Finding My Way
Benilde-St. Margaret’s has helped me thrive as an individual, guiding me throughout my high school career with passion and professionalism. It provided me with opportunities that helped me stand out from other college applicants. As a valedictorian for the Class of 2018, I can say that BSM’s academic and sports programs are exceptional and have shaped me during my time here.
Academically, BSM’s college and career center is second to none with the support it gives all students. The counselors provided invaluable guidance that made the college admission process a lot more manageable and less terrifying. However, if it weren’t for the engineering department, I never would have chosen my major or college.
It was during engineering class that I discovered my love for problem-solving, designing parts in CAD and building ideas into tangible objects. Because I loved engineering class, I decided to combine it with chemistry (my other favorite subject). Thanks to BSM, I discovered my desire to pursue chemical engineering in college.
During my junior year, a BSM alumnus came back and spoke to engineering students about his education and work experience. He told the class about his college, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. I had never heard of it before, but after visiting, I fell in love with the place and am happily attending this coming year.
The BSM engineering department also gave me the opportunity to go to Nagoya, Japan, as a part of Red Knight Robotics Squad to compete in RoboCup international competition. We were the only high school team in our division, competing against international college graduates and company-sponsored teams. I formed connections with other teams and even had dinner with students from MIT. I had a great time on the trip, developing as a culturally curious person while traveling around Japan. (I’m returning to RoboCup this summer in Montreal, Canada.)
Not only did BSM provide a solid academic foundation, but it also gave me a social one too. I joined the Alpine Ski team freshman year even though I had never raced and didn’t know anyone on the team. My first experience of the BSM community spirit was during dryland practice. A captain on the team gave me her mittens when I had forgotten mine. It was a simple act, but I have always remembered it. I was on the team for four years, becoming a captain my senior year, and I extended the same spirit of kindness to other teammates.
During my junior year, I also became involved with the Courage Kenny Adaptive Ski program as a part of Discipleship class. I got the opportunity to ski with a variety of people with special needs. This program helped me learn that it’s not about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do. It was such a great experience that I did it again this past year too.
During my time at BSM, I had an amazing education. I would not have become a valedictorian without help from my teachers, all of whom were devoted to their subject and helping their students succeed. Though I am nervous for college, I have no doubt that BSM has prepared me well for the challenges I may face in the future.