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Cornell-bound seniors: "You can do it as well."

Cornell-bound seniors: "You can do it as well."

Bryan Alvarado and Deanna Connell are headed to Cornell University this fall, and they understand going to an Ivy League school gets you attention as a Middletown High School senior.

They are proud - and excited. Deanna wants to study human biology and public health, and then go to medical school. Bryan will study atmospheric science, and wants to be able to tell people when severe weather is coming sooner than they know right now. They say they both look forward to careers in public service.

And they want you, and perhaps more importantly their classmates and friends, to know one very important part of this:

“People that you know are doing this, so you can do it as well,” Deanna says. “I love it. It literally just takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice, because that’s how we got here.”

Especially, Bryan says, because of the big stigma about Middletown kids.

“That we’re not academically adept, that we can’t do much,” Bryan says. “You’re not going to go to a great college. Putting these stories out about me and Deanna is important because it tells those kids who are at the top of their class that it is possible.”

Both chose Cornell because of their programs. Deanna has always wanted to be a doctor, specifically a general pediatrician. Bryan says Cornell was the only Ivy League school with an atmospheric science program, and he’s always been interested in the weather. He’s not interested in being on television, but the person whose research supplies the information.

“So you know how they get tornado and hurricane warnings out there? That type of information is vital for people’s lives,” Bryan says. “Especially in those areas that do get affected by that type of weather. People need to have that information just to know how they should approach a situation. I think that’s one of the biggest public services you can do.”

Deanna says she will graduate MHS with 81 tuition-free college credits, which she earned through the school’s dual enrollment programs. Bryan says he will have “about half of that.” Cornell won’t accept any of these credits, but that doesn’t mean they were a waste of time, Deanna says.

“I knew from the onset, they weren’t going to take them,” she says. “But in my head, I said these college classes are the ones that helped me get accepted, because it showed I can handle the rigorous classes. They prepared me for the academic rigor that an Ivy League presents.”