Stephanie Acosta

I won’t lie, writing this testimonial is the hardest thing I have had to do at this school. It is a little funny, considering I took AP Calculus BC here. I have just been writing and deleting words, never satisfied with how they sounded. I think it is because it is so hard to put how amazing my experience was into words. There is so much love inside of me that it is a little difficult to express it all. I will do my best to express how each part of SAS  made me feel like my heart was opening up to how beautiful some moments can be.

SAS was the school where I made so many memories with the best people of all time. I spent junior year getting close with a friend I hold dear, and he introduced me to some of his friends. It was a year full of warm hugs and words and a lot of laughs. Senior year only continued this trend tenfold, as it was the year that I truly understood how much my closest friends meant to me. I can’t say I have ever felt more comfortable and safe with a group of people. We spent Homecoming dancing like nobody was watching and completely failing to pose like a heart in the photo booth. We spent the Senior Trip searching for the most thrilling and silly rides and taking pictures on any reflective surface. We drove to Prom and back to get sundaes together. Though our roads are diverging as we head off to different colleges, and I prepare to go to a whole other state, I know our hearts will never separate. We choose to stay together through thick and thin because we all feel a similar spark you can’t get just anywhere. Our inside jokes, sayings, and memories remain sprinkled throughout the school that started it all.

SAS is also the school with phenomenal teachers that are integral pieces of what makes it the top school that it is. I have never had such a close connection with teachers that truly believe you can do it. Mrs. Ruiz-Legg saw my love for acting when I auditioned for and performed in Poetry Out Loud. In class, she invited me to act out a main role with her in the play we were reading, and I could not stop talking about how exhilarating our duo performance was. In AP US History, Ms. Verde told me she recognized my friend and me whenever we cheered out “Yippee!” She called the two of us the gigglers and it was a title we held proudly because we knew how much she cared. Mrs. Walker told my friend and me to never apologize for frolicking when she found us skipping around the building. Now, we frolic happily and without fear. When I came crying about Calculus stress to Mrs. Cabanez, she told me she trusted my ability; my doubts were the only things holding me back. She then spent the rest of the year remarking that it was so great to see me smiling. Not only was I consistently wowed by how interested I was in every class because of these teachers’ expertise and powerful voices, but I formed a bond that assured me they really knew who I was and wanted the best for me.

Finally, SAS is the school that prepared me for the journey I now embark upon. I have a feeling that if I had stayed in my old school, I would not be in Yale’s Class of 2027. SAS inspires you to really take action in your community and seek out opportunities to make an impact. The environment is not as competitive as you’d think; the school pushes you to do your best for yourself, to see yourself blossom and learn. It gave me the chance to take many rigorous and incredible classes that my original school didn’t have. I got the freedom and flexibility provided to college students, and I still can’t believe that I earned my AA degree before my high school diploma. Every part of the package mixed together to create a colorful concoction of potential that led me to where I am going now. When I continue my studies at Yale, I know I owe a lot of it to my friends that encouraged me to dream boldly, my teachers that helped me cultivate my knowledge for those dreams, and the school that made all my dreams possible. School for Advanced Studies truly is the dream factory.

Stephanie Acosta
School for Advanced Studies Kendall Campus, Class of 2023
Yale University, Class of 2027