By Crystal Barrera ’20 and Jazlyn Jimenez ’20
As the saying goes, “hard work pays off.” Our very own senior, Angelica Rosa, is living proof. With one end goal in mind, Rosa walked into Pritzker College Prep ready to put in all the work it would take for her to attend her dream college. Four years later, Rosa received a very exciting email during a Jazz Band rehearsal, stating her acceptance into Harvard. Rosa was ecstatic. She began to cry.
Some describe Rosa as a very studious, organized, and independent individual. Rosa is portrayed as someone who is not afraid to be themselves. “She sticks to what she believes in,” said AP World History teacher, Kaelagh Cassidy. That is what makes Rosa stand out to others.
When Rosa’s friends started to get to know her better, they realized that she worked very hard due to her strong mindset. Rosa made sure everyone around her was aware of her specific end goal in mind.
Friends and teachers who were close to Rosa during her four years of high school, were very proud of her when they heard the news about her acceptance into Harvard. Mostly because they saw all the hard work she put in, and all of the nights she barely got any sleep, trying to perfect her homework. Rosa made sure to understand her homework instead of doing it just to get it done.
Kiara Ferrer, a senior and a close friend of Rosa, said “She would cry when she didn’t understand something. She would put herself through high expectations and she stood with it, And that is kind of hard…. your expectations start to drop throughout each year, but she stuck with her expectations.”
Rosa never lost sight of her motivation to keep working to reach this goal, which is why Ferrer believes is one of the many reasons Rosa got accepted into Harvard.
They were also very proud of her because they knew this has been her goal since the day they first met her. “Seeing all her hard work payoff was very exciting. She deserves every bit of it,” said Cassidy.
Rosa always put her academics first. Instead of worrying about others or choosing to go out with friends on a Friday night, Rosa would decide to stay at home and either do homework or read books. She loves to read. She always puts her classwork before anything else. She would always make sure to achieve good grades and maintain a high GPA. She would also set specific goals. For example, she would try and aim for an A plus instead of a low A.
Her hard work and dedication shows through her class rank: she is ranked number two out of her whole entire senior class.
Rosa’s biggest challenge at Pritzker was balancing her time. Rosa is what most people would describe as a perfectionist. She always questions her work. Rosa has to make sure all her work is nearly perfect all the time before handing it in. Rosa would always make sure that she was 100% confident in the work that she produced and put out. She always completed it to the best of her ability.
Outside of academics, Rosa decided to join Jazz Band during the end of her freshman year. She has been playing the drums ever since. She recently went to compete in a competition in Boston.
Rosa demonstrates great leadership in Jazz Band. She makes sure everyone is on task; especially when the Jazz Band instructor, Benjamin Das, is not yet present. Right when she goes into Jazz band, she gets straight to work. She begins practicing beats on her drums before practice even starts, to perform better in class.
When it comes to academics, Rosa always takes it seriously because of her strong desire to attend Harvard.
Rosa also applied to nine other schools just in case Harvard did not work out. She applied to colleges such as Brown, Washu, Bowen, and Claremont Mckenna, just to name a few.
“Angelica even said it, ‘if it wasn’t for Pritzker, I would have never gotten into Harvard,’” said Ferrer. Rosa believes that attending Pritzker was the best decision she has made. She believes the teachers genuinely care about their students and give them individual attention if and when needed. She believes that all of the hard work her teachers made her do, and all of the high expectations they set for her, ended up paying off. Rosa believes that Pritzker made it easier for her to reach her goal.
Rosa wants to go to Harvard and study medicine. Her long term goal is to get a doctor’s degree and be a doctor without borders. She wants to go to countries in need, and apply her doctor assistance. Then, maybe after she starts off her career, she will get married and have children. Right now, her main priority is her education.
“It sucks and it’s never gonna get better… Junior year, they pack you so hard with tests… And you’re like ‘this is a waste of my time,’ but then when you get on to the actual ACT, you already know and it’s not new to you,” said Ferrer, addressing all freshmen. Right now it might all seem like a waste of time, but in the long run everything Pritzker is doing is preparing you, so that you can succeed in the future.
While all of you Pritzker students are struggling and feel like giving up, keep Rosa in mind. Through all the challenges she faced during her high school career, she managed to keep going and achieve her biggest dream.