This week’s student spotlight is featuring Kate S., of MeriRiverside. Kate is another 2018 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School and was the class salutatorian with a 4.71 GPA! What makes Kate stand out is her dedication to meaningful activities and careful planning for her future.

Kate first attended MeriEducation the summer of her junior year for College Apps Workshops and SAT Prep. She actually had already started prepping for the SAT on her own when she was a freshman!

“I strongly feel that getting a head start is advantageous, especially when it comes to studying for standardized tests. Like I said before, practice has much to do with achieving a high score. The earlier you begin test prep, the more practice you can accumulate over time.”

After taking her first SAT, Kate reached a score of 1470! She attributes her success to a combination of relentless studying and a persistent mindset.

“Test prep isn’t easy; it takes a lot of diligence and determination to push yourself to study whenever you can. Studying and practice has much to do with succeeding on standardized tests, but it is also your will to succeed that is just as important. Surround yourself with people who understand the value of hard work, so you can develop a supportive group of mentors and friends (including MeriEducation) to help you along the way. Above all, just believing in yourself ensures you are one step closer to success.”

Kate is driven by her desire to find purpose and benefits in everything she does to motivate herself and help manage additional commitments. As a writer and editor for her school newspaper, the Poly Spotlight, she developed leadership skills by managing a completely student run online newspaper. To reflect her desire to give back to the community, she was an active member of the Poly National Honors Society and was also the founder and president of Poly’s UNICEF club. Being apart of the Poly Girls’ tennis team taught her the value of self-discipline and teamwork. The most meaningful commitment for Kate was music. She played the violin for the UCR Orchestra and was also a contributing member of the Poly Muse Club, a group of Poly student musicians who play music for school board meetings and community events.

Kate attended a UCI Summer Pre-Med Program, a two-week healthcare internship, where she was exposed to various professions in the medical field, learned how to diagnose patients, studied the anatomy of the human body. She also volunteered with Conversation and American Culture Peer Mentor to Foreign Students at UCR and helped expose them to the American culture and helped them improve their English.

“Dedicate your time and energy to activities you are truly passionate about. You don’t need to do everything to develop a strong application. Know your limits as well and know how much coursework you can handle before signing up for multiple advanced classes”


In her free time, Kate enjoys listening to music, going to the beach, and traveling. Her favorite country she’s visited is Italy, especially Lake Lugano! Before starting college this year, Kate spent her summer exploring Scandinavia and went hiking in Norway and sightseeing in Sweden!

Kate was accepted to UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCI, Pepperdine, UC Davis, UCSB, and UCR. She is currently in her first semester at UCLA and couldn’t be happier with her decision! Kate found UCLA to be the best fit for her she admired the optimism and spirit of the Bruin Family and felt that UCLA will help her grow as a person both intellectually and personally. For her, the most exciting thing about UCLA is that opportunities seem endless in whatever field of study you are aiming to pursue and UCLA student life shows a good balance of fun and academics. Kate plans to major in Human Biology and Society, possibly minoring in Global Health. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

Kate received the UCLA Alumni Scholarship, as well as an RUSD State of the District Scholarship, and the Angela C. Gomez Memorial Foundation Scholarship. For students currently working on their college apps, Kate highly encourages students to apply for scholarships!


College App deadlines are approaching! Are you running out of time or do you have questions about the college application?

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