Born in London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba heritage, Adefolarin ‘Kolade’ Apata was named in the hope that he would bring good health and fortune to his family. He has brought considerable pride as well. This valedictorian of Benjamin E. Mays High School and winner of the Harvard Book Award took four AP courses as a junior, and five as a senior. He is a national Coca-Cola Scholar.
Lauded by his teachers especially for his ethical standards and work ethic, Kolade served as a peer tutor and role model, helping students who experienced difficulties in science and math. He played leadership roles in every activity he undertook: president of the Computer Club, vice-president of the Math Club, captain of the Math Team, and team leader of the Academic Decathlon. Kolade spent the summer of 1998 at Clark Atlanta University working on FORTRAN programs and designing web pages. He later initiated the designing of his high school’s web page.
Kolade devotes his Saturday mornings to the American Red Cross. As a member of its Youth Council and Board, he trains younger students in Red Cross procedures and participates in activities that assist disaster victims. Kolade says that his work for the Red Cross demonstrates “how very little can make so much difference to people trying to cope with emergencies and disasters.”
Emory University will count Kolade among its first year students this fall. He will study computer science with the goal of pursuing a career in the development of software. He hopes someday to design software that will lead to medical breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.