Kaitlyn Leonard

UC Berkley 2013 - Full Scholarship

Kaitlyn, a brilliant, thinker, writer and multitasker was a student of the AP
English Class, at the Zoo Magnet Centre, Los Angeles, California, where Mrs. Seema Patnaik
worked during her Fulbright Tenure. She also worked as TA to Mrs Patnaik. Kaitlyn made it
successfully to a number of Colleges in 2013, but finally chose UC Berkeley where she received
a full scholarship.

Kaitlyn Leonard says: I had the opportunity of working with Ms. Patnaik through the Fulbright Teach Exchange Program. Not only was I one of her students in my 11th grade AP English Language class, but I was also her teaching assistant in the tenth grade class she was teaching. Before I had known Ms. Patnaik, I was not quite sure where my future was heading. I had excelled in my classes, but I did not recognize my true potential. I felt I struggled with my writing, but she pushed me to exceed and encouraged me to write more creatively. At times, I did not consider pursuing a higher education, but one day Ms. Patnaik began telling me about her students back home that went to some of the most prestigious colleges. She painted a glorified picture and said that I had that same potential as well. Out of the majority of the teachers I had met over my academic years, she was willing to personally guide me through the process of choosing colleges that fit my interests. With her spirit in mind, during the summer of my junior year, I decided to apply to ten universities, including Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Stanford University. I eagerly awaited my letters from the colleges in the spring. Harvard scheduled a personal interview with me in my neighborhood, which was an amazing experience. Although I ended up getting rejected from Stanford and put on the wait list (and then rejected) from Harvard, I was accepted to the remaining eight schools, and decided to attend UC Berkeley to pursue psychology. I am so glad I was able to have the insistent support of Ms. Patnaik during the entire process. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to attend the university of my dreams starting in the Fall, and I know that she instills the same attitude in each student she works with. I highly recommend Ms. Patnaik for the position to work with any student who has a dream and motivation to succeed.

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