choi_1Angelina: A Pro Bono Success Story

Written by: Michael Trivette

In the spring of 2015 I met Angelina, an ambitious student who was working on completing her junior year at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. We met each other at U-Lead Athens, a non-profit organization that works with disadvantaged youth in Athens-Clarke County and helps them prepare for and apply to postsecondary institutions. One of the co-directors of U-Lead Athens sent Angelina my way saying “Mike, she’s one of the best students we’ve ever had and she could really use your help in building a college list and finding the right college.” After one conversation with Angelina, I knew we had a strong and motivated student on our hands.

Angelina isn’t your typical student from Cedar Shoals, a school with over 92% of its students on free and reduced lunch. She’s ranked in the top 1% of her graduating class and she earned outstanding grades and near-perfect test scores. Her resume/student activities sheet is littered with awards and both campus and community involvement. In short, she is a stellar student who goes above and beyond most of her peers. She’s also a first-generation U.S. citizen and someone who could benefit from our guidance and expertise in U.S. higher education. Given her interests in biology, economics, finance and journalism, I knew we would be able to identify suitable colleges that offer sizable merit- or need-based aid coupled with excellent academic offerings.

Our initial college list included schools like Brown, Dartmouth, Davidson, Duke, Emory, Northwestern, UPenn, Pomona, Stanford, UNC, Yale, among others. We worked with Angelina to narrow down her college list and eventually apply to eight institutions. Our work together also included reviewing essay drafts and providing tips and suggestions for how to build her resume. Angelina put in a lot of time and effort into making her applications as strong as possible. By stressing the importance of meeting early application deadlines, Angelina was able to successfully submit all of her applications by November.

It was no surprise to us to learn that Angelina had been admitted to Dartmouth College for their incoming freshmen class. Angelina will join another one of our success stories, Melissa, this fall in Hanover and we couldn’t be more excited to see what she accomplishes at Dartmouth. Her story is why we remain committed to providing pro bono counseling and ensuring college access for all students. To learn more about U-Lead Athens and the valuable work they do, click here.