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Resources and updates for the 2023-2024 school year are available here

2024 senior celebration steps on JJW

Highly Personalized College Counseling Sets CA Apart

Comprehensive program takes students from discovery to decision

Many independent schools offer excellent academic programs and extracurriculars, but Cheshire Academy also excels in another key area: college counseling. CA’s comprehensive four-year college counseling process ensures students discover their passions and identify, apply to, and choose the college that is the best match for their strengths, interests, and goals. 

“Our full-time, professional college counselors are immersed in our students’ day-to-day experiences as coaches, advisors, and dorm parents – and it shows in their laser focus on each student’s unique qualities,” said Madeleine Bergstrom, director of college counseling. “They know our students and their families well and can provide insights from identifying schools to applying to making a commitment for the next four years and beyond.”  

This year is no exception. Members of the Class of 2024 will be headed across the country and around the world, with seniors choosing to study the humanities at University of Southern California, exercise science and kinesiology at University of Scranton, and business at Bentley University and the University of Amsterdam. 

Student Body President Shreeya Gomathinayagam has been passionate about joining the healthcare field from a young age. A student with diverse talents – she lists literature, chemistry, and ceramics among her favorite classes – she’s heading for the seven-year dual degree BS-DMD dental program at Nova Southeastern University this fall. She plans to major in neuroscience and minor in research in the highly selective accelerated program. 

She credited the CA counseling staff with helping her navigate the admissions process. “(Bergstrom) helped me identify for myself what I was looking for and made sure I was a prepared and competitive candidate,” said Shreeya, who is also a member of the varsity basketball team and Ich Dien, the community service club. “In addition, all of the CA faculty had a role in my college process, whether they wrote my college recommendation letter, were one of my teachers, or were an advisor of a club I was in. Each one of them helped me find confidence in myself to keep pursuing my passions and propelled my journey of self-discovery through learning.” 

The faculty also helped Eliana Orlinsky, discern her unique academic path, which continues at Clemson University, one of a select number of U.S. colleges that offers her planned major, Packaging Science. “I have always loved art and being creative so I knew I wanted to do something hands on where I can create things,” said Eliana, who is an art major at Cheshire Academy. “I also love sustainability and entrepreneurship. I am very fortunate to have found a major that is a perfect blend of everything I could want. Through this major, I can craft innovative, eco-friendly packaging solutions and strategically market them to diverse industries.” 

Eliana started researching her intended major during her junior year. Through talks with her college counselor, Sarah Lasoff-Hodge, she learned more about Clemson’s academic majors and the ClemsonLife program, which helps students with intellectual disabilities learn and become more independent. Eliana, the younger sister of someone with intellectual disabilities, is interested in volunteering with the campus group. “Through various discussions and meetings, we narrowed down my options to a concise list of just six schools that aligned perfectly with what I wanted in my college experience,” Eliana said. 

Also focused on environmental matters is Feyza Horuz, who heads to Wesleyan University next year. A fan of both biology and economics classes – who also enjoys making Turkish specialties for CA’s annual International Food Festival – she plans to study the relationship between environmental science and economics. 

A first-generation college student, Feyza appreciated how Cheshire Academy helped her better understand the admission process. “My college counselor, Mrs. [Laura] Dempsey, really helped me with parts of the college process I was not familiar with,” she said. “She found colleges that would suit my interests. We met frequently to call different schools to ask questions, call FAFSA, and she reassured me a lot. I got a great recommendation from her as well as my teachers.” 

Molly Golden has wanted to be a TV sports reporter since she was a young girl and she’s about to take a big step towards that goal: she is choosing between acceptances to journalism powerhouses Syracuse and Ithaca universities. Realizing she’d need to build a portfolio to get noticed by colleges, she sought faculty guidance to create “Molly’s Minute,” in which she covers CA sports using Instagram Stories. “I can’t thank CA enough for letting me build my brand and being the first student to do something like this,” she said. “These experiences have been the building blocks for the rest of my career.” 

This spring, CA has also celebrated a string of college athletics commitments, including 17 members from the varsity baseball team alone. The school ‘celebrated the yes’ May 3, as seniors donned their college tees and sweatshirts and gathered to congratulate each other on their bright academic futures. 

“We are beyond proud of the Class of 2024,” Bergstrom said. “Their matriculation list is impressive; each student’s final decision represents an application process that was filled with research, thought, and care. As college counselors, it’s been incredibly rewarding to see these students find their best-fit school. Our students are leaving Cheshire Academy with a strong foundation, and their next homes are so very fortunate to have them. I know I speak for the entire college counseling team when I say that we feel very fortunate to have worked with the Class of 2024 and cannot wait to see what’s next!” 

Read more about our college counseling program on our website. 

 

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