Two Seniors Share The Essays That Helped Get Them Into Into Dartmouth College & William Jewell College’s Oxbridge Program

red building with clock tower
Photo by Pixabay on

Stacia Nugent

Stacia Nugent, a graduating senior at BA, received full scholarships to a range of universities. After a college visit to New Hampshire, she decided on Dartmouth, a top Ivy League School.  Below is one of the written statements she included in her application, which garnered a personal response to Stacia from the dean of the college. Recently, Stacia was among a group of seniors who visited study hall classes to speak to underclassmen about getting serious about future plans. This may be college, military, technical school or a job. Stacia spoke of being raised by a single mom in a family that faced challenges, but that hard work and focus were her mantras to get to where she’s at today – off to a top school. Her message to other Cobras? You can do it too.



Angelica Gutierrez

Angelica Gutierrez received a full scholarship to attend William Jewell College’s competitive Oxbridge program in Missouri. She will join a group of selected students who will engage in intensive scholarship & analytical thinking and writing in preparation to complete their junior year at Oxford University, England – one of the word’s oldest and most prestigious higher-learning institutions.

Below is one of the written statements Angelica provided in her application.

Question: Can animals, other than humans, cherish things?

For most of my life, I vehemently loathed animals. To me, they were all mangy, flea-ridden creatures who only pretended to like their owners because they had been classically conditioned to do so. Those that I encountered seemed to sense this attitude and responded in turn: my uncle’s parrot would always try to bite my finger, my friend’s cat would hiss whenever I entered the room, and a dog once chased me into a river while I was riding my bike. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that I have a cat. How can someone who despised all creatures without discrimination adopt a cat? I visited a friend’s house, and upon entering he told me that he had a feline friend at home.  He must have seen my face, for he quickly added, “Don’t worry, she’s a shy cat, and you won’t see her much.” Throughout the course of my week-long visit; however, her tiny round face began to peek out of corners. Soon, she confidently came up to me and I began to pet her. How strange! At the end of my stay, I found myself missing her: her stubby legs, and her soft brown fur.

I had been bewitched by a furry enchantress! Her soft purrs, her wet nose, they had all conspired to woo me into affection! Not a week had passed since I had returned when I visited my nearest animal shelter with a sense of finality; it was time to adopt a cat.

I had learned enough about our fickle feline friends to know that one does not adopt a cat; the cat adopts you. When I first walked into the room to see The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, he shredded my shoelaces. I knew he was the only one for me. This fair creature has become my greatest source of happiness. Though humans often see themselves as above other animals, I have found that there is no one as noble as my cat. He puts up with me picking him up to litter his furry face with kisses, or my tears soaking into his fur on my bad days. Whenever I am worried, my cat makes sure to occupy my thoughts by pushing his face into my hands. Franz is my one faithful companion who runs up to me every day and demands pats on his princely forehead. Adopting my cat has been like the adoption of a son; I have grown to be a responsible parent who knows that tough love is sometimes necessary when trying to teach him not to chew on my plants. I am now fully convinced that animals can indeed love, and that it is not only a human characteristic. It is merely a trait that Mother Nature teaches to all her children when she lays upon them the wonders of the universe, and all of this love can be concisely conveyed in the simple purring of a content kitty.