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Jeffrey Gu

Stamps 1693 ScholarJeffrey

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Falls Church, VA (Basis Independent McLean)

Academic Interests

Neuroscience, Pre-Med

Why W&M

I would be lying to say that William & Mary was my top choice school, or even top 5 for that matter. To be frank, I almost didn't apply; I thought I had the college thing figured out. “The school colors are gross,” “the food is sub-par,” and “it gives off a weird ~vibe~”–I had mentally compiled a list of complaints against the school to spare myself from further essays (welcome to the mind of a 17-year-old). Even after I was accepted, I remained unsure of what school to choose, and had no idea about what to look for when deciding between institutions. 

While pessimistic about my chances of becoming a 1693 Scholar, I reluctantly took part in the Finalist Week, consisting of Zoom meetings on top of more Zoom meetings. I was quickly welcomed by a caring group of students and faculty, where for the first time in my college search, I felt like I belonged. Listening to each scholar’s unique experiences was enthralling, opening my eyes to how much could be achieved in four years. While many colleges highlight their academic excellence, William & Mary stood out as a school that empowered students to follow their curiosity, whether that be through research, studying abroad, or the diverse array of courses. I realized that William & Mary is a school that prioritizes student wellbeing over test scores, a community that prioritizes collaboration over competition, and a network that prioritizes care and support over prestige. Whether it be through Zoom or in person, it is at William & Mary that I feel most at home.

W&M Activities
High School Activities 
  • Intern at Georgetown University’s Department of Neuroscience
  • Administrative member of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department
  • Division 1 Fencing
  • Coach for AIC Fencing Club
  • Assistant Director and Fundraising Coordinator for AIC Fencing Club
  • Fencing Referee
  • President of Basis Independent Mclean Fencing Club
  • Group Leader of the Student Ambassador team
  • Volunteer for INOVA Fairfax Hospital
  • National Honors Society
  • Secretary of Indian Student Association
  • Chinese Culture Club
  • Varsity Cross Country
  • Barista at Paris Baguette
Awards / Distinctions
  • USA Fencing Spirit of Sport Award (2021)
  • USA Fencing All-Academic First Team (2019, 2020)
  • USA Fencing All-American Team (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • 3rd place at Division 1A Apex Open
  • AP Scholar with Distinction (2019, 2020)