Estes Family 1693 Scholar
Henrico, VA (Douglas Freeman HS)
History and Film & Media Studies
When I stepped onto the William & Mary campus for the 1693 Finalist Weekend, I was nervous for a few reasons. Had I prepared enough? Would I wake up in time for my presentation? Would my interview go well? Did I have enough extra hair ties? But one question loomed larger than all my other worries: Was William & Mary going to be the right place for me?
I applied to William & Mary because of its academic reputation and size. I wanted a school small enough to provide a liberal arts experience but big enough to offer the research opportunities of a larger university. Students and professors testified that William & Mary uniquely demonstrated this duality. Sitting in on a small religion course in a classroom that Thomas Jefferson sat in, I was struck by the quality of the professor’s lecture and the intimacy of the class discussion.
But what finally convinced me that William & Mary was where I was meant to be was the connections, the familiarity, the welcome. The intangibles that make us feel like we’ve come home. From singing Broadway musicals in the Murray House to talking about Plato at dinner with professors and current scholars, I had found the people and the place that allowed me to be the best version of myself.
Towards the end of the Finalist Weekend, sitting in the Sunken Garden, I wondered if I would ever grow tired of this view because I knew I’d be looking at it for the next 4 years. I was home.
- Editor-in-Chief for The Gallery Literary Arts Magazine
- President of Trippin' on Brix comedy troupe
- Outreach Lead for W&M Students Demand Action
- Member of W&M Heritage Dancers
- "I am 18. I belong to the massacre generation." - Op-Ed in the Washington Post
- "80 years of Robin: the forgotten history of the most iconic sidekick" - Article in the Guardian
In the summer of 2020, I joined a National Science Foundation funded research project based out of Pepperdine University, the International Community For Collaborative Content Creation (IC4). IC4 connects middle and high school students from around the globe to collaborate on multimedia STEM projects. As a member of the IC4 research team, I have created video tutorials for students, provided feedback on student projects, and contributed to research papers. I was also a lead video editor on IC4's entry into the 2021 STEM for All showcase, a virtual exhibit for NSF projects focused on improving STEM education. Our video won two awards, Public Choice and Presenters' Choice.
In the fall of my junior year, I remotely interned with the Events Department at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I helped organize and run Zoom events for the public and staff. Additionally, I taught colleagues on the Events team to use Adobe Premiere as we adapted to an entirely virtual setting.
As an intern in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, I answered public inquiries, performed background research as needed, scanned archival materials, and assisted with archival processing. I also created a series of videos for the museum's social media showcasing the collection of the Smothers Brothers, whose 1960s variety show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour broke ground as the first primetime TV series to combine political commentary and humor.
High School Activities
- Hatt Theatre (youth acting program)
- Teen Advisory Board for the Henrico County Library
- President of Inklings writing group
- French Club and Honor Society
- Math Honor Society
- Intern for the American Civil War Museum
- Museum Leader in Training at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Awards / Distinctions
- Richmond Forum Scholar
- Harvard Book Award
- Le Grand Concours National de Francais Laureate
- Gold Key in Writing from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards