My freshman year of high school was exciting yet challenging. It was a major transition for me. During this time, I received my first “C”, which was a major shock to me as well as a wake-up call. Shortly after, I decided it was time for me to change my tactics and set some academic goals for myself. I started a time management system of doing my homework and studying ahead of time. I made sure to set aside plenty of time to study and to get clarification of study materials from my teachers to ensure that I was comprehending the material. Also, a tradition of Girls High is to be paired up in the Big Sister/Little Sister mentoring program, in which a senior is paired up with a freshman to provide transitional support. My grades started improving a great deal by the third report card and I was well on my way.
During my sophomore year, I applied for a job with the LEAP after-school program and worked at the Logan Library under the guidance of librarian, Mrs. Belita Thornton. I worked after school as a Teen Leadership Assistant, which was one of the best experiences of my life. There was never a day where I was not helping someone advance in their academic skills by assisting them with their homework, mentoring them in academic areas in which they struggled, or playing educational games to help them with their educational development. Assisting students helped me gain repetitive, remedial experience. Mrs. Thornton has such great programs for children and teens, and I gained a lot of knowledge and work experience under her leadership.
In my senior year at Girls High, I worked at the Logan Library once again and developed the tools that I knew I needed to succeed in college, such as focus, dedication, determination, social skills, and community service. I ended high school with a 3.95 GPA. I achieved academic excellence, received numerous financial awards, and gained exclusive membership into programs such as Mu Alpha Theta, which is awarded by the National Math Honor’s Society. I’m also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and I received the U.S. Educational Program Award. I’ve received financial aid awards that will cover the total cost of my four years of college! Over the summer, I will be attending a leadership/college prep workshop and performing volunteer work. As the Girls High motto goes: vincit qui se vincit, which is Latin for “she conquers who conquers herself”.
I look forward to attending Penn State in the fall; my major is in Technology Engineering and my minor is in Accounting. I also look forward to my college life and to learning, as I have great confidence that the foundation and ground work has already been laid. To get where I am today, I had to set high goals and persist through challenges, which inspired a passion for lifelong learning and for pursuing my dreams of procuring a bachelor’s degree and hopefully a Master’s degree in the field of Mathematics. It would be a dream come true to share my talents, vision, and potential for the betterment of myself, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, and the rest of the world." - Shanae
For more information on TOPSS and Free Library's College Prep Program, please contact:
Free Library of Philadelphia
The Office of Public Service Support (TOPSS)
College Prep Program
1901 Vine Street, Room 5A
Philadelphia, PA 19103