Friday, September 4, 2009

The SJP support network

 From left, top row: SJP founding director Greg Mancini '01, counselor Ben Crair (UPenn '07), SJP founding director Richard Just '01. Bottom row: Counselor Becky Myers (Duke '04), SJP founding director Michael Koike '01, counselor Melisa Gao '06 and SJP founding director Rich Tucker '01. (Photo Credit: Brian Rokus '99)
By Alexandria Sharpe (Brooklyn, NY)

I see it already in my fellow SJP students: stress over the college application process. What I also see is gratefulness that we have the support of everyone from the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.

This is the beginning of the process but I have already needed their support, and for that I have not had to look far.

So far I have shared excitement with Amanda Cormier (SJP '07/Columbia ’12) over going to schools on the same island, picked Keith Griffin’s (SJP '05/Princeton ’10) brain about the world, received extremely useful SAT prep advice from Rubén Gaytan Lemus (SJP '07/Yale ’12), blasted e-mails out to two of the four SJP founding directors Richard Just '01 and Greg Mancini '01, quizzed Andrew Boryga (SJP '08/Cornell ’13) on the world of early decision, shared my college concerns with another student Reem Abdou, maintained a close bond with my former roommate and “California sister” Joanne Yi and bugged Tasnim Shamma (SJP '06/Princeton ’11) on just about EVERYTHING (all while keeping up a Facebook thread with students Ana Rivera, Brianda Reyes, Jancey Taveras and Melissa Sanchez).

The students I mentioned have said that they don’t know what they would be doing if it were not for SJP. The truth is, many of us would have been lost. I keep it in my mind and I hope all fellow SJP '09 students do as well: we all have the support of one another during this pivotal process.

While all seniors from our respective high schools will be feeling the same, we are the fortunate few who have had this experience.

Now a month has passed since we all stayed at an Ivy League University with students from all around the country who shared a common interest. Although plane tickets and train tickets parted our ways, we still stay in touch. This is what is important because it is the encouragement we have from each other that will keep us determined to succeed in the college admissions process.

I miss you all and I wish you the best of luck.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout but it's definitely not bugging. I enjoy talking to you. =)