Alyssa Guardado

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.

I first encountered these words at my elementary school, and ever since, they have become my guiding principle. This motto has been my driving force, pushing me to strive for excellence and led me to my achievements, successes, and passions that have defined my path.

It led me to School for Advanced Studies. When I started high school, I was unsure of what the future held for me. However, that did not deter me from seizing every opportunity for personal growth. That commitment led me to apply to SAS. When I asked my high school counselor for advice to help me get into SAS, she discouraged it. She claimed SAS would be overwhelming and isolate me from my friends. She was wrong.

SAS unveiled a world of possibilities, revealing the true extent of my potential. This institution provided invaluable resources to help me manage stress and time, and even nurtured my curiosity through college-level courses that piqued my interest. Also, with the exceptional dedication of the teachers, they made learning a truly personalized and fulfilling journey. Unlike my previous high school teachers, they actually knew my name and provided unwavering support and genuine care for my well-being. My counselors, especially, were instrumental in facilitating opportunities for scholarships, internships, and overall progress.

Our close-knit community fostered lifelong friendships, an incredible sense of school spirit, and empowered me to take on leadership roles, such as becoming the President of Art Club. As someone inherently introverted, SAS provided an environment that encouraged me to come out of my shell and become a more sociable person. I feel a genuine sense of belonging and a desire to learn, and I can’t imagine a better high school for me.

As I start the next chapter of my life at Duke University, I can proudly say that the invaluable lessons learned at SAS will forever remain within me. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned attending such a prestigious institution, but thanks to the unwavering support of my friends and teachers, I dared to reach for the moon.

Alyssa Guardado,
School for Advanced Studies Kendall, Class of 2023
Duke University, Class of 2027