For Northglenn High School senior Ryan Mera Evans, academics isn’t a hoop-jumping process, it’s a means to an end and a progression.
He looks at his education as an opportunity, not an obligation. That positive attitude and drive to succeed are just a couple reasons why he’s headed to Yale University next fall.
Mera Evans received two scholarships, the Questbridge Scholarship and Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will cover his full tuition at Yale. Although he’s over the shock of the scholarship news, the excitement hasn’t worn off.
“I’m still in a sense of wonder about it. It’s super exciting,” he said. “Now it’s just a matter of planning my future and looking at all of my options.”
Before being accepted to Yale, Mera Evans took a week-long trip to the east coast to check out all of the Ivy League schools.
He said the moment he stepped onto the Yale campus he knew it was the place for him. The sense of community and the attitude of the students really stood out to him.
“At the other top performing schools I felt that it was too competitive and the community was too cut throat,” he said. “But that was something I felt completely different about Yale. It seemed like the people were happier and more outgoing.”
Mera Evans plans to study political science or economics at Yale.
He also plans to take a variety of other fun and interesting classes. He says he’s always been interested in government and political science, specifically democratic transitions and globalization. And just this year an interest in education was sparked after coaching a team for the We the People program, a statewide constitutional scholars program.
“I’ve really taken to education and how it can be used as a transformative social tool,” he said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I can feel myself getting involved with it either by becoming an educator or more on a policy-based level because of my interest in government.”
Along with his dedication to academics, Mera Evans was also a four-year varsity soccer athlete, a member of DECA and a tutor in his high school. He is active in his community volunteering at his church and the Have a Heart Food Bank in Westminster. For him, volunteering in his community is the least he can do.
Mera Evans will spend the summer working full time at Water World, while preparing to leave Northglenn behind, the place he’s called home his whole life.
The thought of moving far away doesn’t scare him — it excites him. Mera Evans says he plans to experience everything he can while learning from his fellow classmates.
“Honestly, the thing I’m most excited about for college is experiencing all of the conversations, perspectives and walks of life of my peers,” he said. “I’m excited to get out of Northglenn and really explore and experience the world.”