Growing up in the Bronx, Mariam Sillah ’20, recalled a harrowing incident one night while she was walking home. She saw a man on the street who had been badly beaten. “I wanted to help him, but the guys that beat him were still around. I still think of the things I could have done to help him,” she said.
Sillah, 18, is an avid reader who writes short stories. She recently penned a tale of a friendship between two teenage girls that begins to threaten one character’s commitment to her education. “You believe in your education, because for you, education is the key to not just success, but to the world itself,” she wrote.
Education is just as important to her family. Sillah’s father was impressed by Mercy’s commitment to talented students of limited means. “He wanted us to have every opportunity that would help us in life,” she said. When they learned she had won a spot in the Mercy Scholars program, “he was so proud.”
Sillah is eager to start classes, relieved of the burden of worrying about her family’s ability to afford her education. “The scholarship [has] put me in a great position to [focus on] doing well academically, rather than how I will pay for school,” she wrote in her application essay.