I've been blessed to have very dedicated people that care about my well being and my educational pursuits. Two of these people are James Montoya and Victor Contreras. They head the Arizona Ivy League Project and were happy to welcome me into their program. More so, they gave me excellent mentorship and inspired me to dream big. The program was also beneficial in other ways too. Having exposure to admission's staff from other ivy's and other top tech schools gave me great perspectives on what filling out the college application was all about. Talking with students from their respective schools also gave light to the culture of every school. And finding a new community of which to share my aspirations with was also a very comforting feeling.
For those of you reading this, you're most likely reading this because you're researching and trying to find the best option for yourself. I'm just going to save you the time, stop researching, and just do it. Seriously. If you're a big dreamer and want to go to big places, these guys will set you up on the right path.
Natzem Lima is an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
The Arizona Ivy League Project is the reason that I am in college. Before applying to this program, I had a tiny idea of what it took to get to a prestigious university: school involvement, a good interview, and that SAT scores mattered on some level. After just one meeting with AZILP, I realized my assumptions were largely misinformed. Through the AZILP, I learned that I had to greatly improve my SAT scores and that specific subject SAT tests were required, AP and honors courses were more important than I knew, negotiating in between scholarships from universities that want you is encouraged and not taboo, and many times an essay is your only chance to impress a panel of admissions officers. I had a vague understanding of all of these notions, but after my involvement with this program, I learned specific strategies to make my dream come true.
With the AZILP, I gained the confidence to represent myself in the best light and with as much accuracy as possible in my college applications. My mentors were incredible, caring, and professional individuals who are dedicated to the success of each and everyone of their students, and that is not an exaggeration by any means. After attending every meeting and workshop, I made several connections across universities and learned how to sustain valuable contacts for network building. Because of everything I learned through the AZILP, I was offered a full ride scholarship to the University of San Diego on a four year program. I highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to expand their boundaries in order to receive an excellent education.
Paola Carrasco is an undergraduate at the University of San Diego pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Sociology.