AHS Students to Attend Stanford and Columbia University

Tara Martin | Web Editor-in-Chief

Thirty-four hours for him. Eleven and a half hours for her. Come this fall, seniors Sam Ogunsanya and Dia Gill won’t be just a drive away from home anymore; these two new Avon grads will be moving into dorms on opposite sides of the country.

Ogunsanya first considered Stanford University as a freshman in the class Prep for College and Careers. Ogunsanya said the university stuck out to him due to its rigorous academics and gorgeous campus, though the name recognition didn’t hurt.

“I had just accepted that I wasn’t going to get in,” Ogunsanya said. “I flipped out in my chair and started screaming, [being accepted] was pretty crazy.”

Ogunsanya, whose family immigrated to the U.S. in 2007 from Nigeria, said that the importance of education has always been stressed in his family.

“I got the sense from [my family] that getting into Stanford fulfilled some of their life dreams and justified all the hard work they put into bringing me here,” Ogunsanya said. “Everything just fell into place.”

As an immigrant, Ogunsanya found solace during the months of waiting by immersing himself in previous applicant’s success stories. He hopes that one day, his own story can inspire someone.

“Me being able to make it into Stanford might mean that someone else, who wasn’t going to apply, might feel like now they can apply and get in,” Ogunsanya said.

California has a lot to offer Ogunsanya; the warm weather, the new people, the top tier school.

“One of the benefits of going to a top learning institution like Stanford is that they have a lot more resources. They have a lot more access to better facilities.” Ogunsanya said. “I’m just really looking forward to meeting new people.”

Gill, a Columbia University commit, has had her eyes set on the New York City school for six years, initially discovering the university while watching Gossip Girl.

“I cried when I found out,” Gill said. “I was really happy because I had wanted to go since eighth grade and it’s really hard to get in.”

During her four years at Avon High School, Gill has participated in a multitude of extracurriculars and AP classes.

“I focused on my interests but I always had in the back of my head that I needed to make sure that I was doing things so I could have a chance at getting in,” Gill said. “When I found out I had gotten in, it felt like everything I had done up to that point was worth it.”

After researching the university, it was clear that Columbia was a perfect fit for Gill.

“The location is a really big advantage because I’d have access to a lot of opportunities like internships and whatnot,” Gill said. “On campus, there’s a really rigorous environment and it’s very academically driven, which I like.”

Classes and homework will continue. For Gill, saying goodbye to the atmosphere of Avon High School and the people here are the hardest.

“I’m nervous for moving away and being away from my mom and my sister,” Gill said. “But I know once I’m there and once I’ve gotten over being away from home, I’m going to be happy.”


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