The goal of L.A. Unified is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to graduate prepared for college, career and life. As we near the end of the school year, we are featuring stories about some of the outstanding members of the Class of 2017.
Ask University Senior High School graduate Jacob Abraham to list the people who have most influenced his life and he’ll name his parents, various mentors – and someone whose identity he’ll never know.
The advice came from an anonymous admissions official at an Ivy League university who was responding to a letter from Abraham – who was then in eighth grade – asking what it would take to be a successful applicant. Abraham recalled receiving a huge packet of information, along with a handwritten note of encouragement.
“It was a short note written directly to me in blue ink that provided me with answers to all of my questions, and a meaningful affirmation for my progress in middle school,” Abraham said. “Although this note likely took a few minutes to write, it has had a lasting impact on my perspective.
The note implored me to not only invest in my strengths, but to venture into other realms that would allow me to become the best, well-rounded student I can be,” he said. “It inspired me to reach my fullest potential as a student.”
Abraham took the suggestions to heart, enrolling in University High‘s most rigorous college preparatory classes, including honors and Advanced Placement courses. He also played cello in the school orchestra and was selected to participate in University’s Peer Mediation program. He ran track for the Uni Wildcats and was captain of the cross-country team.
Thanks to his 4.3 grade-point average and varied extracurricular activities, Abraham was accepted to 13 universities, including Brown University, Princeton University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.
He has accepted the offer from Brown to enroll in its eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education, which guarantees students admission to medical school after they complete their undergraduate degree. He plans to become a cardiologist or radiologist, fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.
His acceptance to college also fulfills the dreams of his mother, an immigrant from the East African country of Eritrea.
“She was the one person most adamant about my being able to attend a university,” Abraham said. “Back when she was living in Eritrea, she was never afforded that privilege. Now she wants me to seize every opportunity I can get.”