Name : mousumimdg

Name: Sarah J

Schools accepted to: University of California, LA. Herb Alpert School of Music

Hometown: Cupertino, California

Family Structure: Mother raised Sarah single-handedly

Parent’s occupation: Mother is Senior Financial Manager

How I did it: “In second grade, I started playing the viola. One of my biggest accomplishments was that I’ve been in regionals every year I’ve been eligible, since 7th grade. I was selected to all states every year, too, since 9th grade. I started learning at the Peninsula Youth Orchestra for music. I have been in the first chair viola in their best orchestra. We play side-by-side with the professional orchestra. In school, I was elected class president three times.”

Test scores and grades: “My cumulative GPA out of 100 is almost a 98. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anything under an A. I’ve taken 9 AP classes. I began studying for the SAT really early but wasn’t getting the score I wanted. I made the decision to study for the ACT by myself. I told my mom to buy me a book and I studied the whole summer. I got a 34. I knew that would help me get into the Ivys.”

What pushed me: “My mother has brought me up single-handedly since I was five. She has always been diligent and hardworking. She stressed that I should focus on the things that are within my control – to work hard, develop your passions, and try to distinguish yourself academically and extracurricularly.  Just as important, I had to maintain good moral/personal qualities”

Comment from Alicja’s mother: “Alicja is highly adept at bringing disparate groups of people together and creating amazing connections between people. And—in what I view as her greatest skill—she has an uncanny ability to get other people to do things for her. Just the other day I told her that she couldn’t go out until she finished her chores. Fifteen minutes later two of her friends showed up at our door to help her clean the basement.

I guarantee they can’t teach that in college.”

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