Sullivan Leadership Award

Sheldon Costa

About Sheldon Costa

Sheldon graduated from Coeur D’Alene Charter Academy in Coeur D’Alene, ID, in June 2010. He was varsity captain of the swim team and MVP for two years. Sheldon served as president and vice president of his class, lettered in drama, and was guest editorial writer for the school newspaper. He volunteered at the community hospital, for the St Vincent de Paul food drive and the Salvation Army Holiday Drive, and founded LEGS, Leaders Empowering Global Sustainability. Sheldon is a member of National Honor Society and was named Outstanding Delegate at the 2008 Model United Nations.

Dear applicants,

It seems a little premature writing to all of you about applying for college, seeing as how I just got here myself. I guess we never really realize how fast time passes and how quickly we get thrust into the future. Knowing this, my first piece of advice to all of you is to take a moment and realize just how far you’ve come. Undoubtedly you’re full of a lot of emotions right now: confusion, joy, anxiety, and a strong urge to move along with your life. But before you jump into the future, I hope you can recognize the fact that you stand on a huge precipice and, before taking the plunge into college applications and the like, contemplate the genuinely important experiences in your life and be thankful for them. Because no matter what happens next, you’ll always know that the things you’re coming from are just as important as the things you’re moving toward. In essence: hug your mother!

With all that in mind, don’t let the weight of your decisions burden you too much. Keep reminding yourself that the easiest path to success is to remain calm and keep focused. As you apply for the Sullivan, there will be more than a few times when you feel completely disillusioned with both the process and yourself. Don’t let that kind of discouragement bring you down. Think back on the things you have done, find your personal pride in them, and construct a way to display that pride to others. Never assume that anyone wants you to be anything but yourself. The Sullivan community is not composed of those with the longest resumes or the most explosive projects—it is a group of individuals who recognize their own worth, pursue their passions with the most vigor, and are the most genuine with their beliefs.

So the best advice I can give to you as you go into the competition is to take some time and find out who you really are and what you believe in. If you can do this, and show it to others, you have the strongest chance of becoming a member of this incredible community.

I wish you all the best of luck,
Sheldon Costa

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Sheldon Costa

Post Falls, ID

High School:
Coeur D'Alene Charter Academy