My name is Sebastian and I am a current undergraduate freshman at Cornell University. I am enrolled in the College of AAP Cornell offers majoring in architecture and pursuing a minor in business. Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts and the Howard Burnham Charter School District were the only schools I attended from 2nd grade up to my graduation. Although it was my mother who was in charge of where I would attend school, I very clearly understand and appreciate her having made these decisions towards my education.
Being in the Charter district I was throughout my education allowed for me to experience many things other students don’t often have the opportunity for. Competitive programs such as InSPIRESS and the Superintendent’s Internship helped me build leadership qualities, learn how to make connections, be professional, and pushed me to be an exemplary student for others in the community. I was able to travel to various cities I had never been to because of InSPIRESS and spoke to many space exploration professionals and NASA Engineers. I witnessed firsthand how bills get passed in the Texas State Capital and was able to visit universities such as UT Austin and Texas State with personal tours. After these experiences I was able to share everything with all the students at the school during assemblies and students faces would light up hearing about these opportunities. Not only but having participated in these programs I know for a fact helped me stand out among other college applications I was competing against.
The Da Vinci School District caters to helping their students on more attentive levels compared to other districts. I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in the UT Austin OnRamps education initiative which led me to experience college level courses since my junior year. There were times that I struggled, and it was because of a close relationship I was able to have with my counselor that I knew which of the courses offered were best for me. My counselor helped me make numerous decisions towards what would benefit my college applications and when the time came to apply, she wasn’t only there for me, but for all of us who were getting ready to go to college. The rigorous courses and guidance I received benefited my chances of getting into the prestigious university I now attend.
During my time in the district I was pushed towards academic success and I gained that with so much more. The fundamentals of community that have been established at the schools connect the east side to the west side, the teachers and faculty to their students, and the students amongst the students. I was able to coach athletics for elementary students as part of the student to student athletics approach where upperclassmen can teach and coach elementary students in various sports. I’ve remained connected with more faculty, teachers, and students than any other post graduate student can say they have. Da Vinci exists in support of the El Paso community and sheds a light on the opportunities that more future leaders and students should be exposed to for their benefits. When I graduated I only hoped more people could reap the very same seeds I was able to grow from the tremendous foundations the Da Vinci charter system has.