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Shalom Akolatse

Stamps 1693 Scholarshalom_akolatse

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Belle Chasse, LA (Belle Chasse HS)

Academic Interests

Math, Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry

Why W&M

My college admissions story, like so many things in life, wasn't linear but rather circular. When I moved to Williamsburg in the middle of 3rd grade, I had small encounters with William & Mary and its small but vibrant world. I'd have piano recitals and competitions in Ewell Hall, several members of my church were W&M alumni, and I'd often walk around in the nearby Colonial Williamsburg with my family.

I eventually moved away from Williamsburg, but my parents and I kept William & Mary in the back of our minds. When it came time for applying to colleges, W&M was an instant shoo-in for potential schools. As we kept exploring, however, several different schools all throughout the country seemed to catch our attention far more, and William & Mary started to fade into the background. 

That is, until I got an email notifying me that I was a semifinalist for the 1693 scholarship, and the prospect of William & Mary flared back into life. When I visited campus, I was astounded at how much love seemed to radiate from all the scholars, and everyone I saw on campus seemed to love being there. Furthermore, the sheer amount of research that lined the walls of nearly every academic building on campus unlocked an interest that I didn't even know I had. When I got the call that I was accepted as a 1693 Scholar, there was simply no choice - the school that had filled the background of my childhood days would become the foreground of my time as an undergraduate student.

W&M Activities
High School Activities 
  • ROTC for 2 years
  • Playing piano for local church
  • Math Tutor
  • Robotics coder
  • Hobbyist coder + Minecraft modder
Awards / Distinctions
  • 2022 Belle Chasse High School Student of the Year
  • Belle Chasse High School Class of 2022 Salutatorian
  • Coronado 2019 Optimist Awardee
  • AP Scholar with Distinction
  • 2020 Manim Community Hackathon 3rd place