Zahnir Steen received a $500 scholarship from the ARJ Civic Association to continue her education at St. Benedict's Prep.
Zahnir graduated from Link Community Charter School, where she began as a seventh grader. Previously, Zahnir attended Catholic Schools, including Good Shepherd in Irvington and Saint Joseph's in Maplewood, which closed.
Since attending Link, Zahnir said she has been exposed to many educational opportunities.
"I was one out of 10 students selected to go to the Bahamas and attend a week-long experience at the Island School to observe and participate in sustainability," she said.
She also participated in an internship at Novartis in East Hanover, where she worked with a team to develop a marketing strategy.
"I have to admit that I was not interested in going, but if I had the choice, I'd do it again," she said.
Zahnir said her interest is in science and one day hopes to major in marine biology.