two years of high school, I had the opportunity to take classes at Touro College on Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology! Taking those classes helped me decide my major, so if you're not sure what you want to study at college, consider taking some classes at a local college!
What do you wish you knew about applying to college earlier?
I wish I had known that it's really hard to get a full ride to college on your own, and that Money Mentors can help you get more financial aid and scholarships. I also wish that I had known that it's a good idea to apply to a lot of safety schools as well as cheaper schools like the CUNYs. I want high schoolers to understand that it's better to start early with looking at colleges, studying for SATs/ACTs, getting documents ready to apply for financial aid, going on college tours and most of all saving money! Don't wait too long to get started!
What makes Utica special to you?
My college is special because everyone is connected like a huge family. They really care about their students and want us to succeed. The admissions office had upperclassmen get in contact with us to discuss any concerns we might have related to college, dorms, weather, classes, majors, clubs, safety, basically everything!
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
After I graduate I hope to go to graduate school to get my Doctorate Degree in Psychology and become either a Forensic or Behavioral Psychologist for the FBI. I've had this dream to work in the FBI since I was seven years old! It's going to take a lot of time and energy, but I'm willing to put my best foot forward and give it my best shot.
Check out Mercedes' Snapchat Takeover here: