Answers from the Experts

Applying to College ... From an Athlete's Viewpoint
Laurel Johnson, High School Ventures Scholar

I’ve had the wonderful experiences of being fairly successful both academically and athletically in the public school systems in Southern New Jersey where I attend school. In spite of taking a very rigorous academic workload I’ve managed to maintain an A average overall and was recently inducted into the Cum Laude Honor Society. Athletically, I earned a total of six varsity letters, four in volleyball and two in swimming, and could have earned more had I chosen not to allow my body to heal and my mind and spirit to enjoy all of the ‘other’ stuff that high school has to offer. After coming close during my sophomore year in winning New Jersey’s Group IV State Volleyball title, we rose to the challenges and won it all during my Senior year. With my team staring at match point in the third and deciding game, I tied the score with what I call a ‘monster’ kill shot followed by a block to give my school the lead. We went on to eventually win the game 26-24 and the match, two games to one. I personally accounted for 13 kill shots.

I was one of the lucky ones. Even though I still had to go through the application process of applying to college I pretty much knew where I would be going to college even before the beginning of my Senior year in high school … but I still worried until I got the letter in the mail in early November that I had been admitted to Yale University. I chose Yale because of the excellent mix of academics and athletics along with the quality of the volleyball program. Right now, I plan to study biology and French, and eventually practice medicine.

One of the truly great helpers that I had along the way was the support and guidance received through the Ventures Scholars newsletter. During campus visit I immediately made it known that I was a member of the Ventures Scholars. From personal experiences I can tell you that just being associated with this program was a great benefit. I had opportunities to receive full scholarships and play volleyball or swim at several dozen Division I, II and III colleges and universities nationwide. Academically, it was more of the same. It just became a matter of choosing the right school that offered the academic challenges along with the opportunity to play volleyball.

Thanks again!

Laurel Johnson


courtesy of Saint Michael's College
© 2006 Ventures In Education, Inc.