“I think I have a powerful story,” Sol told our interviewing panel, “but I didn’t feel powerful about it for a long time.” One of the teachers at Sol’s highly selective high school – it requires both an exam and an art portfolio assessment for admission, and takes only 16 percent of applicants – thinks that the self-chosen name Sol suggests why they have already accomplished much: “it could reveal both their personality, sunny, and their approach to life, which is to always find a solution.”

Sol, their animation teacher wrote, is “one of those rare students who came into our program with a strong sense of purpose, eagerness to learn, and to grow as a person and an artist.” Sol is fascinated by animation and will continue that study in college. The only senior selected to work as a teacher assistant for the junior-year animation class, Sol has done commissioned artwork for a number of organizations, including the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes Looneyverse and a prominent Off Broadway theater. 

For the last two years Sol has been at work on a “narrative and collection of illustrations and animations” involving a parasite and her host that must somehow learn to live together. “This narrative captivates me,” Sol said in one of our application essays, “because it's a way for me to express all my interests in subjects like science, psychology, and writing, but also incorporate my own experiences and twist them into an interesting, tragic, but wonderful story.” It helps me to understand myself and what I have been through," Sol adds.

Sol has overcome significant challenges, and gives credit to the kindness and love of friends as well as help from teachers in doing so. Eventually the realization came “that I was powerful and that I had always been strong. That I was able to handle challenges thrown at me and move forward.”

My animation teacher, Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee is one of the rare teachers who truly shows his expertise and experience in teaching. Not only does he teach animation and helps students be better artists, but he also makes an effort to connect with his students and encourage them to grow as a person. I truly admire him as my teacher, as he helped me so much with my personal development, and was a guiding figure for me.