The allure of language: Beverly Alomepe
Two things drew Beverly Alomepe in from the suburbs to MPS: diversity and a first-class language program. A resident of Germantown, Beverly attended both Milwaukee French Immersion School and Milwaukee School of Languages through the Chapter 220 Program, which is mainly known for providing access to suburban schools for urban kids, but also flows the other way.
When Beverly heads off to Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League research university in New Hampshire, she plans to concentrate on biomedical engineering and/or Chinese. She credits MPS with instilling in her a love of language.
Beverly has studied Chinese on and off since sixth grade and the summer after her junior year at Milwaukee School of Languages, she spent seven weeks in China as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs language immersion program.
Accepted to all ten of the schools she applied to, Beverly felt Dartmouth would be the best fit for her, and she was able to secure a needs-based scholarship that covers more than 60 percent of her tuition over four years.
Throughout high school, Beverly carried a heavy academic load, with honors classes giving way to Advanced Placement classes, starting with AP U.S. History and French Language in 10th grade, then AP World History in 11th grade and ending strong with four AP courses in biology, calculus, English literature and composition and psychology. She played soccer in 10th and 11th grades but gave it up senior year to focus on school.
Beverly says you just can’t find the level of language immersion programs offered by MPS anywhere else. In addition to Milwaukee School of Languages, a 6th through 12th grade school, the district offers language immersion programs for students starting with K4 at Milwaukee French Immersion School, Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School and Milwaukee German Immersion School. She was inspired by the teachers she had at MPS. “They were very knowledgeable and passionate about teaching and even took their personal time to work with us,” she says.
So how does someone with such a language-based education wind up interested in biomedical engineering? Some of that credit may go to her mom, who Beverly says is her role model. Beverly’s parents both immigrated to this country from Cameroon, a country in west Central Africa. While working third shift at the Veteran’s Administration, Beverly’s mom earned her doctorate in nursing research – all while still making time for her family. “That is inspiring,” says Beverly.