Helix is no stranger to academic excellence. Being a high school that specializes in college preparation and rigorous academic courses, Helix’s main goal is to have each senior of the graduating class attend college or have a stable alternative plan.
However, the Class of 2016 is making quite the statement this year when it comes to college acceptances.
Of the 544 students in this year’s graduating class, ten have received acceptances from UCLA, seven from Berkeley, one from USC and one from Stanford. It’s clear from these statistics that 2016 seniors are setting the bar quite high for future graduating Scotties.
“What I find so exciting is the quantity of seniors who took the risk to apply to these four-year colleges and then even further, the number of these students who were accepted were probably one of the highest of previous years,” said Cathy Singer, Helix’s college counselor.
Senior, and former ASB president, Gillian Morgan was one of the 58 applications from Helix who was admitted to her dream school UCLA and committed shortly after.
“I was actually in Sorrento, Italy the day I found out and I totally forgot about it because of the time difference,” said Morgan. “When I opened the email, I cried and was so excited with my other friends who got in as well and we just all celebrated together. It was so great and I can’t believe, or even expected, that I got into my dream school,” the future psychology student said with a huge smile on her face.
Senior Jack Stronach, who was also admitted into UCLA earlier this year on a baseball scholarship, is most thrilled that he gets to continue the sport that he loves at the college level.
“It’s great to know that all my hard work throughout the years has paid off for this amazing opportunity. It’s the best feeling,” said Stronach, who is currently captain of Helix’s varsity team.
“It’s been a goal of mine to play in college since I was seven years old and to see it finally happen was unbelievable,” he said.
Five and half hours up north, another senior Joey Thadigsman, will be furthering his education at UC Berkeley where he will be majoring in Computer Science.
“The moment I got in, I remember just sitting at the computer and freaking out and being super excited,” Thadigsman recalled. “I just visited the campus over the weekend and I’m so stoked to become a Golden Bear.”
And of course, at every school, you’ve got the anomaly.
Out of the 42,497 hopeful seniors who applied to Stanford University for the Class of 2020, senior Julian Rey Saenz was of the 2,140 students who received admission to the most competitive school in the nation, with a record-breaking acceptance rate of 4.69%.
“To be honest, I cannot describe my feelings the moment I found out I got into Stanford. To say it was unbelievable is an understatement. I was incredulous and even that doesn’t encompass it,” Saenz said of his acceptance.
“I just kept staring at the computer screen and my brain could not even process what was going on. I couldn’t even speak properly for a good half hour,” he said with a laugh. “There was just so much disbelief. That’s how little I expected to get in. It’s been about two weeks since then, and it’s still just barely settling in and I’m just so grateful.”
No matter whether you got into Stanford, San Diego State or any college across the spectrum, Helix is proud of all of their graduating seniors who made the decision to reach for higher education and strive for something more.
“It’s the risk of putting yourself out there and just going for it to apply to college is an achievement,” said Singer. “The Class of 2016 was definitely one of the highest for that.”