Tags: Stanford, international, low income, first generation
Institution: Stanford University
Study: Major in physics, minors in math and computer science
High School Experience
I went to a girls only boarding high school. The school was very focused on academics and cared very little about non academic extracurriculars. This kind of worked to my advantage because I liked spending a lot of time with my books. I think the fact that it was a girls only school cultivated an atmosphere of strong competition amongst us. I liked that everyone was allowed to act strongly on what they believed in and the school went out of its way to ensure that we could compete fairly with the boys schools. The best thing about my high school was that we became a sort of strong support system of girls pursuing academic excellence for one another.
I have always been interested in computers and knew I would study CS in college.
I was mainly interested in computers and volunteering . I was head of the ICT, Robotics, Technovation and Girls in STEM clubs (I did all three from my freshman year to senior year but only became the head in my junior year)I took part in volunteering in an old people’s home for three years, a children’s home for about a year (every Sunday) and founded and ran a mentorship program for underprivileged young girls: it’s about a year old now.
My counselor didn’t know me that well, but she wrote me one either way. My class teacher wrote one because she had taught me for four years and I felt like she had seen me grow and knew me well enough. My Swahili language teacher wrote the other one because we had a strong connection and I felt like he knew me at a personal level.
My personal statement was about my struggle in trying to convince my parents to take me to school and to allow me to study computers. The other essays had varied topics but all revolved around my passion for CS and the problems the girls in my community face in trying to get an education.
I think excellence in music but because of some general accomplishments as well: not ONLY music but also not like 40 different activities.
I think the best advice is that they should own their life experiences, embrace them and acknowledge the importance of those experiences in the person they are today. No two applicants have the same life experiences and that’s what sets everyone apart.
Low-income, first generation, Kenyan high school student
It’s always been my dream school. I hope to work in the Silicon Valley and Stanford gets me one step closer.