From the Hallways of Van Nuys to the Corridors of Yale

Luciana Soria-Robles joins the Yale Class of 2024.

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Plapol Rattapitak

Finishing up the last of her 20 AP classes and final semester, Luciana Soria-Robles is considering a possible future at Yale, where she has been accepted as a freshman.

By Ani Tutunjyan, News Editor

From rallying at women’s marches to building models of proteins, Luciana Soria-Robles really does it all.

Well maybe not all, but she checked all the right boxes for the 2020 Yale admissions staff. 

“I received an email from my admissions officer the day before I found out. She said she wanted to call me in ‘regards to my application to Yale,’” said Soria-Robles. “I picked up her call the next day, and the first thing she said was ‘Welcome to the Yale Class of 2024.’”

Her eyes filled with tears as she sat in her room in disbelief. After escaping her deep gaze, she ran to her mother’s room to tell her the news.

“I told her, jumped on her bed, and we hugged, both tearing up. ”

However, Soria-Robles did not get here overnight. In fact, she spent many nights up, well past sunset and under the covers just before sunrise.

She was juggling between Advanced Placement (AP) courses, school clubs and social life.

“I’ve been president of a women empowerment club called, Dream It Be It, since I was a junior, created another club, Relay for Life, in freshman year and was Co-Captain of the Science Olympiad team this year,” she said. “Throughout these four years, I’ve taken 20 , and with the tests this year, I’ll have taken 21 exams.”

Soria-Robles believes that the school provided numerous opportunities in the flexibility of taking AP classes, as well as joining and creating clubs.

“I am thankful for everything Van Nuys has provided me with.” 

Still, she believes it is what a student chooses to do with these resources that makes the difference.

“There’s a saying my friend would always tell me: ‘A closed mouth doesn’t get fed,’” Soria-Robles said. “In other words, if you’re not willing to take the initiative to ask for what you want, you can’t expect to get it. I believe any program in any school is like that. When you’re open to asking and receiving help, you’ll intentionally – and unintentionally – open the doors to opportunities for yourself.”

She considers transparency and honesty as the best way to stand out in a large application pool.

“I tried my best to create the most authentic and full summary of my life through the personal statement and essays,” she said. “ I wanted to show them how I surpassed many experiences and how everything I learned would help me thrive in their college.”

Soria-Robles achieved this by showing her passions and how she became involved in them throughout her life.

“Towards the end of one of my interviews, I remember being asked what I was passionate about. Naturally, I said feminism. His first reaction was ‘Oh! That makes so much sense!’ It truly made me realize that everything in my application- extracurriculars, essays, and recommendation letter – kind of all fit together on their own.”

Although Soria-Robles has not committed to Yale, she plans to pursue a major that will allow her to be a voice and activist for underrepresented communities in education and immigration.

She anticipates finding new opportunities in a private institution like Yale from internships to networking events. 

“You can receive a great education anywhere, but personally these extra resources were what I was really looking for.”