John Hopkins University is known to be highly selective in admissions, with an 8% acceptance rate and only a 5-7% acceptance rate for their waitlist.
KIPP SoCal alumna Nareth knew her chances of getting into John Hopkins University as a pre-med student from the waitlist were slim and had come to terms with attending the University of San Diego in the fall. So when she received an email about an update in her John Hopkins University student portal, she anticipated reading a rejection message.
Surprisingly, she opened the message to find an acceptance letter and learned that most of her tuition would be covered. Her dreams of attending a prestigious university were finally coming true. When asked what motivated her to dream so big, many memories stemmed from her experiences at KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy middle school in San Diego.
“I don’t think I would be attending John Hopkins University had I not attended KIPP Adelante,” she said. “Had KIPP Adelante not implanted that seed of pursuing higher education, I wouldn’t have been a driven student. I think I would have settled.”
While at KIPP Adelante, Nareth recalls her teachers frequently sharing their college experiences and encouraging them to pursue higher education. This college-going mindset ended up having a significant impact on her life and the dreams she envisioned for herself in the future.
Nareth at KIPP Adelante Academy in San Diego
When she transitioned into high school at High Tech High, she knew she had to take advantage of every opportunity, especially when preparing for college. She frequently met with her KIPP Forward counselor, Valentina, to discuss the college application process, explore scholarship opportunities, and research summer programs.
“Valentina really stepped up to genuinely put herself out there and build a connection with me — and I think that’s true for all her advisees,” said Nareth. “I want to thank her for all she’s done and all the opportunities she’s given me. Without her help, I wouldn’t be here.”
One of the most transformative experiences she took advantage of was attending a 3-week summer program at Georgetown University, which KIPP Foward fully funded. The program shaped her academically and personally, pushing her to dream even bigger for college.
Nareth (left) with her best friend Elvira (right) in a classroom at KIPP Adelante Academy
Despite facing numerous challenges when applying to John Hopkins University, from her schoolwork to her responsibilities at home, she continued to push through with the support of her counselors, friends, and family. Before submitting her application, she admitted to having self-doubt, so she turned to her best friend and fellow KIPP Adelante alumna, Elvira, who held her accountable for hitting send. Nareth truly believes her drive and community of support helped her reach her goal.
“As a KIPPster, you have an advantage. Apart from your high school counselor, you’ll get a KIPP Foward high school counselor, which will create a great foundation of support for you,” she said when asked about what advice she has for KIPPsters going into high school. “If you’re passionate about pursuing higher education as a first-generation college student, KIPP will help you succeed.”
In the fall, Nareth will join the 21% of students at John Hopkins University who identify as first-generation college students. Despite having some insecurities about being a first-gen student at a school with students from diverse experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives, she is excited about meeting new people, potentially studying abroad, and involving herself in research as a pre-med student. She also looks forward to connecting with her KIPP Forward college counselor as she navigates her college journey.