Michelle Curtis

Michelle Curtis is a freshman Accounting major at the University of Connecticut. She is from Danbury, CT and attended Immaculate High School. At Uconn, she is active in the African American Cultural Center and is a member of a club called Sisters Inspiring Sisters. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-Ed professional business fraternity. This summer she will be participating as a Pioneer Intern for Deloitte in Hartford, CT.

Ivans Esperance.jpg

Ivans Esperance

My name is Ivans Esperance. I participated in the AMBYESE program in the Summer of 2015. As a rising senior, it was crucial for me to take effective steps towards planning for the college process. AMBYESE equipped me with the tools and confidence necessary to successfully undergo the college process. From SAT/ACT practice tests to college essay practice exams, this program ultimately prepared me for success.

As of right now, I am a current freshman enrolled at St. John's University. In the year 2020, I will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management. I can honestly say that without the help of AMBYESE, I would not be so confident in choosing my major or focusing on my academic and career goals. With that said, this program required me to make a commitment to excellence, and the benefits that I am reaping from this commitment have been phenomenal. 

Lorena Curtis.jpg

Lorena Curtis

My name is Lorena Curtis. I am from Danbury, Ct and a 2016 graduate of Immaculate High School. AMBYESE helped me to become more familiar with the standardized tests so that I faced less anxiety and felt prepared when I went to take them.

In addition, with the weekly trips to different corporations, I was able to become aware of the different job opportunities and think about the many places a college education could take me in the future. Right now, I attended Boston College and have aspirations of becoming a social worker.

Pablo Idrovo.jpg

Pablo Idrovo

My name is Pablo Idrovo, I'm originally from Ecuador and I've been in the U.S for eight years. I'm grateful that AMBYESE was part of my high school experience. I was only in the program for the summer of my Junior year and I feel that it help me tremendously. I made many friends during the summer and I also improved my standardized testing skills.

The fall of my senior year I improved on my math scores for the SAT. Also, AMBYESE career field trips influenced my career decision. After going in a field trip to Deloitte I become interested in the career of Accounting. Currently, I'm a Freshman Honors Student at Fairfield University with an interest in pursuing an accounting major.

Akibo Watson

I currently attend SUNY Binghamton University. Over the last school year I have changed my major to economics. This has led to a swath of new career opportunities for myself as well as my learning. I have joined the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and have taken the position of fundraiser for the chapter here at Binghamton University. I have also enjoyed some time playing rugby with my peers here, making my way onto the elected board for our championship winning team. 

Over the winter I was able to take an internship with Australia New Zealand Banking Group, as well as an exploratory career day that I was selected to participate in at Vanguard. It has been an eye opening experience, and I am enjoying the journey as I search relentlessly for a summer internship opportunity. 


Allan Quade

I have officially committed to the University of Connecticut- Storrs Campus as an Undergraduate for Psychological Sciences, as well as gained access to the honors program and Special Program in Law.

Thank you for all your help, not just in my recommendation letter but everything because without the YES I Can program I don't think I would ever have had the multitude of opportunities that I have been given; and for that, I am truly grateful.



Cheyenne Blake

My name is Cheyenne Blake and I am a freshman at Fairfield University. AMBYESE helped me out a lot by improving my math skills. Now I am studying accounting and I use a lot of the math I was taught in AMBYESE to help me.


Doris Illescas

My name is Doris Illescas and I am a senior at Danbury High School. As a 4 year YES I Can student, I am proud to announce that I will be receiving my undergraduate degree at Quinnipiac University, Class of 2021. My major is biology with a Pre-Med track. As the first child of an immigrant family, I am also proud to announce that I received acceptance to all 10 universities that I applied to. 


Rares Barbu

I have just completed my junior year at UConn and I am entering my senior year. I have added a minor in material science and engineering in addition to my biomedical engineering major. This summer I will be interning at Booz Allen Hamilton, the largest defense contractor in America working as a management consulting intern. I will be based in the DC Metro area.


Jhansi Edwards

Jhansi is currently going into her senior year at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. She is currently working on completing her degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology along side her two minors in Mathematics and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She geared her undergraduate's degree towards Biology so she could go onto pursue her Master's degree in Bioengineering in graduate school. Her main research focuses are in the fields of genomics and regenerative science and hopes to use her experience in these areas to contribute to disease treatment. Jhansi was a member of the AMBYESE, Yes, I Can program for three years while attending Danbury High School, where she also held an ambassador position for the program. 


Aamir Aziz

My name is Aamir Aziz, I am currently working as a Senior Associate in the Assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Stamford, CT. I participated in the YES I Can program for three years as a student then again for another summer as an intern. The program helped boost my SAT scores to a point where I was able to get a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut- Storrs. There I studied accounting and minored in Political Science and graduated as a member of the Class of 2014. From there I began my career in public accounting where I have become a CPA and focus mainly on the audits of Alternatives clients. 


