Andrea Pita

What is your favorite color? At six, it was blue. At eight, it was pink. Now I know that I don’t have one because it changes everyday. Change has been my sidekick for as long as I can remember. Instead of fighting it, I have always been drawn to it like a moth to a flame. So naturally, when I felt the seed of complacency and tediousness settle in my sophomore year I knew I needed to find a new place to call home and that was SAS.

It is hard to put into words everything that this school has given me. SAS West was a beacon of excellence in every way because more than a school, we were a family. This was the place where my friends and I poured relentlessly over AP Calculus problems, but also where we laughed our way through countless of Mr. Orichio’s “don’t cancel me” moments and passionately translated thoughts into words in Mrs. T’s class. It is where my best friends and I sat for hours at a time in Mrs. Ochoa’s office despite her protests and demands of needing to work. It was never a dull day, but more than anything, it was where I grew as the student and leader I see myself as today.

My time at SAS has taught me to be courageous in the face of adversity, to be resilient, to pick my battles wisely and be tenacious in the pursuit of my passions. As Student Advisor to the MDCPS School Board, I gained invaluable insight into the world of public policy, community outreach, and advocacy to strengthen my resolve in pursuing law. I was exposed to a variety of conundrums as SGA President, and had the best SGA in the world by my side to create a school spirit and class unity unlike any other. I founded my own club and brought the world of Mindfulness to our classrooms, even having our own yoga sessions in between classes and having focus-groups led by a researcher at Yale’s School of Medicine. And through it all, I was never alone.

Mr. Lindsay never ceased to cheer for me through my service project and endeavors, Mrs. T never failed to provide a shoulder to laugh or cry on, Mrs. Ochoa never blundered when keeping me grounded and focused. The support system that our teachers, counselors, and even administrative staff provided throughout our time at SAS was beyond what I could have ever imagined. Students are the heart of an SAS education, and we aren’t #4 in the nation for nothing. We grow together and push each other to be the very best we can be, and nothing less. I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to have been a part of such a beautiful group of people that I know one day will do extraordinary things. As I take my next steps, I can confidently say this isn’t goodbye. We are the next Ambassadors in the United Nations, Engineers in Silicon Valley, Congresswomen/men in D.C. and the bonds we have created here will pervade beyond our years here.

If after reading this you still feel unsure of coming to SAS, know that there is a place here for everyone and every shot you don’t take is a shot you miss. Sapere aude. Dare to know. I promise you won’t regret it.

Andrea Pita
School for Advanced Studies West Campus, Class of 2023
University of Chicago, Class of 2027