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Sarah Chavarriaga

Sarah Chavarriaga

SAS is infinitely more than just a school for me: through my two years here, it became a home, a sanctuary, a place where I finally felt comfortable but properly challenged, an individual but part of something much bigger than myself; and every single person here became family.

There is endless talk about the recognitions School for Advanced Studies has earned: its academic excellence, exceptional curriculum, unique experience, and its impressive standing amongst the very best high schools across the nation. But the foundation for such a successful environment is connection, love, and appreciation: the most unique and enjoyable part of the SAS experience. Nothing compares to walking into the office, and having the faculty address you by first name and ask you how you are or being friends with the entirety of your class; the aura of attention and interpersonal care felt here is something unheard of at any other institution I've been part of. 

I'm honored to have gone to school along side so many brilliant young intellectuals, all of us being guided by a team of amazing men and woman who always had open minds, open ears, and open hearts for whatever we needed along the way. This in itself is humbling enough,  but to be able to say that I formed friendships and bonds with these breathtakingly exceptional people is a privilege - one I would've never had without this school.

We are offered the world on a silver platter at SAS: we are taught that opportunities are endless and we are able to reach as far as we allow ourselves to. We have the freedom to explore intellectually and the support to know where to go next along the way. Though at times this meant hard work, late nights, too many cups of coffee, a literal pile of essays, exams, outlines, and exhaustion...the lessons that came along with the experience were more than worth the effort they deserved.

School for Advanced Studies demands responsibility and effort, builds character and motivation, enhances attitude and personality, and creates individuals full of what it takes to be ready to face the future with no restraints. It has been a truly life changing experience for me, and as I get ready to continue the next chapter in my life, I look back and am honored and thankful for everything that this school allowed me to find out about who I am, about my strengths and abilities, everything it gave me in the form of other people influencing, guiding, and changing me, and the way it felt like home more than any other place ever has.

Sarah Chavarriaga
School for Advanced Studies, Class of 2014
Columbia University, Class of 2018

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