In our Alumni Spotlight series, we introduce you to some of the exceptional students that have participated in our programs as they share insights and advice for future pre-college program participants.
Meet Katherine "MK" Townsend! MK is a junior at WashU majoring in African & African American Studies with a minor in Children Studies. She attended the an A&S Pre-College Program in 2016 and returned in 2019 and 2020 as a program assistant. She is a Questbridge Scholar and is on the Pre-Medical track.
What was your favorite part of the program?
I really enjoyed the various guest speakers we had, in class activities and field trips. We were able to spend some time at the medical school where we had the opportunity to hear from guest lecturers about their specialities and experiences. This was extremely informative for me as it exposed me to fields that I hadn’t considered before which sparked a curiosity in me to do more research into why I really wanted to pursue medicine.
What was your biggest take away from your time in the program?
Time management and independent living skills! Of the pre-college programs that I attended, the WashU program gave me the most taste of “freedom” that I would soon have. As a high school student, your days are pretty routine and structured but through the program I was able to begin developing skills that would come to benefit me today. Living on campus exposed me to a college environment where I had to manage completing assignments, participating in social activities and exploring St. Louis with new friends, and making sure I made it to my class sessions on time.
"As a high school student, your days are pretty routine and structured but through the program I was able to begin developing skills that would come to benefit me today."
What factors did attending the program play into your decision to attend WashU?
Honestly, I am not sure if I would have considered applying to WashU if it wasn’t for attending the program. My time spent on campus gave me a glimpse of what college life could be and a feel for the WashU campus. This was in part why I chose to consider WashU because through my time on campus during the program I didn’t feel out of place. The staff did such a great job at creating that community and support for me and the other students in the program. For me being comfortable in the space that I would be studying was important to me and I wanted to be able to know that I would be supported.
What would you like potential students to know about attending our programs?
All the staff are really supportive and they create such a fun, stress free environment so you are able to get a lot out of the program both socially and academically. You get the opportunity to explore subjects that you are interested in while also meeting and forming friendships with people across the country and world. While it may be nerve racking being away from home, especially if this is your first time, it is all worth it!