Danny Men

I just finished my first year at Western Connecticut State University as a computer science major while attending the Yale Air Force ROTC Program. I have received the Air Force ROTC Scholarship which allows me to attend college for free. This summer, I will be volunteering with other students and a professor from WCSU at an orphanage in Bulgaria. Again I just want to thank you for taking my two sisters and I under your wings, which helped us to excel in life. I am very grateful.


Abhishek Panigrahi 

I am now going into my third year at New York University's Stern School of Business. I'm concentrating in Finance and Data Science with a minor in Philosophy.

For the past two years, I've been interning at tech companies, and will be working at a digital education startup this summer. In addition, I've started a small nonprofit focused on making venture capital investments in social enterprises in an Indian state called Odisha.

Through this and other efforts, I'm actively trying to set up a pipeline/vehicle for angel funds from the global Indian diaspora to be invested intelligently in India. Finally, I've been taking every opportunity to travel - I traveled to Ghana last spring where I helped start a nonprofit, I studied abroad last fall in Prague, and this fall I will be studying abroad in Beijing at Peking University.

cruise photo.jpg

Russell Fink

I graduated from the University of New Hampshire in May of 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, I began working at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. in Bedford, NH doing a variety of geotechnical/environmental consulting work. I did this for a little less than a year, before I discovered that the Construction Management side of the industry was my true calling. I am currently working at Charter Contractors in Boston, MA, and I love it. I am currently on a long term job down in Hillsborough, NJ helping to manage daily field tasks on a 250 acre hazardous waste site. I thank you and the rest of the YES, I CAN family for guiding me through the early stages of my adulthood. I would not be where I am today without such a great organization to set me on the right path.


Charly Almonte

Hi, I’m Charly Almonte. I participated in the YES I CAN program the summer before junior year and heading into my senior year of high school. The program really helped familiarize myself with the content of standardized testing, aided in boosting my SAT scores, and ultimately led me to land a partial scholarship to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. There I received a Bachelors in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. From there I went to medical school in my native Dominican Republic and earned my M.D. Right now I’m in the process of studying for STEP 1 of my boards for residency. I’ll never forget the program that jumpstarted my academic success by giving me tools I would have never had access to otherwise. 


Drew Valentine

I have just started my senior year at Cornell University, I will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in May! I am majoring in Biology and Society with a concentration in Science, Technology and Inequalities. I am minoring in Law and Society as well as Minority, Indigenous and Third World Studies. This semester, I was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for an Information Science class that focuses on designing technology for social impact. I am also conducting research in the Ithaca Area. Additionally, I am the staffing coordinator at Cornell’s first year resource center, this position gives me opportunity to give advice to young minority students who are navigating their first year at Cornell.  Next semester, I am looking forward to taking more classes in the Asian Studies department, conducting research on youth homelessness in the Ithaca Area and studying for my LSAT. My time with AMBYESE gave the confidence to pursue all that I wanted to in college. I hope to be able to come see the students soon! Thank you to Mr. Johnson, Bailey, Jayme, Dr. R and everyone else who makes this program a success! 


William Phillips

My name is William Phillips and I am Sophomore studying Computer Science at the University at Buffalo. As a sophomore, I am heavily involved in the academic and campus community. I am currently a teaching assistant, a research assistant, and an ambassador for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). As a teaching assistant, I have taught computer logic and python lab sessions with over 200 students. As a research assistant, I am currently conducting research on improving the communication capabilities of ALS patients with a brain computer interface, which is simply a device that allows one to control a computer with brainwaves. As an ambassador for CSTEP, I’ve recruited minority students who are pursuing STEM, licensed or health-applied professions, mentored underclassmen, and have volunteered to visit local high schools to talk about my journey from high school to college to help pave the path for others.

I am also fellow of the NASA/New York Space Grant Consortium: National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The University at Buffalo is a member of Space Grant Consortia, and their goals and objectives are to provide incentive and support for students to pursue research activities that are relevant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission. I was selected because of my academic performance and because my research project is closely aligned with NASA’s technological goals and areas of interest.


Jaleesa T. Harrigan

My name is Jaleesa T. Harrigan and I am a former participant in the Y.E.S. I Can Program. This program directly contributed to my professional achievements today. In addition to preparing me for the SAT, the Y.E.S. I Can Program exposed me to various professions and opportunities. This exposure drove me to strive for things outside of my comfort zone and ultimately become the young professional I am today. Since the program, I obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics from Howard University and thereafter commissioned into the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Nuclear Officer.  In 2014, I served onboard the USS Bunker Hill as the Communications Officer, where I led over 18 sailors and managed vital equipment to support the warships mission.  Following that tour, I enrolled in the Navy’s Nuclear Power School Program, a rigorous learning environment that teaches reactor theory and how to safely operate a nuclear. Today, I serve onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln as a Reactor Propulsion Division Officer and Propulsion Plant Watch Officer, where I manage the safe operation of the reactor plant and machinery spaces onboard the ship.