Salam Tesfaye

Salam Tesfaye
Elementary School: Haggerty School
College: Tufts University
Major: Biopsychology on the pre-med track
Career Aspiration: Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine

Favorite subject at CRLS
Natural/Social Sciences

Why is it your favorite subject?
There is always something new in the field and it keeps changing everyday, I'm fascinated by the amount of discoveries that individuals find on the daily. It's also the subject that correlates the most to anything surrounding us, and in places we wouldn't expect these sciences to be!

Favorite CRLS Staff Person
Mr. Benji Cohen

What makes that staff person so special?

Ever since my first year learning here and his first year teaching here, he has always been an incredible educator and mentor since day one, and always encouraging me in my interests, advocating for my needs, and invested in the many things that I've accomplished and more. He is one of few teachers at this school that is dedicated towards his work but also his values through the people he interacts with.

Extracurricular activities, clubs, school-related activities

Peer Mentor Support Group (PMSG), Black Student Union (BSU), CRLS Traveling Choir, CRLS Acapella (P&D), Habesha Club (President), Girls Volleyball, Club Med, Club 4, National Honors Society (NHS)

What were some of the out-of-school time (O.S.T) programs that you participated in anytime between grades 6-12?
Teen Health Advisory at CHA, Cambridge Youth Soccer, Good Trouble, Mayors Youth Summer Employment Program, Harvard Medical's Pediatric Community Advocacy Program (PCAP), Frisoli Youth Center

How did being enrolled in any O.S.T. program(s) contribute to your success both in and out of high school? 
It allowed me to create more connections and community that I would have never expected to have today without joining those OST programs. They also helped me with a lot of life skills and takeaways to apply to my life moving forward, like communication, leadership, and time management.

What did you like most about CRLS? Why?
The talent, determination, and drive students have at this school. I have seen sooo many gifted artists, brave advocates, and smart scholars develop throughout my four years with them and it's incredible to see what they can do now, and I'm eager to see what they will accomplish within the next couple of years. 

What is something people unfamiliar with CRLS should know about the school? Why?
The amount of potential CRLS students and staff have to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. There are so many small groups and communities that sadly go unheard of because they don't get the attention they deserve, which leaves students lacking resources that are already established in the school, but they just don't know where to find them.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen about CRLS?
Create your own journey when you step into CRLS. There are tons of rumors about the good and bad about this school, but you should never let that dictate your decisions to developing your own personal goals and interests while in high school. Try many things, take risks, and don't be afraid to ask for help. You might be tired of hearing that but I promise you, just one conversation with someone you might have just met can change your whole mindset for the better. 

And for all my BIPOC and first generation friends, never let Imposter syndrome get the best of you. You will stumble and feel like you are alone in all of the stress and worries if you do not reach out and ask for help. Please don't try to do it alone, it will not be any better if you decide to tough it out yourself. Parental pressure, competition, isolation, and sleepless nights are not worth a thing if you are unhappy with yourself and the way you feel. Find your community, don't be shy to share your experiences, and know that there are always people at the school who have already been in your footsteps when trying to achieve academic success. You are all strong and capable of doing your best and I will always have confidence in all of you :)

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