“Eternally grateful for your guidance”: One student’s letter to her coach

When Gabriela, a Puerto Rican high schooler, thanked her InsideTrack Coach for helping her persist through challenges during the fall of 2017, she wasn’t talking about the hurricanes.

She was talking about the support she received in submitting her application to a pre-college program at an Ivy League school.

As a Prospective Student Coach, Lucy helps students with the big picture and the little details. With her, students clarify their goals and tap into their motivation while getting nudged through application logistics. Gabriela told Lucy that for her, the program would be more than “just an experience.” It would ignite her intellectual passions and introduce her to the friends and mentors who could influence her future.

Lucy knew Gabriela was working hard to complete her application. It wasn’t until Gabriela finished the program that Lucy realized what she had overcome.

But Lucy knows what it takes to persist through circumstances outside her control — she got a crash course in perseverance when Hurricane Katrina interrupted her freshman year at Tulane University. She knows that students all over the world triumph over overwhelming odds to pursue their dreams.

“I am so inspired by the resilience of these students. It’s difficult to follow through on your goals in the midst of disruption. As a coach, to see those efforts rewarded is incredibly moving,” Lucy reflected.

Read Gabriela’s email to Lucy:

Dear Lucy,

I am a rising senior in Puerto Rico. I wanted to thank you for your support as an enrollment coach of the Pre-College Summer Program. I had contacted you since the summer of 2017 because I was interested in applying to the two-week summer program and for its financial aid, and you provided me with all of the information, so I could apply in 2018. I started my application process during September 2017, all throughout the passing of the hurricanes Irma and María. On the final day of early admission (February 1, 2018), I submitted my last papers and on February 8, I was informed I had been accepted! I cried so much, for I was joyous for that wonderful opportunity that had been given to me. I had not been provided with financial aid, which led me to choose only one session, not two like I initially wanted to, but I was so excited to attend the program, that that was only a minor worry.

I have already returned from the session one of the two-week program, and I can, without any doubt, say that it was the best experience I have ever had. It was life-changing. My professor was very passionate, yet calm, and gave an intellectually stimulating and challenging class, which was also very fun. The class, as well as the rest of the program, surpassed my expectations. There was a perfect balance between the social and academic activities, which provided me with a full view of the college experience. I was able to create friendships with international students and exchange ideas, values, and beliefs. It was a learning experience which nurtured me in many ways and awakened in me an even greater desire to study at the school in a near future.

I would now like to thank you for orientating me and answering all of my questions regarding this program. To say it was a wonderful experience is an understatement, for it is an indescribable one. Continue to do such a marvelous job, for I am grateful to have been properly informed of it because if it were not for you, I would not have participated in the program, and thus, had not been accepted by it. I am eternally grateful for your guidance and orientation.

Thank you,

Student name has been changed. Email has been edited for brevity.

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