High School Grads Reveal College Choices

| June 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
Samantha Newby


Academics, locale, sports are key factors for choice

Marlborough senior Samantha “Sammy” Newby recalls visiting at least 10 different colleges between her sophomore and junior year.

A volleyball player who also went through the recruiting process, she narrowed it down to Amherst, Middlebury and Bowdoin. “I took into account academics, location, its volleyball team and the feeling I got when I visited.”

In the end, she chose Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. “I really liked the team, and I had always wanted to go to school on the east coast,” she said. “The thing that stood out is that it is a small school, so the class sizes remained small, which is what I liked about Marlborough, but it is also a big college town.”

Sammy said it feels a little bittersweet to be leaving home. “On one hand, I am excited to start the next chapter of my life and am looking forward to meeting new people, trying new things, and somehow trying to find out who I am on my own. But I am also a very family oriented person, so I don’t know how I’ll handle not being near all my relatives.”

Her parents, Brenda Flynn Newby, Windsor Square and William Newby, Hancock Park, are a bit shocked that their youngest is going to college. “They can’t believe their little baby is growing up and leaving. They will both definitely suffer from empty nest syndrome, but I’m hoping this experience will help us all become even closer than we already are.”

George Glaviano


Skype will keep him in touch with family while at Berkeley

George Glaviano applied to 11 schools, including Stanford, four UCs, Pomona College, USC, Pepperdine, the University of San Francisco as well as Cal Poly Ponoma and Cal State San Luis Obispo.

His top choice: Stanford. “But I got denied, so that was a bummer,” said George, a Pacific Hills graduate and the son of Rosa and Paul Glaviano, Miracle Mile.

After being accepted into several schools, he eventually narrowed it down to UCLA and UC Berkeley. “I chose Berkeley, because I wanted to get out of L.A.,” he said.”

His mom, however, had other ideas. “She wanted me to go to UCLA so badly. And we have a lot of family here, so they were all like ‘George, stay here… you’ll be closer for the holidays.'”

But his mind was made up. In fact he’s so excited to be moving to Berkeley, he’s decided to take a summer class and is scheduled to settle into a dorm there shortly. “I’ll miss my parents, but I’ll Skype them and call them,” he vowed.

Denis Bronkar


Wishing for east coast weather helps his decision

On the eve of graduating from Pilgrim School, Denis Bronkar reflected on his college decision-making process.

The son of Marcie and Paul Bronkar, Hancock Park, applied to eight schools and visited his top three: Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, Boston’s Wheaton College and the University of San Francisco.

He was accepted into all, but finally decided on Drew. “For one, they probably have the best Division 2 tennis team on the east coast,” said Denis, who has been playing the sport for 10 years. “And their business, law and literature programs are outstanding.” Another consideration: the weather. “I was adopted from Russia when I was seven and a half, so I remember the change of seasons. I wanted to live someplace that had four seasons.”

Denis plans to major in economics or business with a minor in Russian.

The realization that he was moving 3,000 miles from home was at first a bit unsettling. “But it’s only four years, and I’m so glad I’ll be 30 minutes by train to New York”-his mother’s hometown which he said he’s visited “a million times.”

His parents, who at first hoped he’d attend school in San Francisco, are excited too. “They’ve been very supportive. They want me to have the whole college experience.”

Amelie Dougherty


Penn won over the many east coast schools she liked

Immaculate Heart graduate Amelie Dougherty applied to 19 schools, including all of the UCs and most of the Ivy Leagues as well as Duke, Northwestern, Harvey Mudd, USC, MIT, Reed and Georgetown.

“All of these schools have amazing academics, so I knew that whichever I ended up going to would provide me with an education that would set me up to succeed in whatever I put my mind to in life,” she said.

She loved the way the environment surrounding the Dartmouth camps was utilized, and “Yale’s history matched with its Gothic-like structures took my breath away.”

Finally, Amelie, the daughter of Alexandra Lieben, Park La Brea, and William Dougherty of Santa Fe, N.M., narrowed it down to Penn and UC Berkeley, where her brother is enrolled.

When all was said and done, she chose the University of Pennsylvania “as a place where I could become independent and experience a completely new world.”

Amelie said she is ready for the next chapter. “The teachers and support I have had at Immaculate Heart have been amazing and have helped me foster my love of learning. Along with my family, my school has been a great springboard that has prepared me to jump into life.”

With a total of four parents and three siblings all living west of Texas, moving to the East Coast will take her far away from her close-knit family. “But ultimately they are all really happy for me.”

Charley Rock


Family is pleased he will only be a half-hour away

At the top of Charley Rock’s must-have list for college was that it be a prestigious school in a big city. He visited several, including Michigan, Boston College and New York University, and was particularly fond of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Ultimately, I decided to go to UCLA. I love that they have amazing sports there, and I don’t know how I would handle the East Coast weather,” said the Loyola High School graduate. “They also have amazing theater and psychology programs, which are two of my top interests,” he added.

His family, including sister Georgia, and parents, Robert and Kerry, Country Club Place, aren’t too broken up over his leaving home, “since I’ll only be half hour away.”

And that, said Charley, was a key part of his decision. “I really don’t want to leave Los Angeles and my family. I’ll be far enough away that they can’t bother me every day,” he laughed. “But I can see them whenever I want!”

Art and English motivated choice of Mt. Holyoke

Immaculate Heart graduate Stephanie Kishibay’s two academic passions are studio/fine arts and English. Schools that fit those criteria included Hollins University, College of the Holy Cross and Mount Holyoke, Muhlenberg, Skidmore, Smith, Wellesley and Wheaton colleges.

She knew that Mt. Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Mass., was her first choice as soon as she stepped on campus. “The beauty of the grounds was incredible; the library took my breath away. It had amazing writing resources and group collaboration cubicles.” Additionally, the art department had all the resources she wanted, “and even a small art museum!”

Finally, said Stephanie, whose parents are Donna Eteson Kishibay and John Kishibay, S. Mansfield Ave., “the traditions that have lasted since Mt. Holyoke’s opening swayed me completely. They reminded me of Immaculate Heart and the memories I share with my classmates.”

Her mind made up, she applied for early decision last November, and tried not to get her hopes up while working on her other applications.

In mid-December, she learned that she had been accepted. “I only applied to one college!”

Stephanie’s not too nervous about leaving home. Her mom is a native New Englander, “so I’ll be close to extended family,” and she plans to keep in touch with her parents and twin sisters by Skype.

“I think my parents are worried about my being 3,000 miles away, and the fact that they won’t be able to talk to me in person will be pretty strange.” As for her sisters, Emily and Ashley, “they’re sad, but as one of them will get my room, they aren’t as concerned of what it will be like at home here without me.”

Audrey Dalton


Large enrollment helped her choose UC Santa Barbara

Audrey Dalton applied to Whitman, Scripps, Occidental, USC, UCLA, UCSB, Pacific University and a two of the Claremont colleges. “I had visited all of them,” said the Pilgrim senior, and daughter of Doug Dalton and Laura Dupuis of Fremont Place.

She eventually chose UC Santa Barbara. “It has programs that I want like English, history and Chinese. I also think the large number of students may increase my chances of finding someone who has some of the same interests as I do, like Americana and the history of the American West,” said Audrey.

While she admits to being a little nervous about leaving home, “I am also kind of excited about becoming more independent.”

Her parents, of course, will miss her. “But my dad says that college will be a good experience for me, and my mom says that although she will miss me, she will have to let me grow up.”

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