Student Spotlight: Zabrina Adorno, U.S. Navy

Harvard University Cohort

What was your educational experience prior to WSP? Would you consider yourself a confident student?

Because I enlisted in the Navy directly after high school, I had not had any experience with higher education prior to WSP. I’d taken some CLEP courses here and there to stay sharp, but re-entering an academic setting has been an exciting and nerve-wracking journey. I considered myself a confident student years ago, but now I’m open and ready to sharpen my skills and dive back in. 

Had you participated in any sort of virtual learning before? If so, how does your WSP experience compare to that?

I had not participated in any virtual learning before WSP. I had somehow made it through 2020 without using Zoom or other video conference software at all. I was a bit nervous about the virtual WSP course because I had heard that virtual learning could be challenging. My WSP experience went smoothly, thanks to my team of fellows’ technical support and patience. 

Why were you excited to participate in WSP this summer?

As someone in the early stages of preparing for college and entering a major life change, I was most nervous that I would be doing it all blind and without context. I was most excited for WSP as an opportunity to acclimate to an academic setting in a comfortable and supportive environment. 

What have you learned so far that you think will be helpful as you pursue your degree?

My first big takeaway was my insights into the academic writing process. The second thing I learned was a large, supportive veteran community for students exists, which was previously unknown to me.

What was your favorite session, and why?

I particularly enjoyed the session with professor Jonathan Hansen from Harvard. That was my first interaction with a professor, and it left an incredible impression on me. His passion was evident, and I realized that however nervous for school I may be, those are the types of people I’d like to be around on this new journey. 

Are there any instructors or fellows who have made a difference for you at WSP?

My entire team of fellows was incredible. They were all welcoming and provided a wealth of knowledge. I gleaned the most from Mack Fina, one of my fellows attending Harvard University. He had some really useful insights and advice along the way. 

Is WSP having any effect on how confident you feel as a student?

WSP has most definitely boosted my confidence. I wasn’t even entirely sure that school was feasible for me just months ago. I had figured that the adjustment to school would be too overwhelming. I left WSP with a much clearer path to school and exactly the confidence boost that I needed.

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