Some high school seniors wait anxiously to find out if they got accepted into their dream school.
Savannah Bradley had nearly every prestigious school in the country vying for her.
The Strawberry Crest softball standout chose Harvard over eight schools, including five Ivy League universities.
“My final decision came down to Harvard and Princeton, with location being the main factor,” she said. “Harvard is located near Boston, which likely will set up many internship opportunities for me and maybe job opportunities.”
With financial aid provided by Harvard and outside scholarships, Bradley will attend the Ivy League school fully covered for her freshman year.
“The common misconception is that places like Harvard are very expensive, but it’s really not,” she said. “They don’t give merit or athletic scholarships, because they focus on need-based financial aid, so if you need money to go there, they’ll give it to you.”
The senior has a 6.8 weighted GPA (4.0 unweighted) and scored a 1,410 (2,170 including writing) on her SAT. She plans to take a pre-med track at Harvard, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician, a lifelong dream.
Bradley passed up softball offers from highly ranked academic institutions, including the University of Chicago, Georgetown and Rollins College. But, she isn’t ready to put away her bat and glove just yet. The first baseman plans to walk-on the Crimson softball team, after having several conversations with Harvard head coach Jenny Allard.
Bradley was also the co-captain on the Strawberry Crest swim team, a member of the school’s orchestra, the treasurer of the Key Club and a volunteer at Metropolitan Ministries.
PAVING THE WAY
Bradley discovered she may have an opportunity to go to a prestigious school during her freshman year at Strawberry Crest.
“After being placed in the IB program and doing well in it, that’s when I first realized that I can go places with this,” she said. “Since then, the IB program has really developed me as an individual, and I think I’ve continually started to realize throughout high school that I’m capable of such things.”
Bradley’s neighborhood school is Durant, and her IB high school was King, before Strawberry Crest opened in 2009.
Bradley is a part of the first full four-year graduating class at SCHS, a moment that seems far from four years ago, when she was nervous about attending a new school.
“It was kind of scary at first, coming into a first-year school and a first-year program that hadn’t been established yet,” she said. “At King, there was a big and established program, and everyone knew what to expect, but we didn’t have all of the established things ahead of us, so we kind of paved our own way.”
Bradley and the rest of the Strawberry Crest seniors did a great job of that, making the IB program at the school one of the most successful in the county.
BALL AND BOOKS
With five AP classes and six IB classes as a senior, one may wonder how Bradley can balance her time while participating in two sports and a host of other extracurricular activities. But on the contrary, she thrives with a full plate.
“During the times I’m not in a season with a sport is the worst time,” she said. “When you have a lot to do, you seem to get it done better and manage your time well.”
Bradley admits the month of May was stressful, with five AP exams and two to three exams for each of her IB classes. She knows this will continue at Harvard, balancing a rigorous class schedule with playing a Division I sport, but she says she’s up for the challenge.
Just like her potential to attend a highly ranked college, Bradley, who has played softball since she was 6, knew she had an opportunity to play college softball early on in her high school career.
While the University of Chicago, Georgetown and Rollins were recruiting her for softball, Bradley said being able to play factored into all of her college choices, whether it was on a walk-on or scholarship basis.
“Whether you’re a recruited athlete or a walk-on doesn’t matter once you’re there,” she said.
Bradley ended her final season at Strawberry Crest with a .306 batting average and 14 RBI.