The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

2024 grad attending Stanford University with a scholarship of more than $100,000

Brant Bueno
“I want to demonstrate that you can study and sacrifice yourself so much in school, to have a good life afterward,” Brant Bueno (12) said.

Brant Bueno, an outgoing senior at Columbia Heights High School, is also part of the tennis team and has participated in various activities throughout this school year like Knowledge Bowl, Envirothon and Science Bowl, all while maintaining an impressive GPA of 4.0 points. The journey of this incredible student culminated with his application and acceptance to the rigorous Stanford University, so The Heights Herald sat down with him to hear all about it. We will also discover how he obtained such generous scholarships and what his plans will be for the future after finishing school and heading toward graduation. 

How many scholarships did you apply for and what was the amount you received? 

I received two scholarships — one called Jack Kent Cooke that offered me $55,000 each year and the other one was from Amazon Future Engineering, which was $40,000 as well. Each count toward financial aid and promise experience and employment after college. 

How did you administer your time and prioritize your applications? 

Everything I did started with the program LEDA. They taught me all of the college obstacles there would be. My process started in August before school started, writing my essays and doing practice interviews with my counselor for this program.

How did you write your essay?

I suggest doing it according to your personality or essence, using your own words and without any help from artificial intelligence like ChatGPT. In summary, be unique and real. 

How do your family members and friends or mentors support you during the process?

As a first-generation student in my family, the educational support from my parents was not the best due to the lack of knowledge. However, thanks to my classmates from the LEDA program, I was able to learn various ways of expressing my essence and improving my essays.

How did you handle the rejection or disappointment when you didn’t receive the scholarship you solicited?

My first rejection I received certainly affected me; however, I chose to take the positive experiences I had — for example, my acceptance to Stanford University, the LEDA program and other scholarships I obtained — to continue moving forward. I also knew to recognize my effort and how hard I worked, therefore I knew I had the opportunity to achieve great things.  

What are your long-term goals and how do you think these scholarships will help you achieve them?

I’m going to study computer science, and in the future, I might work for companies like Google or Amazon so I can offer my parents a better life and demonstrate that by trying my hardest in school I can have a promising future.

What message would you like to share with other students who might be having difficulties finding financial aid or scholarships? 

Do not lose faith because anything is possible — if you put your heart and soul into your essays, everything will turn out well. Be proactive on social media and take advantage of everything the internet can offer you. Additionally, take advantage of these resources and turn to your teachers to have some additional support and knowledge necessary to achieve your goals.

Without a doubt, Brant is an example of inspiration and hard work to achieve great goals. Regardless of the obstacles, he obtained his financial aid and admission to Stanford successfully. He’ll keep heading towards his future goals of studying computer science. His advice can help students who are going through similar situations and teach them that with determination, perseverance and support anything is possible. 

Bravo, Brant Bueno!

The Spanish-language story above was translated by Sofia Romero Lopez.

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