Alain Soto

After hours of contemplating whether or not leaving my formed friendships behind would be worth taking, what I perceived as extremely difficult classes with minimal leisure time at an unfamiliar high school (and college) environment (SAS), I took the qualifying test in case I qualified for SAS. However, my desire to complete the first 2 years of college at a community college, which developed a year before I heard about SAS, led me to hastily commit to SAS once I was accepted because it met my goal and saved additional time.

After the first few weeks at SAS, I realized my preconceptions were polar opposite to reality. I had an abundance of free time (much more than before) thanks to the customizable, unique morning schedule, which allowed me to socialize an extreme amount with fellow classmates and sustain my gaming hobby, while still earning above-average/excellent grades thanks to the superbly helpful SAS teacher office hours and greatly personalized learning in well-sized classrooms. Not to mention, my classmates were extraordinary people, and they did not hide who they were or act differently out of the fear of judgement that is prevalent in countless schools; SAS’s welcoming, genuine student body coupled with countless school events and club activities allowed me to fully express the previously unsatisfied desire I had to socialize with others.

Similarly, at SAS, every teacher (“teacher” includes counselors) was caring, passionate, wise, selfless, and would go out of their way to assist any student. Even though I did not have every teacher (I wish!), I was able to deduce that because—thanks to their friendliness and the intimate, small student population—I would hear positive remarks about them and have frequent conversations or greetings with the teachers I did not have. If I were to write about my teachers, then this testimonial could not possibly capture the impact that the wonderful and personal dialogues, memorable daily greetings, and comical and enlightening office hours and classes that I have shared with each of them hold; besides, this testimonial would be infinitely long if I were to continue.

Likewise, SAS staff worked extremely hard to supplement students with more than enough activities, which coincidentally profusely boosted school spirit and comradery. This year, we had more fun, exciting activities and events than a high school student could imagine!

Lastly, I did not expect to apply to nationally renowned universities, or even conceived the thought before arriving at SAS. Fortuitously, I witnessed senior SAS friends commit to prestigious universities and believed I could do the same!

SAS has truly widened my horizons, been a lively home, and impressively facilitated my social development.

Alain Soto
School for  Advanced Studies Kendall, Class of 2024
Duke University, Class of 2028