PATERSON, NJ - Emily Cruz, a 2020 graduate of International High School (IHS), has been named to the Dean’s list for academic excellence for the fall 2020 semester at Johns Hopkins University. To be selected for this honor, Cruz had to earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

As previously reported by TAPinto Paterson, Cruz was a student in the IHS International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, one that she said helped her prepare for college by teaching her how to use the fundamental skills she will continue to use throughout college. 

Asked to elaborate, Cruz said that she learned how to manage her time wisely and how to create a balance between her academics and my extracurriculars. “Paterson schools also taught me to value every opportunity that I get,” she said. “I learned to never take any opportunity for granted and to always work towards achieving my goals.”

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Emily is a first generation American, her mother, Cinthia Diaz, an immigrant from Peru that came to the United States when she was just 17. Two years later, she gave birth to Emily and now works as a surgical technician at Hackensack Meridian Health. Cruz’s stepfather, Hector Cruz, is from Puerto Rico.

“Growing up, my parents always tried to make sure that I would be educationally prepared. For instance, they would buy me books teaching third grade subject material while I was still in kindergarten,” Cruz said. “This helped to not only prepare me for my future classes, but it taught me the value of education at a young age, and this is something I continue to carry with me.”

With an ambitious goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, Cruz said that her first semester at college taught her the significance of building a strong community on campus while also giving back to the community that she came from. “A future goal of mine is to hopefully start a non-profit organization to help support Paterson students who may not have enough financial assistance to attend college,” she said. “I would like to help Paterson as much as I possibly can in the future because I would not be where I am today if it were not for the support I received in Paterson”

Proud of her roots, and calling her city one “filled with potential and with determination,” Cruz said that she tells her classmates that Paterson played a major role in shaping the person she is today.

“I take pride in being from Paterson because of the countless opportunities there are to succeed and the selflessness of the individuals that reside in this city,” she concluded, punctuating her role as a member of the Paterson Youth Council.

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