By Chanel Hill
PHILADELPHIA — Saffiyah Franklin and Cira Diop knows firsthand the importance of hard work. Both seniors at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, they’ve have mastered success both inside the classroom and out.
Safiyyah has been going to Carver for four years. Since being a student at Carver, she has kept a busy schedule.
“During my freshman year, I started participating in a lot of different programs,” Safiyyah said. “It was good because I was able to be mentored by the seniors. They taught me a lot of things early on. I’m the captain of the Gear Girls robotics team. This is my fourth year participating in that.
“I do ACE (architecture, construction, and engineering), which is a city-wide thing where we go to different architecture, construction, and engineering firms,” she added. “I do Women of Tomorrow in school, which is like a mentoring group that does a lot of community things in the school. I’m in National Honor Society and I recently joined the Scrabble team. My overall experience at the school has been really good.”
Safiyyah said that once she graduates from high school, she wants to college for engineering.
“I want to be an engineer,” Safiyyah said. “I want to be a civil engineer, but I want to be a construction manager also. That is the end game. I want to be the boss on a project. I think going the civil route is better for me because I would have more options as far as different things to do.
“Some of the schools I’m looking into after I graduate include the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Temple, Princeton, Cornell, and Penn State,” she added. “I don’t have a certain school I want to go to yet. I don’t have a dream school, so I want to keep my options open.”
Cira has also been going to Carver for four years. She came to Philadelphia in 2010 after being in West Africa.
“My experience here has been amazing,” Cira said. “There are so many different things to do, the teachers and staff are supportive, and the academics are helping us prepare for college.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve been involved with robotics,” she added. “I’ve been building robots. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity if I was back home in West Africa. I also do ACE mentorship, the Newspaper Club, National Honor Society, and Women of Tomorrow. I’ve learned so much from all of these programs and enjoy being in them.”
Once Cira graduates from Carver, she wants to get involved with the ROTC program and open up her own engineering firm.
“I do want to get involved with the ROTC program, so that I can get the experience and skills that I can use throughout my whole career,” Cira said. “I also want to open an engineering firm that has mechanical engineer, architectural, and robotics. I’m interested in all of those departments, so creating my own firm would help me dive into all of them at the same time.
“Some of the schools that my teachers and counselors have mentioned to me include University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Temple, Penn State and Cornell,” she added. “My top choice would be the University of Pennsylvania because it has both engineering and the ROTC program.”
Chanel Hill is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.