Read more about Elhadji’s experience with UT Youth Engagement Houston…
1. What is one thing you learned from UT Youth Engagement?
One of the main things that stuck with me throughout my journey with UT Youth Engagement is to never underestimate or disregard the help of any mentor. Despite the organization being from the University of Texas, they still helped me throughout my college journey with uncountable workshops and 1:1 calls while UT Austin was not even on my college list. Their help was astronomical, and having the organization on my list of CBOs (Community Based Organizations) was a huge boost on my college applications.
2. A piece of advice you would give to rising high school seniors about the college admissions process.
Speak for yourself. Show the best of yourself. Be authentic. Now, I am not asking you to be completely arrogant and show off all the great things you have done. However, you should do your absolute best to show the College Admissions officers who you really are, what you are passionate about, and why you wish to attend their universities / colleges in an eloquent, detailed, and concise manner. These days, most applications are reviewed holistically, so I would also advise you not to think that certain institutions are “above you”. If you want to go to an Ivy, apply to an Ivy! After all, what do you have to lose but a couple of hours filling out their application? As low as their acceptance rates are, your chances of attending those institutions are 0% if you do not apply. Also, it is always a good idea to shoot an email to your regional admissions officer and tell them all about yourself and how much you love their college. That will help them get to know a side of you that you probably won’t be able to show in your college application. Stretch your fingers and start typing!
3. Any tips for applying for scholarships? Did you receive any scholarships? If so, which ones.
You have probably heard this before, and I will say it again: Apply to as many scholarships as you can! A scholarship is essentially free money; and I don’t know about you, but you will not see me saying no to free money. Look for as many as you can, from local, district, regional, state, to national level scholarships and apply, apply, apply!!
So far, I received the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship, and the CITGO Distinguished Scholars Scholarship. The QuestBridge NCM scholarship is currently open, and it provides a full ride to one of its 40+ college partners, all top tier institutions in the United States! (I’m talking about going to Columbia, Yale, Duke, Tufts, Carleton, Dartmouth, Princeton, MIT, etc. for free!). I would definitely encourage you to apply, especially if you are a low-income, underrepresented student.
4. What are you most looking forward to as a college freshman?
Like many amongst my peers, I am truly looking forward to embarking on this new stage of my life where I get to finally work towards my potential career, and do what it takes to get there and make my own impact on the world. Is it really the beginning of a new chapter that I am still outlining, and cannot wait to make my first stroke of a pen on.
5. What college are you attending and what major did you choose?
Alongside the help of many organizations (UT Youth Engagement included), I will be attending Carleton College in Fall 2021 to major in Computer Science on the Pre-Medicine Track through QuestBridge’s National College Match Scholarship.