About Shandra Benito
Shandra graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle, WA, in June 2010. She played trumpet in the award-winning Jazz Band and was trumpet section leader in the marching band. Shandra served on the board of Youth Venture, a support organization under which she founded Reach Out, a mentoring program pairing disabled grade school children with high school students; she received a Microsoft grant to fund the program. Shandra won a TIPS internship at the Ballard Food Bank, is a member of National Honor Society, and received a Seymour Kaplan Humanitarian Award.
Congratulations on beginning the journey of senior year (and college and scholarship application)! It goes by faster than you can imagine, so treasure it. First and foremost, I know that the process of figuring out where you will be next fall can be draining and at times can make you feel insecure. Putting your life down on paper, and trying to show others who you are in a few essays is daunting and rough. But know that your self-worth is not based on your application, no matter what happens, you are still the same valuable and intelligent person you were when you started the application.
Regardless of what the outcome is, the process of applying to this scholarship is a valuable experience. It teaches us a lot about ourselves, as well as gives practice writing essays, being interviewed and giving speeches; all skills that will serve you well in life.
That said, go into this competition (or any college application) with a sense of pride of who you are and where you will go in life, but also with a sense of humbleness that the experiences you will have in the next four years will change your life. The people reading your applications and conducting your interviews are all honestly just trying to get to know who you are. Prepare and put your best foot forward; but, most important, be yourself and be relaxed.
Best of Luck!