Before Laura Lynn Liptrap-Sandoval was a Harvard girl, she was just another little Corona girl. Before she even finished elementary school, Laura Lynn set herself an uncommon goal. That was that she would attend Harvard University. Though many kids dream about becoming an astronaut, or a veterinarian, or even a rock star, most children don’t think too much about school. Most kids’ dreams are nebulous. Not so for Laura Lynn. She knew she was meant for the Ivy League.
Laura Lynn had a long road ahead of her, and that included not only doing well at school, but excelling. While attending Woodcrest Christian Middle and High School, she also attended Kumon for enrichment with Ms. Lillian; and was a part of the Gifted and Talented UCI program. In addition to this, she also studied with UCR’s enrichment program. She entered spelling bees, speech meet competitions, and was a history day finalist.
Laura ranked number one in her class throughout high school and graduated valedictorian. She completed high school with a 4.5 GPA, completing all honors and AP courses offered at her school. In addition, she held duel enrollment at the University of California Riverside. Laura Lynn was captain of her Mock Trial team serving as an attorney for all 4 years of high school and entering the State Championship twice. Her many other activities included being a part of the National Honor Society, key club, and Junior Statesmen of America. She is proud to have completed 13 years of Girl Scouts, earning her Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. In June she was hosted by Congress in receiving her Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill presented by U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert.
It wasn’t always easy, but dreams never really are. Laura Lynn’s ailing grandmother came to live with her family during the most crucial years of college preparation and applications. Laura played an active role in caregiving, often being awakened early mornings before rising for school. And often you would find her studying for the SAT cuddled up in her grandma’s bed.
When the day came, Laura Lynn and her grandmother waited together to see if she would be accepted. Amazingly, with a record low acceptance rate of 5.9, Laura Lynn was admitted to Harvard University under early action.
Laura says she will always cherish her grandmother’s words to her, after learning she was accepted:
I knew you would do it, I never doubted it for a second.”