Road to Success
February 28, 2019
After senior Yarisette Sequeira discovered her love for Villanova, she set off on a four-week adventure: essay writing. “I found out about the school when I heard people talking about their soccer experience, and I starting researching it. Then I realized that it had everything that I wanted and the exact major combination that I wanted,” Sequeira said of the college, which is outside Philadelphia. “I felt that this was amazing so I looked into it more and everything they had was balanced out with what I wanted, so it seemed perfect.”
With much research, Sequeira discovered an opportunity to apply for a merit-based scholarship that required her to write eight essays on a variety of different topics. “I don’t remember exactly how I ran into the scholarship, but I thought that it sounded cool and if I could get that scholarship, even though the chances are slim, but hey, doesn’t hurt to try, why not,” Sequeira said. The merit award, the Presidential Scholarship, covers four years of full tuition, room and board, textbooks, and all general fees. Even though Sequeira knew this was going to be a rigorous process, she decided that this was something she had to do. “I wasn’t sure at first, but once I got into it I was like okay I am going to put everything into this because even if I don’t get it I want to know that I put in my best.”
Of the 2,039 students that applied, only 48 students were invited to the Villanova University Presidential Scholarship interview weekend.
A part of this select group, Sequeira made it into the top two percentile. “Initially it didn’t hit me because I didn’t expect it, I hoped, but the odds were stacked against me,” said Sequeira. The weekend visit included an overnight stay on campus, along with an extensive interview for the recipients by school faculty and professors. She knew that to be prepared for this interview, it would take an extreme amount of effort and preparation. “But once I started thinking about the preparation, I started to feel very nervous because this was my first college interview. I wanted to make sure I was as prepared as I could be and that I knew everything about the school.”
As soon as she stepped onto campus, it just felt right. “What I do really love about it is just the community that they have and it was clear to see how much the students are invested in it and how everyone is there for each other and supporting one another,” said Sequeira, who is sports editor of The Mustang.
After interview weekend, tough decisions needed to be made. Of the 48 recipients, only 24 scholarships were given.
On Feb. 27, Sequeira received the email with the school’s positive decision. “I was in shock, it is scary because you know as soon as you open it you are either going to see congratulations or nothing and that is the scariest part,” said Sequeira. “As soon as I saw those bold words I was absolutely astonished and I was so excited and I wasn’t able to process it completely.”
By becoming a Presidential Scholar, Sequeira can enroll in the University Honors Program and gets to attend a university with a full paid scholarship.
After a lot of hard work, it paid off for Sequeira. “Having my friends to celebrate that moment with me was just super special and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had such supportive friends,” said Sequeira. “I never could have done it without the support of my family. Special shout-out to my sister Kate who sat through hours of editing to help me get through this process and put out my best work.”