A couple of weeks ago, Ms. Kaufman invited three highly distinguished alumni to speak to her 8th Grade Advanced English Class about why they chose ASA for High School: Zack Torres, Haley Harelson, and Stephen Dabrowski. All three spoke to the class about where they are now and their experience of high school at ASA.
Zack Torres graduated in 2017 and is forever proud to say he was part of the first 5th Grade class at ASA. He chose to stay at ASA for high school to be immersed in a smaller community and knew his close relationships with ASA teachers would allow for more in-depth letters of recommendation, which, coupled with hard work, gave him a competitive advantage to get into his top three schools. Zack served as a Lead Ambassador at ASA and made a real impact in the sustainability of the program. Zack is currently a junior at the University of Southern California in the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Conservatory. He is also pursuing a minor in legal communication. Zack is actively working toward his dream to join a dance company in Europe or Canada.
Haley Harelson graduated in 2018 and founded the Girls Who Code ASA chapter in her junior year. She stayed at ASA for high school because she wanted to put down more roots and strengthen relationships while taking more of a leadership role in clubs. She served as an ASA Ambassador and worked hard in all her classes and was our Class of 2018 Salutatorian. Haley is currently a sophomore at ASU Barrett, pursuing a degree in computer science and statistics. In the summer of 2019, she interned at Facebook and is excited to return this summer and work more with their social media interface. She continues to encourage female students to seek out more STEM opportunities and use their creativity to ensure more women are in tech and STEM fields going forward.
Stephen Dabrowski also graduated ASA in 2018 and was our Valedictorian. He was involved with Mock Trial, where he went to Nationals at Yale University, and a lead Ambassador. Stephen is currently studying neuroscience at Brown University. This summer, he will be working in an Alzheimer’s research center just outside of Providence. He emphasized how much ASA is a real college preparatory school, time management skills, and juggling a large volume of coursework is essential to his success Brown. Professors expect you to have the time management skills needed to survive an Ivy League education. He also expressed how ASA encourages high school students to get involved in the community, like being a part of Phoenix Children’s Hospital Teen Board. He highly recommended the 8th Grade class to get involved in the community and follow their passions.
ASA is exceptionally proud of all of our Alumni, and their commitment to inspiring our current students. We all wish Zack, Haley, and Stephen the best and hope they continue to come and share their learnings with future ASA generations!