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MPISD – News

Angelina Hernandez at the Young Leaders Summit in Los Angeles

Angelina Hernandez presents a personal reflection on all she gained at the Young Leaders Summit

 Angelina Hernandez practicing introducing herself during Networking Time at the Young Leaders Summit 

8268: Angelina Hernandez at the National College Admissions Conference at Emory University in Atlanta, GA

Contact: Kelly Cowan

Mount Pleasant High School senior accepted to multiple prestigious programs.

For many students, the summer before senior year is full of fun in the sun, family vacations, hanging out with friends, and maybe a summer job. But for Mount Pleasant High School senior Angelina Hernandez, the summer of 2023 was all about preparing for what is coming after high school. 

They chose Hernandez for three prestigious college preparation programs, including the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars, the Young Leaders Summit, and the University of Pennsylvania’s PEEP program.

In April, they selected Hernandez as a National QuestBridge College Prep Scholar. The program had over 20,000 applicants with a 20% acceptance rate or about 4,000 students. The program allowed her to travel to Emory University in Atlanta, GA, on Sunday, June 11, to attend the National College Admissions Conference, hosted by QuestBridge Staff and college partner admissions officers. The conference offered in-depth admissions and financial aid sessions, including strategies for preparing robust applications, engaging with admissions officers in small group settings, attending a college fair to get to know all of QuestBridge’s college partners, and learning about the opportunities available through the National College Match and the QuestBridge Scholars Network.

On August 2-6, Hernandez attended the Young Leaders Summit (YLS) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. From a pool of 1,942 applicants, they only selected 200 rising high school seniors representing forty-four states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The program began with a virtual portion in June that taught participants about the college application process, applying for scholarships, and completing the FASFA and CSS profile.

While at USC in August, participants attended workshops regarding financial aid, FAFSA, scholarships, the college admission process, admission case studies, letters of recommendation, personal statements, college interviews, credit, career services, and university organizations. 

Finally, Hernandez learned at the end of the summer that she was selected to be a part of the Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP) through the University of Pennsylvania. PEEP includes weekly 2-hour live virtual workshops with admissions staff, faculty, and current students from August 9 to September 6. The sessions provide an overview of the University of Pennsylvania, workshops on the application components such as essay writing, supplemental questions and presenting your activities, information about financial aid, and time to connect with current students and admissions staff.

“All the programs had one common goal: to encourage recipients that college should not be scary and unknown, rather a realm where we deserve to feel comfortable,” said Hernandez. “This summer taught me that there is opportunity in each person’s circumstance, and it is up to us what we do with the seed they gave us. The community I gained from these programs is invaluable and one I will continue to refer to as I grow into my career. Most importantly, they gave me the confidence to attend rigorous and out-of-state universities as a first-generation and low-income student.”

Hernandez is President of the National Honor Society (NHS), President of the Student Council (StuCo), Co-President of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Captain of the Debate team, and a member of the UIL Spelling team. She has already been named an AP Scholar, a National Rural and Small Town, and a National Hispanic Recognition Award winner this year. She is interested in possibly majoring in Finance and is working on applications while keeping all her college options open. 

She is the daughter of Erick and Enid Hernandez.