Name: Sawan
Graduation Year: 2023
Middle School: Cathedral School for Boys
Hometown: Orinda
Why did you choose College Prep? I chose College Prep for two reasons. First, the community at College Prep is vibrant, caring, and full of joy. Everyone seems to be friends. On my shadow visit I got the sense that College Prep is one large community that includes every single student and member of the faculty, staff, and administration. I also chose College Prep because I knew I would be intellectually stimulated here. On my shadow visit I attended an Asian Worlds class taught by Ms. Lanner-Cusin. I was fascinated by the lesson on Hinduism. The intellectual curiosity I saw during my visit has translated into every class that I have taken. It is hard to step into a classroom here and not hear lively and engaged discussion, laughter, and peer collaboration!
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? Keep an open mind throughout the process of applying to high school. Even if you may think you know where you want to go, or you're very sure you don't want to go somewhere, it can never hurt to keep an open mind and explore all your choices. My second piece of advice is that when you come to any high school event, take in the atmosphere as much as you can. How comfortable, happy, and accepted you feel during each of your visits to a high school is the most important indicator of whether a school is right for you.
What is your favorite place on campus? The outdoor basketball court next to the science building. It's not too busy, and this is where my friends and I all gather to eat lunch. We decompress by playing knockout, basketball, foursquare, or some other made-up game that we create!
What are you involved in on Campus? I am part of College Prep's drama and dance programs. One thing I love about the performing arts at here, is the kind and caring community of students and teachers that is formed around a shared activity and passion. These programs have also pushed me to take new risks and explore parts of my artistic creativity that I had not before. I am also a part of College Prep's Science Olympiad team, an annual high school science competition, CATFood - a campus club focused on food justice, and South Asian Alliance. In addition, I am a new co-leader of Cooking Club, the founder of the Class of 2023 Summer Book Club, and the section editor for our school newspaper's opinion division. Clubs at Prep are an amazing way to meet new people, develop leadership skills, and explore new, as well as old, hobbies and passions in a low stress environment. In addition, I am a tutor for the Partners program, an experience which has connected me to a broader diversity of learners and students that I would have otherwise known. Finally, I am a certified NPHC (No Place for Hate Coalition) discussion facilitator, and a member of SEAT (Student Equity Action Team). NPHC and SEAT have allowed me to expand my leadership skills and explore important social justice issues which further connect me to my broader community of the Bay Area, US, and world.
What has been your favorite class? I love all of my classes at College Prep, so it is hard to choose. However, if I had to pick one class it would be Asian Worlds with Ms. Gumbert. Ms. Gumbert is a very knowledgeable and passionate teacher who has a knack for engaging her students. Moreover, I have always loved history, and Asian Worlds takes a look at the history of two influential and very ancient civilizations, India and China, from their very inception to the present day. Asian Worlds taught me how to look at world events on a larger scale, taking into account the whole history influencing a certain, seemingly isolated, incident.
What has been the best thing about College Prep? The community. While I have my group of close friends, I still feel connected to everyone in my class and school. Whether through assemblies, student council sponsored activities, performing arts performances, or sporting events, College Prep's vibrant and supportive community is always evident. In addition, I love how open faculty members are to creating connections with their students. All of my teachers appreciate when I stay after class to talk with them about something which I found particularly interesting, or to ask a question, and they are all supportive of my individual learning process.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? Two of my favorite movies of all time are "The Pink Panther" and "Pink Panther 2," both starring Steve Martin as Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Steve Martin's absolutely hilarious depiction of Clouseau has to be my favorite movie character. You wouldn't believe how many references to those movies come up in my family's conversations!
1. I have a rabbit named Rufus who I fostered one summer from a rabbit rescue non-profit called the House Rabbit Society. After fostering Rufus that summer, my family and I fell in love with him and simply had to adopt him!
2. I have visited sixteen US National Parks. I love the outdoors!
3. I enjoy cooking recipes that take multiple days, many steps, and many different ingredients. In other words, I like the process of cooking almost, if not just as much, as the eating.