Winter at Yale


Ian Jacob, Co-Managing Editor

Victoria Winter is currently a senior in NPHS. She has been attending the school for all four years and has always been at the top of her class. Not only is she in multiple Advanced Placement classes but she also does countless activities such as being Editor in Chief of the Cougar Courier, Captain of the Mock Trial team, Co-Captain of the NPHS Swim team and Assistant Stage Manager of the NPHS Drama club! She has also won numerous awards such as the Rhode Island Civic Leadership Award and 2nd team All-Division in Swimming and Tennis. With such a big list of achievements, activities, and leadership she has always been bound for greatness.

On December 1st 2017 Victoria was given the tremendous news that she has been awarded a full ride to the prestigious Yale University through Questbridge.

Questbridge is a scholarship and college preparation program that allows students to apply to any of their 39 partner colleges with the chance of receiving a full scholarship, should the student match to a school.

Victoria first became acquainted with program in her junior year, applying and getting accepted as a 2017 College-Prep Scholar. That year, she was also awarded the Quest for Excellence USA Award which granted her a $700 gift card to Apple and a free essay guidance program. In her senior year, she reapplied to become a Questbridge Finalist, and after being accepted, applied to college through the the organization’s match program. She applied to schools such as Princeton, Stanford, and MIT, ultimately matching with Yale. She was  1 of 52 students to be accepted into Yale’s class of 2022 through the match program out of over hundreds of applications.

Her initial reaction was one of pure joy. She said of the experience, “It was shock and joy, the way I got my result was by logging on to my Questbridge portal and then viewing the status update all online, so there was no letter or envelope. When I opened it the first words I saw were ‘Congratulations’ so I knew I was matched with one of the four schools I applied to. Then I freaked out even though I still hadn’t known which school I was accepted into. After losing my mind for the first time I checked and saw it was Yale and I got even more excited as the school had become my top choice in the past week!”

She believed her interview was what really boosted her chances. She said, “I had a great time with my interviewer. She was a current Yale student and incredibly nice. We had an amazing conversation and she said she’d never heard answers like mine.”

Moving forward, advice she holds for underclassmen is this: “First, it is important to understand programs. If you are an incoming senior that means you can look into the Questbridge program. Of course there are requirements. Also, if you believe that college is super expensive and you might not be able to afford it then you are wrong. There are so many opportunities to receive scholarships that make colleges more affordable. So it is important to research scholarships, programs, and schools. There are cases, like my sisters and my own, where going to top schools like Yale and Brown which are known for being expensive and not worth the price are actually cheaper than RIC and URI because of need-based financial aid. It all depends on your situation. That is why it is important to have ambition to do well in school and to do research.”

Victoria owes her success to many people in her life. She said, “I would like to thank my mom for always putting a focus on my education, my sister for introducing me to Questbridge and just being my guiding light throughout high school and helping me do what I needed to do to succeed. I would also like to thank my teachers that helped me: Ms Branca for always being open at her office so I could fax things last minute and get letters sent, Mr Paone for always answering my questions, Mrs. Hurley for all her support and guidance in clubs and the classroom, as well as Ms. Bozigian, Mr. Laurie, Mr. Rabbitt, and especially Mr. Cicerone for helping me with recommendation letters and overall support. All the teachers at NPHS helped me tremendously throughout my four years here. Finally, Dr. Michael McCullough for starting Questbridge and holding a wonderful conference at Yale last year that opened our eyes to the immense potential we hold within ourselves. ”

On behalf of the Cougar Courier, we would like to congratulate our Editor in Chief for accomplishing something so amazing. We wish her the best for her future as we know she will do great things!