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Name: Laura W.

Hometown: Brainerd, MN

High School: Brainerd Senior High School

Anticipated Major(s) and Minor(s): Public Health Studies and Computer Science with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply Early Decision? I was lobbying in MN Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office with my dad and hit it off with an intern who was a Hopkins student. We started talking about college, and she told me how she was able to intern in DC easily without taking any time off of school, and I was intrigued. After watching the virtual tour with my parents and looking into Hopkins, I decided I wanted to apply ED. My parents wouldn’t let me commit to moving somewhere without visiting, so we toured in September and the rest is history.

Who is the most influential person in your life? My mom- she’s my best friend.

Is there a quote or motto that inspires you? What is it and what does it mean to you? “Disfruta las cosas buenas”- In English it means enjoy the good things. This is a line from a song that has a lot of meaning to me, and it reminds me of the formative experiences I had at Spanish Immersion Camp while also helping me keep a positive attitude during life’s struggles.

How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? I am from Northern Minnesota and I can tell you that “Minnesota nice” is real. I will hold the door for someone if they are halfway across the parking lot—it’s just habit! We also wave at every stranger we pass when driving, avoid conflict at all costs (which can lead to serious passive aggression), and enjoy small talk. Sometimes, I consider MN to be Southern Canada as we act like stereotypical Canadians in many ways.

What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Start early, but be patient! Explore everything and everywhere! Keep an open mind! I started actively looking for colleges as a sophomore, and starting early meant I had a long time to identify what I liked about each school. This helped me to recognize when I found the school with all of the characteristics I wanted (Hopkins)! I did not know what school was my dream, however, until the beginning of my senior year.

What fictional character (Hermione Granger, Holden Caulfield, etc.) do you most relate to or most closely represents you as a person? Scarlett O’Hara – Gone With the Wind

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? I organized a satellite march of the March for Science in my local community, and it ended up being the largest political demonstration in our rural town’s history. The U.S. Congressman for my district was even in attendance!

What are you most excited for about college and/or coming to Hopkins? Being able to interact with people who have diverse backgrounds and ideas. I cannot wait to be exposed to new perspectives.

What book, album/song, or TV show has had a profound influence on your life? Parks and Recreation. I identify with Leslie Knope.

 What do you hope to get involved in on campus? Too many things to name them all! Definitely research, community service, student government, and political organizations.

If you could get ice cream with one person (real or imaginary; dead or alive), who would it be and what kind of ice cream would you get? Joe Biden because we all know of his affinity for ice cream. We would probably get classic vanilla.

Complete this sentence: “I would not be here on this journey to Hopkins if it weren’t for _________________________ (person/place/thing/experience/etc.).” AP Capstone classes. They made me realize that research doesn’t just happen in a lab with chemicals, and that I can generate novel understanding that betters society.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (dream big!) Managing a political campaign or serving as a policy advisor on healthcare.

If you could give your junior-year-of-high-school-self one piece of advice, what would it be? Everyone has an opinion on where you should go, but they aren’t you. Listen to the input of people who know you well, but ultimately you will make the right decision on your own.

What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? Eat seafood.