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AOC grad looking forward to Wellesley

Posted: June 2, 2012 6:21 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2012 6:21 a.m.

As a graduating senior, Suman Kumar's picking up a high school diploma and 57 college credits, along with the maturity and sense of responsibility that comes with being a college student.

 

When it came time to attend high school, Suman Kumar knew she wanted a different type of experience from the stereotype: Friday night football, cheerleaders and big classes.

Smaller classes, rigorous studies and a close-knit student body seemed like the right fit.

So on the advice of her parents, she enrolled at Academy of the Canyons, a William S. Hart Union High School District school that gives high school students the opportunity to take College of the Canyons courses and earn college credit.

As a graduating senior, she’s picking up a high school diploma and 57 college credits, along with the maturity and sense of responsibility that comes with being a college student.

“It grows us so much,” she said. “It does give us a lot of freedom.”

And she’s making AOC history by becoming the first graduate to attend Wellesley College, a top all-female college located in Massachusetts.

Kumar wasn’t sure which college she wanted to attend until her counselor recommended Wellesley.

There she would be able to combine her love of swimming with a small learning environment, much like her experience at Academy of the Canyons.

“It all meshed,” she said.

As the daughter of parents who immigrated from India, Kumar is the first in her family to attend college, let alone an all-female one.

“She has always worked extremely hard,” counselor Justine Cubbage said. “It’s just such a good fit for her.”

Kumar grew to love biology and medicine, but she maintains a passion for international relations and political science. She plans to study international health care.

Among her standout classes while an AOC student, she says, was a COC art history class where she sat alongside college-age students and learned about major artistic periods in history.

“It was an eye-opener,” she said. “Everything clicked.”

She’s kept herself busy at AOC, getting involved in yearbook and volunteering at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and for Special Olympics.

“I want to challenge myself,” she said.

Cubbage sees Kumar continuing her schooling beyond Wellesley to become a physician or researcher.

“She would find her way no matter where she’d go to,” she said.

 

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