Delaware County Community College is celebrating its spring graduates for achieving their career and life goals.
Among the students lauded are a high school dual enrollment student, now headed to Harvard University with a scholarship. Unfortunately, due to the novel coronavirus, the college had to postpone its spring commencement.
“They are shining examples of students who took full advantage of the variety of quality, affordable education and training opportunities available at America’s community colleges, and at Delaware County Community College in particular, to further their career goals,” said Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, president of Delaware County Community College.
Braden Ellis of Broomall, was a dual enrollment student and is now on his way to Harvard University.
Enrolled in high school dual enrollment programs at both Delaware County Community College and Drexel University, Ellis, 18, earned about 60 college credits, enough for him, under state guidelines, to receive his high school diploma in April.
Between the two schools, Ellis took college-level courses in English, Spanish, Biology, Pre-Calculus, Physics, History, and Global & Africana Studies.
One of his favorite courses was with award-winning Delaware County Community College Biology professor Bela Dadhich.
“Dr. Bela was really nice and made it fun to go to class,” he said.
Ellis was accepted at five Ivy League universities, but chose to attend Harvard University in the fall, where he plans to major in Economics and maybe minor in music, toward his career goal of becoming a corporate business agent or attorney for musicians.
His younger brother, Peirce Ellis, is also a high school dual enrollment student. Their mother, Barbara Ellis, said dual enrollment was critical to her sons’ development because they are home schooled and the program provided the opportunity for them to be evaluated by people other than their parents, and it helped them learn how to navigate a college environment.
“The Delaware County Community College high school dual enrollment program was crucial to what they have been able to do academically,” she said.
A gifted musician, Ellis has won numerous awards and scholarships. He plays the double bass and electric bass, enjoys jazz and classical, has performed at Carnegie Hall, and has had his compositions performed by the Kimmel Center’s Advanced Jazz Ensemble at venues throughout Philadelphia.
He is a 2020 recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, and performed French composer Jules Massenet’s Meditation from Thaïs on National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) From The Top’s “Blanket Fort Show” in April. He also was a 2019 finalist of Questbridge, a California-based, nonprofit that connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities, and he is co-founder of Ellis Village, a community arts engagement venture.
Ellis attends The Juilliard School’s Pre-College program and has served as co-principal bassist in Temple University’s Youth Chamber Orchestra (YCO) for Gifted Young Musicians and in the University of Pennsylvania’s Symphony Orchestra.
He spent the summer of 2019 at the McCombs School of Business Future Executive Academy at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as touring Iceland with Temple’s YCO, and attending jazz camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He also is a three-time Marian Anderson Young Artist Study-Grant recipient.
2019 Graduate Alejandra Ortega of Upper Darby Transfers College Credits to Thomas Jefferson University in Pursuit of “Una Vida Mejor.”