“It’s Not Always About the Brand”


Stephanie Yamamoto

Manu Kondapi prepares to say goodbye to Horizon Honors High School. She gives one last smile before leaving high school.

Daisy Valentin, Website Administrator

How do you begin to describe someone who has been a part of the Horizon Community Learning Center family since first grade and whose 2013-2014 school year marks her final year at Horizon Honors? If you mix a spunky, funny, outgoing, admirable person with intelligence, you get none other than Manu Kondapi, one of our very own editors for The Horizon Sun.

Kondapi recently learned that she was accepted at Harvey Mudd College and also received the President’s Scholar Program Scholarship. Kondapi skipped her senior prom to attend the scholarship competition in California, where she participated in a rigorous interview process.

She explained that searching for the right college to fit her and her needs was a tedious process, but still enjoyable. ” I really enjoyed it because I feel like with the essay writing you get to really explore yourself. Mainly because you get to write about what you care about. It’s really helpful in defining yourself,” exclaimed Kondapi.

Kondapi also shared her several reasons for choosing Mudd over her other options. “I really like the liberal arts curriculum because I feel like what’s important is not just majoring in your specific field, but also having a strong foundation so you are relevant in every field.” Her reasoning for want to attend a smaller school makes sense considering that she has attended HCLC for almost her entire educational career. Kondapi decided that a smaller school with a great student to professor ratio and strong community is what would fit her best for her future, especially because she has a wide range of interests, from international relations and diplomacy to math and computer science.

Her biggest worry about leaving high school is the comfort zone. Since she has been attending the school for so long, she knows nearly everyone and has no worries about being herself. “Everyone knows everyone” laughed Kondapi. The more we spoke, Kondapi admitted, ” I’ll miss the feeling and Horizon in general. I love the people and the teachers. It’s such a great place to be; I’m so glad I was able to be here for so long!”

Kondapi leaves Horizon Honors underclassmen with one piece of advice on the search for college: “It’s not always about the brand…it’s about what’s the right fit for you. Don’t worry about what other people are going to think of your choice; make sure you’re thinking about what you want to pursue and where you feel that you would grow the most academically and personally.”