• Nora Sun

Tags: Brown, low income, international, first generation

Institution: Brown University

Study: Major in biomedical engineering and neuroscience

High School Experience

My high school experience was amazing honestly. I went to a pretty diverse school with a lot of programs and opportunities. The work there wasn’t too hard; it's just a lot of classes all out once on top of extracurriculars. However, that’s what I liked about the school. Having all of those different extracurricular choices so I wasn’t limited in any aspect. The only thing I didn’t like was my senior year since there were a lot of changes going on. The school was thinking of going from a 7 class schedule to an A-B day type thing. Our AP Science classes dropped from two periods to one. So it was a bit confusing how they were going to fit as much material as they did last year in order to prepare for exams (corona didn’t make it any better either).

Course choices

My academic interests my first two years was just finding a subject/field that I enjoyed. After my junior year and conducting neuroscience research at Johns Hopkins University, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do but it was better than nothing. However, engineering has always been something I was interested in and it was possible to do both. I just selected classes that will help me in the future if I actually committed to learning both engineering and neuroscience or just one of them.


I took AP GOV, CHEM, CALC AB, LANG, APUSH, BIO, LIT, CALC BC, STAT, COMP SCI A. I did a decent job on the exams. Mostly 3s/4s and there were 2s…


3.7 unweighted, 4.6 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1340


My interests were all over the place. SQUAD, a leadership and mentoring program for minority students in my program for 4 years and now former president since I’ve graduated. One Book One Poly, a group meant to bring awareness to racism and social injustices in Baltimore city through books and discussion for two years. Spokesperson for the Odyssey Club, for students fundraising for a trip to Europe and visit sites taught in AP Art History (took on the side). Islamic Sunday School, Neuroscience Research at Johns Hopkins University for almost three years now. Worked at J+ Mini Mart for four years as well, its a local convenience store is South Baltimore.


My relationships with the teachers that wrote my recommendations were a bit personal. They were there for me when I needed guidance through some issues unrelated to academics. I confided in them and I can say the same for them. My research mentor at Hopkins also gave a recommendation.


The narrative in my essays were just describing what I preserved through spiritually and racially. But also how I can use that to not only help myself in college but other individuals as well.


Personally I feel that with all of the activities I’m involved with during the school year but also what I do once school is over. I keep myself busy, I'm open to interacting with people from all over the world. I’m not shy to have much needed conversations whether it’s comfortable or not. Also, my personally experiences may bring thoughtful insight to varying situations on campus.


My advice would be to never stay still. Keep yourself busy with things you like to do because not only does it make time go faster, but people can actually see your enjoyment and excitement when you do things that make you happy. It makes them happy to talk about you in a positive and encouraging manner.


I am a first generation African American (Ethiopian) with low income.


I visited the university last summer through a math and science program called MS2. The program itself isn’t primarily used for college trips but it’s mandatory our third summer on campus. I fell in love with the open curriculum and by speaking with MS2 alum on campus, it almost seemed perfect in my eyes.

#Brown #low_income #international #first_generation

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