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2014 NYC Milken Scholars Announced

Chosen from more than 300 nominations, the 2014 NYC Milken Scholars will be honored at a recognition ceremony and dinner on Saturday, June 14 at the Grand Hyatt New York

2014 New York Milken ScholarsThe 2014 New York Milken Scholars were honored at a recognition ceremony and dinner on Saturday, June 14 at the Grand Hyatt New York.

Pictured, from left: Clarence Kong, Chiara Mannarino, Shanelle Davis, Rasidha Rahman, Fazeel Sarmad and De Xin Chen.

Click here to view a gallery of photos from the event.

SANTA MONICA, CA (June 12, 2014) – Six exemplary New York City high school seniors have been selected as 2014 Milken Scholars. These students were chosen based on their academic performance, community service, leadership and ability to persevere in the face of challenges. While each Scholar will receive a $10,000 scholarship, the uniqueness of this opportunity lies in the ongoing mentoring, assistance with internships, opportunities for community service, and access to a wide range of resources throughout their academic and professional careers. 

“These remarkable students have already proven they have the capacity to change the world for the better,” notes the program’s director, Gregory Milken.  “The Milken Scholars program provides them with the support to develop their potential and become tomorrow’s leaders.”

The 2014 New York City Milken Scholars are:

De Xin ChenDe Xin Chen, class valedictorian of Manhattan Center of Science and Mathematics High School, is a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar and National College Match Finalist. He was team captain of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and vice president of the National Honor Society.  A valued member of the Science Bowl Team, he was also president of the award-winning Math Team and earned the title of 2013 American Mathematics Competition 12 School champion. At MIT he will study chemical engineering.


Shanelle DavisShanelle Davis, valedictorian of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School’s senior class of 845, will be the first in her family to attend a four-year college in the United States when she enters Harvard. In recognition of her stellar academic record, the Shanelle Davis Academic Achievement Award was created by her Gateway Institute peers. She received top honors each year in Legal Outreach, a college prep program which required an additional 2,300 hours and was a National Honor Society member.


Clarence KongClarence Kong, an AP Scholar with Distinction at Bronx High School of Science, is not only an outstanding student, he is a remarkable teacher. He helped transition incoming freshman as coordinator of the Big Sib program and served as a student ambassador.  An accomplished pianist and certified instructor, he teaches at the Queens Herald School of Performing Arts.  He hopes to become a pediatrician and will study medicine at Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education this fall.


Chiara MannarinoChiara Mannarino received White House Recognition for five years of service tutoring and teaching reading at the Mercy Center in the South Bronx and was a member of the National Honor Society.  At Marymount School of New York, she had starring roles in musicals and was a soloist in the Chamber Choir. Chiara edited the school’s award-winning literary magazine for three years.  This fall, she will study pre-med at Vassar for a career as a pediatrician. 


Rasidha RahmanRasidha Rahman, an AP Scholar at Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, garnered national recognition for her original scientific research on phototriggers in the treatment of cancer. Her projects were accepted into prestigious science competitions including the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium where she was selected as a 2013 delegate and honored with their top prize in Chemistry. Rasidha will become the first in her family to attend college when she enters Penn State University.


Fazeel SarmadFazeel Sarmad is an AP Scholar with Honor, a QuestBridge Finalist and ambassador for the National Society of High School Scholars.  While at Brooklyn Technical High School, he was invited to attend the 2012 Presidential Inauguration and the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Boston.  This fall, he will enter Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education to study for a career as a primary care physician, becoming the first in his family to attend college.


Since its founding in 1989 by Lori and Michael Milken, the Milken Scholars program has supported more than 300 Scholars from diverse backgrounds.  Nearly one-third were born outside the United States and three-quarters have parents originating from nearly 60 countries. Nearly half were the first in their family to attend college. 

Throughout their college careers, Milken Scholars are in regular communication with Milken Scholars staff, mentors and with one another. Every summer, Scholars participate in a three-day Summit in Los Angeles, where Scholars staff and a range of distinguished speakers provide a forum for the participants to discuss issues crucial to their personal, academic and professional success. A Summit highlight for the NYC Scholars will be their first encounter with fellow Scholars chosen from the District of Columbia and Greater Los Angeles. Over the coming years, the Summit will provide opportunities for Scholars to form and renew friendships, reflect on their personal growth, and exchange ideas and aspirations.

Milken Scholars are selected in their senior year of high school through a rigorous nomination, application review and interview process.  Nominations are based on the following criteria:

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.6 (unweighted) or 90% in all academic high school subject areas
  • Minimum composite SAT I Reasoning score of 1850 with results submitted for Critical Reading, Math, and Writing, or a minimum ACT score of 28
  • Active participation in community service activities
  • A record of leadership
  • Financial or other obstacles
  • Admission to a four-year college or university prior to final selection
  • United States Citizenship or Permanent Residency

For details about the Milken Scholars program, visit  
To schedule interviews, contact Jana Rausch,; (310) 570-4774