Maiya Adolphus, a senior at Baldwin High School, has been named the Junior Achievement of New York Student of the Year for the 2022-23 school year, and was awarded a $10,000 college scholarship.
Junior Achievement of New York is a leadership organization whose goal is to inspire and prepare young people for participation in a global economy.
“Junior Achievement New York has provided me countless opportunities to grow in my confidence and allowed me to share my story with others,” Adolphus wrote in an email. “They also helped shape knowledge on business principles, so I feel more than prepared to have a successful career.”
Adolphus added that she would like to start her career in a nonprofit that helps implement biomedical planning in developing nations. This would allow her to help those in need, she said, while traveling and learning about new cultures.
“I have always been STEM-oriented, and hope to have a successful career in the biomedical field,” she wrote, referring to the field of study that encompasses science, technology, engineering and math. “However, I have found that I also have an entrepreneurial spirit, so I would like to be in a position that allows me to work in the business side of the biomedical work force.
Adolphus grew up in Georgia and New York, and she has yet to decide where she wants to go to college. “I know that I want to go to a school that is going to push me academically, as well as provide me with opportunities to get involved with the community and in STEM,” she said.
She was nominated for the award was by her former business teacher at Baldwin High, Michele Leonardo, and was up against students from elsewhere on Long Island as well as New York City and the Hudson Valley, who were selected based on school performance and character. Nominees had a minimum grade point average of 3.0, an interest in entrepreneurship, strong leadership skills, and a history of serving the community. They underwent a series of interviews and made presentations to a committee made up of J.A. of New York’s board of directors.
Baldwin High principal Neil Testa said that Adolphus’s award was well deserved. “We are extremely proud of Maiya and her incredible achievement,” Testa wrote in an email. “Not only will she serve as an excellent ambassador for J.A. New York, but as a shining example of what so many of our wonderful Baldwin students achieve on an ongoing basis.”
According to the Baldwin Union Free School District, Adolphus is an honor student, a co-president of the high school’s Leadership Council and a varsity cheerleader. She is a leader in the school’s Global Business Academy, a participant in Virtual Enterprise, and a member of the Business and Marketing Honor Society as well as Future Business Leaders of America. She is also involved in Girls who Code, Project SEED and Mercy Medical Explorers, and competes in the Science Olympiad. She works part time as a cashier at her local McDonalds and also volunteers for One Happy Hangout club, the Key Club, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Each year, Junior Achievement of New York selects a high school student from one of its associated schools as Student of the Year. The honoree is considered the organization’s premier student ambassador, and is invited to J.A. New York’s fundraising events, including the Leadership Awards Gala in November. The Baldwin School District has worked in partnership with the organization for nearly 25 years. For more information, go to newyork.ja.org.