Alumni Spotlight: Bre’Anna Vinson (’15)
How do MLWGS students choose where to apply to college and ultimately where to attend? How do they handle the transition from high school to college? Our youngest alumni have the freshest perspectives on college applications, admissions, and selection. Bre’Anna Vinson (’15) is one example. She just completed her sophomore year at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.
As an eighth grader, Bre’Anna decided to come to Maggie Walker because she wasn’t being challenged enough at her home school and was ready to leave her comfort zone. Once she got here, she knew she’d made the right choice. “For the most part, there was really not a class I did not like. Yes, they were challenging, but I always took away something that I could use in my everyday life,” she says. She thanked Ms. Sheppard, Mrs. Yagel, Mr. O’Bryan, Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Sorrentino, Mr. Smith, Ms. Reed, Mrs. Hill, Dr. Broeniman, Ms. Surat, and Señora Welles for pushing her to “think and work hard.”
Senior year of high school, Bre’Anna didn’t struggle to decide which college was right for her. “Spelman was always my dream,” she explained. Her advice for seniors is, “Pick a college that you feel will give you an experience like none other. Do not go to a college just because its number one. Choose a college that has great resources, connections, and will give you opportunities to grow as a person.” She feels strongly that taking the leap to go out-of-state was right for her. “I love going to school in Georgia because I have freedom, and I’m learning how to be independent.”
“I love this school because not only is it an all women college and the number one HBCU, but they teach us how to think critically and be confident in ourselves,” Bre’Anna says. “Spelman has a long history of being an institution where you walk out the doors changed with an understanding that in order to move forward and change the world, you have to also build up your community.” The college workload wasn’t difficult to shoulder, thanks to Maggie Walker. She says the biggest adjustment has been, “learning how to be an adult and take control of your life. College is where you find out what you are made of.” For students getting ready to start college, she adds, “Keep in mind the person you want to be after these four years. College will show you that not everything is easy, and you have to be mentally strong to stay true to yourself.”
If you’re a student or a parent of a student considering Spelman, Bre’Anna has this to say: “I love my courses and the atmosphere. Spelman has challenged me to really think critically and make connections between what I learn in the class and what I am doing outside of the class. Spelman is big on sisterhood, so I have gained hundreds of sisters I can call on to help me with whatever I need.” As a Bonner Scholar, Bre’Anna is committed to performing at least 280 hours of volunteer service a year, which has allowed her to be come a part of her local community in Atlanta. Bre’Anna is happy to talk to any student interested in applying to schools that offer the Bonner Scholars Program.
After completing her undergraduate education, Bre’Anna intends to pursue a doctorate in public policy. She is also interested in starting a non-profit targeting high school students who need some extra help trying to navigate the college admissions process. For now, she is looking forward to her summer, and her next two years at Spelman.
Bonus: For anyone visiting Atlanta, Bre’Anna says not to miss the Ferris wheel and water works show in Centennial Park.