Cambria Heights Prodigy Earns Full Ride To University


Cambria Heights high school student Earl Gabriel Simons Jr. recently became a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Posse Foundation Scholar Award.

Earl Gabriel Simons Jr.

Earl Gabriel Simons Jr.

As a recipient of the award, Simons will receive a full ride to his university of choice. As of this writing, he plans to attend Lawrence University during the coming fall semester. The scholarship is worth more than $185,000 and draws more than 3,500 applications a year.

Simons currently attends the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria. He has proven to be an exemplary student.

He takes several Advanced Placement courses, including AP Calculus and AP Government. He also is an active member of the school’s jazz band as well as a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra. In Southeast Queens, he plays the trumpet for the St. Albans Baptist Church every Sunday morning.

The Posse Foundation Award is far from his first breakthrough. The young man has been featured on NBC’s Today Show with Al Roker, appearing alongside Yoko Ono as a member of the John Lennon Music Education Tour Bus Program.

Hoping to take his passion for politics and music studies to the next level, Simons intends to double major in political science at Lawrence University’s Liberal Arts College and jazz performance education at the school’s Conservatory of Music.

Simons, along with 121 other recipients of the Posse Foundation Scholar Award statewide, were honored at a Lifetime Awards Ceremony on Thursday at the Times Center.

The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains exceptional young leaders from urban high schools and sends them in multicultural teams, or “posses,” of 10 students to top colleges and universities across the country. Parents looking to have their children apply for the award can visit for more information.

Reach reporter Trone Dowd via email at or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 123.

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