After two unsuccessful years of applying as a transfer student to four-year universities, I realized I wasn’t clear on what I wanted out of school or my career.

Working with Blue Stars was a major reset. For my third attempt, I started from scratch, thinking deeply about my interests at the intersection of design, art, and technology, and finding new ways to share my story. Together, we worked on my personal statement and my art portfolio.

This time, I received multiple acceptance letters, two full-ride offers, and merit-based scholarships from 9 different schools including 5 UC campuses and California College of the Arts. I chose UC Berkeley because I was able to create my own area of concentration and received several scholarships to fund my education.

The meaningful critical thinking practices I learned with Amy and her team carried me through my undergrad experience in a way that was rewarding, intentional, and yes, fun! It is very rare to find mentors who encourage one’s own thinking and path. Blue Stars helped me find my voice.

Last year during the pandemic, I made the decision to apply to grad school and I was interested in only one: the Design, Learning, and Technology masters program at Stanford. With Stanford’s admissions rate at a historic low 4.7%, I knew that my application had to be exceptional.

After some work on my personal statement with a professor, I realized I needed still more guidance on clarifying my new goals. I reached out to Blue Stars immediately. If there was a team who could help me assemble the best possible application for the best shot at acceptance, it would be them.

Last April, I accepted Stanford’s offer and I’m starting in the fall. The Blue Stars team is now helping me draft scholarship application essays.

Thank you, Blue Stars, for playing such a significant role in my development as an undergrad, as a (soon-to-be) grad student, and as an artist and designer. Thank you for helping me re-energize my purpose, for encouraging me to think my own thoughts and set my own path, both inside and outside of any given institution. This is what true mentorship looks like. And of course, if I ever decide to go for a PhD, I’ll call you.

– Marithza, Blue Stars alum