Horace Mann School Senior Miyu Imai '19 Selected Among 27 Milken Scholars Nationwide
Posted 06/02/2019 03:28PM

Horace Mann School student Miyu Imai '19 is one of 27 graduating high school seniors across the U.S. selected as a Milken Scholar, it was announced on May 27, 2019.

The Milken Scholars program, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, is open to college-bound high school seniors in New York City, Los Angeles County and Washington, D.C. Milken Scholars are selected based on academic performance, community service, leadership and their ability to persevere in the face of personal challenges, and after a rigorous nomination, application and interview process. Imai is one of six New Yorkers chosen for this honor that includes a $10,000 cash prize and a lifetime of mentoring and resources. "The Milken Scholars Program provides a lifelong network and resources of over 450 past honorees," said Phyllis and Sidney Bresler, who, along with the Robert I Schattner Foundation, sponsor the New York City Scholars. "Despite significant obstacles, these extraordinary students continue to not only persevere, but shine, and we look forward to seeing what their bright futures will hold."

"I'm very honored to be a part of the Milken Scholars class of 2019," said Imai. "It looks like a great program where I can meet a lot of people I can be friends with at college and beyond." Imai is also the recipient of a prestigious, four-year full scholarship from the Yanai Tadashi Foundation for students from Japan.

Imai, who entered HM in the Middle Division in 2012, has distinguished herself at HM as a musician and a scholar, excelling, particularly, in science. She also inspired the school community at numerous orchestra and string ensemble concerts with her stellar technical mastery of difficult pieces, and the exhilarating vibrancy of her performances as the Upper Division Orchestra's concertmaster. Nominated for the Milken Scholars program by Christopher Farmer, Senior Associate Director of College Counseling, Imai said that after making it through the first round of the vetting process following her nomination, she submitted an application with essays, and became one of 12 students from New York to go on to the interview round. The hour and a half interview was the best part of the process, Imai said, because it gave her an opportunity to describe her interests and goals in detail. "I'm very passionate not only about music, but about educational reform, and about iPS cells (biomedical engineering's use of induced pluripotent stem cells)," she recalled. "I talked about how my life goal is to make people happy, and how I plan to use my interests to attain that goal."

The Milken Foundation wrote the following about Imai in announcing the awards: "For Miyu Imai, a senior at Horace Mann School in the Bronx, music means more than just notes, rhythm and hours in a practice room—it's a way to forge connections with her community. An accomplished violinist who has studied in the Juilliard School's Pre-College division since age 10, Miyu is a founding member and concertmaster of the Manhattan String Ensemble, Metropolitan String Ensemble, and World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra, groups which perform in retirement homes, hospitals and public spaces around New York City. At Juilliard, she has studied not only her instrument but music history, music theory, ear training, chamber music, choir, conducting and performance psychology. Miyu earned the New Horizons Fellowship—a full scholarship to the prestigious Aspen Music Festival—and won the grand prize in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and National League of Performing Arts competitions.

"Equally committed to academics, Miyu competes on Horace Mann's Chemistry Olympiad and Science Olympiad; the team made it to the state-level competition and Miyu earned a gold medal. She has studied karate for 14 years and won silver medals at the Kyokushin Karate Tournament. Born in Japan, Miyu moved to the U.S. with her family when she started kindergarten. A decade ago, she started Born in Japan, Miyu moved to the U.S. with her family when she started kindergarten. A decade ago, she started writing 'Miyu-Nikki', a Japanese-language blog in which she details her American educational experiences in daily entries. The blog was originally meant to keep her grandparents in Japan up to date on her faraway life in the U.S., but its audience has expanded. Miyu now has readers from all over Japan who follow her daily stories about her life in America."

Imai plans to pursue a broad range of studies, including biomedical engineering and music, in a dual degree program at Harvard University and Berklee College of Music in Boston, and is considering a career in music or in regenerative medicine. "I'm so glad that I was awarded both scholarships—from Japan and the U.S.," said Imai. "I'm really excited to continue striving toward my goals now that I have these institutions supporting me."