Seven Canterbury seniors already know which colleges they will attend next year through the early decision program.
"Early decision is a legally binding contract between the college and the student," explained Canterbury School Director of College Guidance Melissa Wilson in a prepared statement. "Once accepted to a school under early decision, the student must attend. Early decision allows a student to declare that a particular school is his or her first choice, and that if accepted, he or she will attend. Early decision pools of applicants are typically more competitive than those in the regular round of admissions, thus an early decision acceptance is highlighted as an even greater achievement on the part of the student."
* John Badir will attend Northwestern University in Chicago.
"I am very excited," John said as he smiled broadly. "Learning I received early decision was one of the best moments of high school! I was born in Chicago and I love the city. I visited the Northwestern campus and it seemed like a great community of students. Everyone was proud to be attending. Northwestern offers everything I wanted in a college."
John hopes to major in economics and he may minor in biology.
John, son of Nabil Badir and Iman Fares of Fort Myers, is a high honor roll student who is active in athletics and academics at Canterbury School. He was a key player on this year's state champion six-man football team and he is a member of the varsity tennis and basketball teams. John is a peer mentor and active with the math and Model UN teams. He has been inducted into the: Science National Honor Society, Mu alpha Theta, National Spanish Honor Society, National English Honor Society and the National Honor Society.
* Mariela Hernandez
"Being the first in my family to go to college, I am thrilled to attend Wellesley to continue my passion for learning," Mariela said. When she received the email from Wellesley in December, she waited until her entire family was home to open it. The acceptance to Wellesley was a joyous occasion for the Hernandez family.
The daughter of Ana and Rafael Hernandez of Fort Myers, Mariela is a peer mentor and a long-standing member of the band. A high honor roll student, Mariela is co-president of the award-winning French Academic Team, and is a member of the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and the French National Honor Society. Last year, she received the highly prized Harvard Book Award and the Erskine College Fellows Award.
* Talia Moorey, daughter of Linda Moorey of Fort Myers and Thomas Moorey of Fort Myers, will attend Marist College in the fall.
"When I toured the school last year," Talia explained, "I knew it was where I should be. The strong academics and class sizes are similar to Canterbury. It is an environment in which I will excel." Talia was also attracted to the Marist pre-dental program as she hopes to become an orthodontist.
Talia, a member of the International Thespian Society, is active in performing arts. This high honor roll student is also a member of the girls' varsity soccer team.
* Vaibhav Penukonda
"I was absolutely thrilled when I received the acceptance from Duke," said Vaib. "I am happy that all my hard work paid off."
Vaib is now "antsy to get up to college," but wants to make sure he treasures his last semester at Canterbury School. He will major in neuroscience with a certificate in Latin American studies.
Vaib is the son of Arun and Sarada Penukonda of Fort Myers. This high honor roll student is a student ambassador for the school's admission office, and for the second year in a row, he was selected to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He is a member of Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society. Vaib has been a leader holding various elected offices during his upper school years. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Commended Student in the National Merit Program.
* This summer, Samantha Robbins will report to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis for I (Induction) Day and Plebe Summer. Sam set her sights on Annapolis three years ago and pushed herself physically and mentally to prepare for the rigors of the application process.
"I'm excited to see what opportunities are going to be presented to me and the people I'm going to meet during this once-in-a-lifetime experience," she said.
Samantha, the daughter of Rocky and Michele Robbins of Lehigh Acres, is an AP Scholar who loves working with and teaching younger students. She teaches a Model United Nations course to eighth grade students (she created the curriculum), and now her first graduates of the course are on the MUN team. Samantha is an integral part of the school's award-winning MUN team. She is on the high honor roll and is a member of Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society and the International Thespian Society. Serving in many leadership roles at Canterbury, Samantha managed many sports teams plus played on the varsity soccer team. Last year, she received the Columbia Book Award and the school's Citizenship Award.
* Neil Singh was ecstatic when he received his admittance letter from Brown University in Rhode Island.
"My dad was a legacy at Brown, and this is a dream come true for me," Neil explained. "I am not yet sure what I want to study, but Brown offers such a high level of academics that I'll be able to explore the curriculum."
Neil, a talented musician as well as a gifted student, is the son of Namita Singh of Fort Myers and the late Rampaul Singh. For the past two years, Neil was selected to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
He is an integral member of the award-winning Model United Nations Team (ranked 13th in the North America by the Best Delegate blog), and a leader serving as student council president. This high honor roll student is a member of the: National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the National Spanish Honor Society.
Canterbury School, an independent college preparatory school located at 8141 College Parkway, educates students from age 3 to 12th grade.
Canterbury has a long-standing tradition of 100 percent college admittance, with SAT and ACT test scores above local, state and national levels.
For information about the school, contact the Admission Office at (239) 415-8945.