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‘The Genius’ – Aileen Contreras
February 22, 2023
“For a lot of students that’s their dream, and I actually made it and everything that I worked for mastered,” senior Aileen Contreras said in her continued state of shock, two months after being accepted into her dream school, The University of Pennsylvania. UPenn has a 7% acceptance rate, and Contreras believed her fate laid in the 93% of applicants who received a rejection letter, rather than her confetti-filled status update on December 15.
Contreras found her passion for volunteer work and academics stem from wanting to make her parents proud.
“Knowing that they left their lives behind to give us better ones. That kind of pushed me,” said Contreras.
For her it was all a mentality, wanting to achieve more for herself knowing she could overcome greater feats. From taking on AP French to becoming a Questbridge finalist advocating for immigrants pursuing the American Dream, she knew she could succeed.
Throughout her high school career, Contreras has participated in 10+ clubs, serving as officers for two, racked up 200+ community service hours, remained in the top 5% of the class of 2023 all four years of her attendance, and plans to expand her interest in sports by joining the girls soccer team her senior year.
“It’s not like I only do stuff for the stats, I genuinely enjoy doing them and I get bored often,” Contreras said regarding her lineup of activities.
Contreras readily looks forward to the future regarding multiple aspects of her life. She hopes to hold a position in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the field of psychology. She aims to assess criminals and offenders under the US government once completing her bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and attaining her masters. Outside of her career, she hopes to continue her love of volunteer work and participate in philanthropic causes.
But as for now, Contreras mainly looks forward to being a camp counselor at the YMCA, spending her summer before moving to Philadelphia with her friends, and not thinking too much about what lies ahead.
Contreras is not definite on how the future will end up, but she is fine with that, “I don’t know exactly where I’ll be five years from now but I’m excited to find out.”
I’m honestly really proud of myself because if you told me last year where I’d be today, I wouldn’t believe you.
— Aileen Contreras