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Senior Spotlight: Sara Florez Briñez, UC Berkeley

May 23, 2018

As a full IB Diploma candidate, Vice President of the National Honor Society, a Léman Student Ambassador, a Boarding Student Government Cabinet Member, and a member of the Women's Choir and the Varsity Girls Volleyball team, Sara Florez Briñez has embraced a variety of leadership roles and activities in her time at Léman. "I never held a leadership role as important as Vice President of NHS," she said, "and it was an exciting challenge."

In the fall, Sara will be attending University of California, Berkeley, ranked #21 in national schools by US News and World Report, which she chose because of its prestigious Global Management Program. Being far away from home isn't new to Sara, who was born in Colombia and moved to Florida at age eight, and then to Maryland. She was overjoyed to find Léman when she moved to New York City. "The one thing that really struck me when I started at Léman was how comfortable I was immediately because it's so international. I instantly had friends from all over the world. Our class discussions are way more interesting because people are coming from varied perspectives on everything." Sara was so happy at the school that she decided to enroll as a boarding student for her senior year when her mom moved back to Florida. "I can't imagine going through the college application process without the support of my boarding counselor. She helped me with every essay and was always there when I needed someone to talk to," she said.

One of the main reasons she chose Léman was because of the International Baccalaureate Programme. "I had done the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme in 7th and 8th grade, so I was excited to find a school that offered the International Baccalaureate," she said. "I loved the MYP because I had the opportunity to be creative and independent in my school work. The IB character traits really resonated with me too. Being a good student isn't just about getting your work done. It's about being an inquirer, being principled, and being balanced. The program helped me learn who I am as a student and set me up to succeed."

Although she feels prepared for college, Sara will miss the community at Léman. "I feel like I've known everyone here for much longer than I really have. Because my friends and I went through the rigor of the IB Programme together, we became very close," she said. "I'll also miss my teachers and how supportive they are."

Congratulations, Sara! We know you'll be successful at UC Berkeley and beyond!

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