FONTANA, CA – Jurupa Hills High School senior Joy Anyiam is passionate about the English language and civil rights. With a dream to become a lawyer and bring justice to underrepresented groups, Anyiam faced a tough choice after being accepted by nearly a dozen elite universities across the country, including Stanford and Columbia.

Anyiam, a high-achieving scholar with a 4.64 GPA, chose to attend Harvard University, and is the first Jurupa Hills student to be accepted to the storied Ivy League campus.

“I am very excited and happy to take this next step,” Anyiam said. “I want to help people in their fight for justice. I chose Harvard because it has the best resources for a student who is looking towards a career as a civil rights lawyer. When I graduate, I want to continue on to Harvard Law School.”

Throughout her senior year, Anyiam has paid close attention to issues of social justice, including Black Lives Matter protests, hate crimes against Asian Americans, and the crisis facing Central American refugees and asylum-seekers at the U.S. Border. These conflicts, combined with the rigor of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education, have inspired Anyiam to pursue a career in law.

“Joy is brilliant, mature and the most motivated student that I have ever had the pleasure of assisting in my 35-year career as a counselor,” Jurupa Hills counselor Mary Malloy said. “We spent time together when I accompanied her to a fly-in at Johns Hopkins University in 2020. Witnessing her interactions with other students and faculty, I was completely amazed. Joy brings a lot to the table.”

Anyiam is active in Jurupa Hills extracurricular activities, serving as president of the Creative Writing club, Academic Decathlon and National Honor Society, and as a member of Link Crew and IB club. Anyiam has also served as a College Board Opportunity Ambassador. As a junior, Anyiam gave a presentation to the Fontana Unified Board of Education on the progress of Jurupa Hills’ IB program.

“What I most appreciate about Jurupa Hills and the IB program is the teachers. They are all so supportive,” Anyiam said. “IB assignments typically involve a lot of writing, and that has helped me immensely. I learned about the value of time management and trying to balance my studies. The interdisciplinary nature of IB classes allowed me the chance to learn more about civil rights.”

Anyiam also has a passion for the arts; she writes poetry and has served as a member of the Riverside Art Museum, where she exhibited her original art in 2019. Anyiam is also an athlete and played for the Jurupa Hills tennis team as a sophomore.

“We are so proud of Joy. She is a student leader and role model and epitomizes Spartan pride,” Jurupa Hills Principal Caroline Labonte said. “As the first Jurupa Hills student to attend Harvard, Joy is demonstrating how far hard work and a determination to succeed can take you. We wish her the best of luck in college and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”


FUSD_JHILLS_ANYIAM: Jurupa Hills High School senior Joy Anyiam, is the first Jurupa Hills High School student to be accepted to Harvard University, where she will begin her undergraduate studies and pursuit of a law career.