Valedictorian Pileigh Shahinian was interviewed on Walk 97.5 yesterday on the Anna and Raven show.
All the teachers and staff at OSNAS were notified Pileigh would be speaking and any who could tune in listened to the wonderful message she was able to portray. We are all very proud. Great job Pileigh!!
Click HERE to listen to what she had to say.
Pileigh Shahinian will graduate this June with the honor of being named Valedictorian of the class of 2020. She arrived at OSNAS as an eighth grade student in fall 2014 and her family and her have been an integral part of the school community ever since. She has attended nearly every school event and cemented herself as a hard worker in both the classroom and the athletic field. She has enormous potential and we are excited to see what she will accomplish at St. Joseph’s College in the fall. We put her in the spotlight to ask a few questions:
Could you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to OSNAS?
My name is Pileigh Shahinian, and I have been raised in a strong, Bible-believing home and church. My sister and I attended a small Christian school from nursery school, and it only went to eighth grade. My sister was due to graduate, so we began searching for another Christian school for her. After we decided on OSNAS, we received word that my school would be closing. So, instead of finishing seventh and eighth grade at my old school, my sister and I came to OSNAS on the same year.
Since you are a senior this year, could you describe the college preparation process?
The college preparation process has been rather challenging, especially since the normal responsibilities of school and life in general don’t go away. It’s taught me time management, and I’ve had to mature a bit to take the matters of my future more seriously.
Have you received any help in this process?
Mrs. Fitzpatrick has helped me by providing me with a guideline on how my resume should be completed. She has also helped me send my transcript and SAT scores to the schools of my choice. Dr. Joan O’ Hanlon has also been a great help to me, through revising my essay with me and being an advocate for me at St. Joseph’s College since she is also employed there. Also, my sister is a current college student, and she has helped me tremendously in the timing of my applications. She has helped me see the urgency and necessity of applying on time, and offering everything I have, to receive the best scholarships possible. The Lord has also given me peace through these stressful times, and my parents have shown me unwavering support and love.
To what schools have you applied?
I have applied to Cornell University, Harvard University, and St. Joseph’s College.
Have you received any scholarships?
I have received a SJC Presidential Scholarship, which is a full ride to St. Joe’s. Why did you apply to Harvard and how close are you to being accepted?I applied to Harvard because I am considering pursuing law, and I was honestly curious to see if I would get in. I’m not entirely sure how close I am to being accepted, but they have emailed me asking me to send letters and fill out financial aid information, which leads me to assume that they have not disregarded my application and are considering me for acceptance. While I don’t think I’m quite ready to leave home, I could always use the power move, “I turned down Harvard for you,” if I’m accepted but choose to attend a local school.
How has your education here at OSNAS prepared you to be in this position?
I think the rigorous course load that I have been placed under, time management skills, as well as our school’s focus on working “for the Lord” in whatever you do, has prepared me for this position.
What have been some memorable events from your senior year thus far?
This year, I have bonded with several classmates since we are all in the same college searching boat, and we share the same responsibilities. I am realizing that this is a year full of “lasts,” so I am trying to enjoy everything as much as I can. I’ve had so much fun watching my friends sports events and taking their pictures for the yearbook, and I had a great time this spirit week. Also, I’ve gotten very close to Mrs. Goubeaud, the kindergarten teacher, since I am her teacher’s assistant. I have grown to love the kindergartners, whether it be playing with them at lunch or leading their PE streches. Also, several teachers that I take this year have become close friends as my time at OSNAS winds down, like Dr. O’ Hanlon, Mrs. Geraci, Ms. Leon, Mr. Licausi, and Mr. Rossi.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wanted to receive a college scholarship?
I would advise anyone interested in receiving a college scholarship to not only work hard, but to set your eyes on that goal and strive for it all on your own. There’s no use comparing yourself to others success, since God has designed each of us differently with strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone is the smartest, so don’t get discouraged. There’s always something that you uniquely bring to the table. Also, I would say that it’s really important to trust God’s plan for your life.
He already knows what college you go to and how much money you’ll receive. And, if you are serving God, He will prove whatever it is you need. Lastly, I encourage everyone to act quickly! Many schools have a general scholarship funds that they draw from in order of applicants. It’s better to get all of your standardized tests, resume, and essay done as soon as possible so that you can apply as soon as you are able, which will give you a better chance of receiving scholarships. Also, this will allow you to enjoy your senior year without stressing over extra work, and you can confidently say you are accepted to college and allow the minor stresses of life to become irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
Congratulations Pileigh on such a successful OSNAS career and may the Lord bless you on your journey at St. Joseph’s!