MMPCIA Awards its 2010 Scholarship to Manhattan Village Academy graduate, Chelsea Hardy.

Chelsea Hardy

Chelsea Hardy

Chelsea Hardy, Harlem resident and graduate of Manhattan Village Academy on West 22nd Street in Manhattan, is the winner of MMPCIA’s 2010 College Scholarship Award and is attending Hampton University, in Hampton, Virginia.

Hampton University is “like a small community,” Hardy said. “It has a lot of old traditions. She also praises the “teacher-student connection,” saying that it is easy to talk with instructors when she has a problem, or needs clarification on an assignment.

Unlike many college freshman, Hardy has tentative plans to follow a career in fashion marketing “I’ll see if it (fashion marketing) is really what I want to do.”

If the answer to that question turns out to be yes, Hardy plans to earn an MBA, preferably from Columbia University, after graduating from Hampton. She also would like to take more classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she began taking courses in sewing, drawing and fashion design as early as the 6th grade. “I’ve always loved fashion,” she said.

Her passion for fashion has not kept Hardy from excelling in a broad number of subjects. In recommending her for college, Hector Geager, the principal of Manhattan Village Academy, described her as “a hardworking, creative and determined student” who “truly enjoyed the puzzle-like nature of mathematics.” Frances C. Bittman, Chelsea’s 11th grade advisor and teacher, called her an “avid reader” who also possesses a “flair for acting,” and praised her “confidence, intelligence, and determination.”

While at Manhattan Village, Hardy made Honor Roll every year. She also demonstrated a concern for others, working as a volunteer at Abyssinian Daycare Center. For her college essay, she created “The Harlem Adolescent Health and Wellness Page” a networking site she said was “specifically to communicate to Harlem youth the importance of healthy eating.” Hardy said she felt obligated to do the project after she read statistics regarding adolescent obesity in New York City.

Chelsea with 2010 Education Committee: Kay Logan, Natasha Reid, (Chelsea's mother, Michelle Hardy) and Patricia Pates Eaton

So, what advice might this confident, organized, talented, empathetic, and academically successful winner of the MMPCIA 2010 College Scholarship Award have for other young people in Harlem? “Hang with the right people and follow yourself, don’t follow the road others are going down,” Hardy said. “The biggest thing to do is believe in yourself, because if you can believe in yourself, you can get others to believe in you.”

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