Sunday, August 9, 2009

The SJP Family

Students listen to SJP alumni at a panel discussing their college admissions experiences. (Photo Credit: Brian Rokus '99)

By Stacey Menjivar (Hyattsville, MD)

Listening to a panel discussion consisting of former SJPers yesterday was not only inspiring, but also daunting. These kids, most of them only a year older than us, are already headed to many prestigious colleges and universities. It’s hard to imagine that in only a year, we’ll be in their places.

But as frightening as applying to college may be, we all know now that we’re not in it alone. All the SJP counselors have told us time and again that they will be there every step of the way, helping us improve our essays, coaching us on how to pursue college interviews and encouraging us to study and raise our SAT scores.

One of the main topics that arose was this program’s impact on their college application experience. Katie Zavadski, SJP Class of 2008, and Harvard Class of 2013, told me that she wouldn’t even have applied to Harvard had it not been for the constant insistence of her SJP counselors. “Listen to them,” she said to me, “they know what they’re talking about.”

And this statement seems to prove itself over and over again. Former SJPers in the panel attend or will be attending some of the best colleges and universities in the country: Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Brown, Middlebury, Georgetown, Tufts and Columbia are just a few of the schools on the impressive resumes of some of these students.

So this fall we must work hard and focus on our ultimate goal: college. But that won’t be too hard because we’ve got a whole family helping us along the way. That family is SJP.

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