Lucia Couto says academic excellence was stressed every day in her home growing up in Newark and attending First Avenue School. Neither Lucia’s mother nor father had an opportunity to attend college and wanted to make sure their children attended college, and had an opportunity to excel, in a way that escaped them. Lucia’s sisters, a teacher at Hawkins Street School and a registered nurse, are putting their support behind her as she begins to plan for her college years at Harvard University, where she has received a full scholarship. Lucia is the Valedictorian of her class at Arts High School. She is a leader and a standout in her focus area of dance. In addition, she is an athlete, a peer leader, and a member of the National Honor Society and Pathways to College. According to her principal, Mr. Pedro, you will find Lucia at the head of almost any activity or organization.
Lucia’s focus at Arts High School is dance. She loves singing and dancing; primarily Modern, West African, Afro Cuban, Ballroom and some Ballet. She said attending Arts has provided an extraordinary opportunity for access to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which she loves!
Lucia said, “I don’t believe in excuses, which is why I take advantage of opportunities afforded to me.” She continued “one of my greatest passions is to reach back and not be afraid to dream and to follow my dreams, regardless of where they come from. Don’t let what people’s opinions about where you come from make you think in a certain way. I love Newark and I am proud to say I live here. I will prove to anyone that I deserve to be at Harvard as much as anyone else. A lot of good things and people come from Newark,” Lucia added.
Lucia has always been fascinated by Albert Einstein and will major in Medical Physics at Harvard.