Friday, April 17, 2015

Summit Prep Senior, Cliona, Seeks to Make a Positive Impact in Her Community

Continuing our series on senior spotlights, this week we turn to Summit Prep. There are many phenomenal seniors in Summit Prep's Class of 2015, including Cliona, who is ready to use college as a launch pad for innovation and creating positive change throughout communities. Cliona believes all Summit students should aim to, "make an impact on your community and be mindful of the differences of those around you."

Where will you be attending college and why?
After weighing my options, I’ve chosen to attend Berkeley in the fall. When I first started the college exploration process, I thought it was too close to home. But then I was awarded a scholarship that also has a mentorship component. Much like Summit, I will have access to advisers who I can turn to for both academic and personal advice. This mentor-like program really motivated me to make the official decision to attend Berkeley.

What was your mentor’s role in your college application process?
My mentor, Mr. Alcala, has played an important role in motivating me to reach my full potential. He helped me choose the topic of my personal essay, and it was really helpful to talk through the experiences I’ve had and how to convey that narrative. He worked with me to pinpoint exactly what I was passionate about. Before Summit, I didn’t have someone like Mr. Alcala, and I think it’s really important and valuable to have someone you can reach out to on a personal level.

What will you major in and why?
I’m interested in pre-business or neuroscience. My interest in neuroscience stems from my enjoyment of meditation. I’m fascinated by the effect it can have on the brain, especially how this impacts relationships and work performance. I also may want to study entrepreneurship because now living in Silicon Valley I am surrounded by innovators who have thought of things that have never been done before.

What experiences have shaped your passions?
Last year I was selected as a Bank of America Student Leader. Through their program, I worked for a non-profit in the Bay Area called Citizens Schools. The program flew me to DC where I could meet other students who are making a positive impact within their communities either locally or nationally. This really helped me refine what I wanted to do in order to make an impact. I was also given an opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica during sophomore year, where I taught English to younger children. I value both of these experiences because they allowed me to connect with other students who were passionate about altruism.

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