Dear Science Magnet Program,
I am more than happy to share my RHS Science Magnet experience with you all. The program genuinely is very special to me because it catapulted me into higher education and that momentum is still going strong.

I still remember the day in 9th grade when counselors Ms. Tina Coleman and Dr. Shauna Lehtihalme welcomed the freshmen class and delivered a motivating presentation about the next four years.

That day in 9th grade and throughout the next four years, Ms. Coleman and Dr. Lehtihalme clearly explained the academic expectations necessary for college readiness. In addition, they stressed the importance of public service and participation in extracurricular activities. Their insight, paired with Mrs. Ivna Gusmao’s (College Counselor) guidance, yielded an influential educational leadership team that encouraged me to excel in and out of the classroom.

I have various pleasant anecdotes involving the Science Magnet community, but one that never escapes me is Ms. Coleman’s advice during my junior year. She suggested I become a Peer College Counselor (PCC) under Mrs. Ivna Gusmao’s supervision. Being a PCC has been one the most rewarding experiences in my entire learning career. Assisting other peers and their families on college-related matters was a natural fit that I enjoyed until the conclusion of high school. Roughly five years later, I am still in close contact with Mrs. Gusmao.

The strong and supportive learning community that is the Science Magnet, fostered my passion for biomedical science and a medical career. In short, this past May I graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education Studies. I am currently a post-baccalaureate student at CSU East Bay where I am enrolled in pre-med courses and plan to apply to medical school next year. Although a full-time student, I hold a Research Assistant position with Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland.

Cindy Bonilla (written on September 18, 2014)