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Julianne Abenoja

Stamps 1693 Scholarjulianne_abenoja

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Mountain Brook, AL (Mountain Brook HS)

Academic Interests

Neuroscience, Biology, Pre-Med

Why W&M

I first visited William & Mary in late May 2021, when the campus was relatively empty of students and there were no official tours. Despite being between terms and during the pandemic, W&M felt inviting from the moment I stumbled cluelessly onto campus and found the self-guided walking tour. It was almost as if someone was leading the tour, really giving details to every building we passed and including fun commentary on student traditions. Whereas the schools I had previously visited had nothing but a map of the campus for visitors, W&M went out of its way to make campus feel inclusive and welcoming in an unprecedented time of restrictions and regulations.

Even though I kept touring other colleges, W&M was always in the back of my mind. It was the invitation to be a part of the 1693 Scholars Program and weekend visit that ultimately sold W&M for me. Seeing, meeting and conversing with the other finalists and current students only solidified my feelings about the college. I wanted to be a part of this student life, this tight-knit community, and I could already see my own role in the community taking shape. I remember going back to the hotel room after the first night and telling my mom that “Everyone here is so COOL! I want to be friends with ALL of them!” I could see parts of myself - passions, dreams, hobbies - in every single student I met, and I simply wanted to get to know more. It was at that point that I knew I really wanted to be a part of the 1693 Scholars Program, and W&M’s student body as a whole.

W&M’s extensive research opportunities and resources, intimate classroom settings, and overall small-college feel all drew me to apply to the college. What made me choose W&M for my future home, however, were the people, and the overall collaborative, accepting, and supportive community that each and every student and faculty member take pride in.

W&M Activities 
High School Activities 
  • Docent at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • SGA Senator
  • President of Interact Service Club
  • Senior Chair of Justice Club
  • Member of Varsity Math Team
  • Member of Scholars’ Bowl
  • Student at UAB Summer Science Institute I and II
  • Competitive Dancer at Birmingham Dance Theatre
  • Happening #79 Youth Staff
  • Teacher at Birmingham Dance Theatre
  • Vice President of National Beta Club
Awards / Distinctions
  • 2022 Distinguished Young Woman of America, 1st Runner Up
  • National Honor Society
  • Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society
  • Spanish Honor Society
  • Seal of Biliteracy (Spanish and English)
  • National Merit Finalist
  • Presidential Scholar Semi-finalist
  • Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama and Jefferson County 2022
  • Voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by peers
  • Voted “Most Intelligent” by peers
  • National Beta Club
  • Kevin Butrus Scholarship Recipient
  • Nora Nash Award for achievement in dance
  • Top 5 Senior Elite Soloist at West Coast Dance Explosion Finals