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Tobisha Youth Conference admits new students

Elizabeth Foulston

Elizabeth Foulston

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Out of over 80 applicants, Erin Bruns, Claire Hopkins, Spencer Lamountain, and Rahul Ramani were selected to attend the Toshiba Youth Conference in Japan this August.

According to Lisa Fernandez, Science Department chair and one of the faculty members involved in selecting the students, the application process was tough. It required students to write two essays and then, if the faculty was impressed by their writing, a separate fifteen minute interview.

“It’s really tough. I’m trying to get to know these students simply through their writing. And if they’ve gotten their point across well, then I’m going to feel something and will have an understanding of what they were feeling. I’m looking for a connection with that student I don’t know,” Fernandez said.

The process mimicked the college application process in many ways, and proves that opportunities like the Toshiba Conference provide practice for students who are going to be applying to college in the upcoming years.

“The more you [apply], the more you get used to it, and you’ll know how to do it better for next time, especially with interviews,” said Claire Hopkins, junior and one of the students selected to attend the conference.

According to Fernandez, all applicants were impressive; however, they were looking for students with diversity and specific qualities that work well together.

“We don’t want four of the same student…we have to look at the four students as a team and how they can work with the others at the conference,” Fernandez said.

Hopkins said she felt like she distinguished herself through her activities, one of them being Girl Scouts. She is currently working on a project that involves recycling and sustainability, and she believes that that was a key to her success in this application process.

“You want to stand out. If you just say ‘I’m in this club’, it’s not going to tell as much about you as if you had explained it. You really should try not to be just one in the crowd,” Hopkins said.

Overall, Hopkins believed that the interview was the most stressful part of the application process. She said that they asked questions she wasn’t expecting and that made her unsure.

“We want the students to be relaxed because they’re so nervous,” Fernandez said. “We just want them to be themselves; when students come into an interview and are relaxed it’s really impressive. I hope that they learned that [from the application process].”

According to Fernandez, the exposure to applications was a good experience for the students, especially in regards to college. But she believed that the true learning experience will take place in Japan this coming August when the students are able to put their skills to the test.

“I am so impressed by what [the selected students] have accomplished so far at Central. We feel great about the kids that we picked, we think they’re going to work really, really well with the students from the other countries,” Fernandez said.

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Tobisha Youth Conference admits new students