Denson is headed to Howard U.


contributed photo

Senior Sairilia Denson prepares for a new chapter as a Bison and plans to study neurobiology at Howard University.

Avery Vigneault, Staff Reporter

It is an exciting time for seniors at Burroughs High School and all across the nation — college acceptance season!

One senior who is understandably caught up in the excitement is senior Sairilia Denson, who just made great strides in her future journey by committing to Howard University, the nation’s  top-ranked Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

HBCUs like Howard create an excellent environment for Black students to thrive and work with other high-performing peers.

“I knew that attending an HBCU would give me a home,” Denson said. “It would be a place to feel connected and understood, and a place in which I would feel entirely free to express myself.”

Attending Howard has been a goal of Denson, who has worked hard to earn a spot there.  A true scholar-athlete, she has been a strong contributor to the Burroughs track team while taking AP and dual credit classes and serving in ASB.

“It has been a dream of hers to go to an HBCU for at least a couple of years, so I am over the moon for her! said her ASB Advisor Laura Larson.

Howard University is a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education in America, providing students such as Sairilia an excellent opportunity to grow and achieve goals.

Although Howard University’s beautiful campus and Washington, D.C. location sparked Denson’s interest, three aspects truly drew her to the school: Howard’s motto “excellence in truth and service,” rigorous academics, and its prestigious medical program.

“Attending a university that would not only greatly prepare me for a future within the medical field was incredibly important,” Denson said. “But also attending a university that continues to allow me to challenge myself with advanced courses was significant to me.”

In addition, Howard’s mission aligns closely with Denson’s values.

Service and leadership are large components of her everyday activities. In turn, Howard acknowledges, supports, and greatly encourages each of those characteristics as well as celebrates each student’s commitment to finding their purpose and being the change they’d like to see in the world.

Denson desired to attend an institution that would expand her knowledge within her African American and Haitian heritage, building upon the teachings of her parents.

By choosing an HBCU, Denson felt that she would be at home attending a university dedicated to making its students feel welcomed and accepted, and that she would be introduced to individuals who shared a background similar to hers and an interest in growing and learning together.

Denson’s determination and grit thus far show great potential for future success, and her commitment to service is inspiring.
Howard University is lucky to have another hard-working and excellent student added to their campus in the fall of 2022.