Student Board Member Candidate Bios

Cristhofer Moreira: Science Park
At first I became a resident. This year I became a citizen. No matter what society wants to identify me as from Hispanic to what others call a minority, that does not disillusion my aspirations as a student of the Newark Public School district. My name is Cristhofer Alexander Moreira Flores and there is truth in this name. Leaving my country of origin at the age of 6, I joined my mom in the journey to go to the United States and find a better opportunity that guaranteed me the ability to grow and find importance in education and knowledge. Milestones along the way create a sense of aspiration and hope, which is something I aim to grasp for my dreams. Moreover, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. It is important to look for what is positive even when people throw you out of balance with the negatives. No one determines who I will be in the future but myself. I am more than just what I look like on the outside and should be valued as an individual by what I have on the inside. I want to be a catalyst of change.

Elizabeth Mensah: Newark Early College
I’ve lived in West Africa, Ghana and moved to the United States about two years ago. I aspire to become a great nurse in a few years to come and I am dedicated to this dream. I participate in the West Side Future Project, Stand and Deliver Team and the track team. I have been on Honor Roll as long as I can remember and I maintain a good GPA. I am also the manager for the West Side Soccer team, an attestation to my great leadership skills. I am an avid reader, a music lover and a spiritual person. Outside of school, I am a member of my church choir and the All-Star Project. I am open to everyone and am accessible. I know how to interact with others and make them feel loved and welcomed. I believe in a world full of equal opportunity, a world where everyone has everything they’d need to excel and a world full of peace and happiness.

Gina Matos: East Side
I attend East Side High School as a junior. I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. I live with both of my parents and I have four siblings. School has always been my top priority. I participate in various activities at my school such as being secretary of my school student council that participates in community service projects such as Habitat for Humanity. I am also a part of National Honors Society and the Essex County College program at East Side. Which means, as a junior I am already working towards my associates degree and will graduate from my senior year in high school and going into my junior year in college. I have also participated in a college prep program since I was in sixth grade called Rutgers Future Scholars and if I am admitted to any Rutgers campus I am guaranteed to have my tuition paid for. While balancing all of this, I still manage to be within the top ten out of almost 500 other students. I am a very outspoken person which also involves being focused, trustworthy, and motivated.

Hakeem Ceesay: Science Park
I believe that a great leader must first learn to be a great follower. In my short life, I have encountered a number of events in which I needed to take on a leadership role, and I can honestly say that I would not have been able to do so without first learning how to be a great follower. I’ve learned that being a good follower doesn’t just mean follow whatever the leader says, I learned how to “put my two cents in” when needed, I have also learned that a great follower is someone who listens to understand as opposed to listening just to speak. As I got older and more experienced, I also learned the majority of the characteristics of a great follower in fact rolls over to the characteristics of a great leader. A good leader is someone who listens to understand, rather than someone who listens to speak. Once I put my mind to something, or agree to something, I like to keep my word, not because I am a young man, but because I am a human being. I am a busy individual when it comes to sports and many things of the sort, but I am willing to make sacrifices for the better good.

Moses Awuah: Barringer Academy of Arts & Humanities
I am an 11th grade student of Barringer Academy of Arts and Humanities. I was born in Accra which is in the central region of Ghana, the Western part of Africa. Not only am I incredibly proud of my African heritage, I am proud of my accomplishment of finishing grade school and high school in Ghana at the age of 15. Drawing and playing the piano are two of my favorite pastimes in which I draw my inspiration. Of these two hobbies, visual drawing has been incredibly beneficial resulting in the privilege of winning a Silver Key at the Scholastic Art Awards that I am really proud of. When I am not enjoying from my favorite pastimes, I utilize my discipline, resilience, attentiveness and friendliness to reap from the benefits of a quality education. In situations I encounter, I look at other people’s views with an open mind. I am also selective and serious about the activities that I get involved as I look to strive for success, so that I could help each and everyone around me, as having a shared success truly defines your success.

Prince Abimah: University High School
I am currently at junior at University High School. I am from Ghana, West Africa and I am deeply embedded in my African culture. I am currently ranked #2 amongst the juniors at University High School and I have many interests in extracurricular activities such as soccer, track, band, and dancing. In life in general, I wish to be as successful as I can be, and gain as much knowledge as my potential allows me to.