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Senior Spotlight - Leslie Bravo, Northwest High School
Leslie Bravo will graduate from Northwest High School with more than 50 credits thanks to the Early College Academy. The program is a partnership between the district and Friends University which enables students to graduate high school with the equivalent of nearly two years of college credit.
The decision to join the Early College Academy program was an easy one for Leslie.
“My mom toured all of the high school programs — Northeast Magnet, the IB program at East and Early College Academy — and I applied and was accepted to them,” Leslie said. “I ended up joining ECA because the college credits would be paid for and I knew it was a select group of students. Northwest was also my base school so I would know people from middle school.”
Leslie’s parents immigrated from Mexico and have always stressed the importance of education.
“I’m the person I am today because of my mom,” Leslie said. “If my mom had all the resources that I’ve had, I think she would have accomplished as much, or even more, than me. She’s always been focused on my sister and my success and education. From an early age, she taught us to reach for the stars.”
During her high school career, Leslie excelled.
In her freshman year, she joined Northwest’s Grizzlies For Change leadership club, where she went on to become freshman director, vice president, president and senior class director.
“I’m the most proud of a project I created to raise funds to help provide Christmas gifts and personal care needs for immigrant and refugee children,” Leslie said.
She participated in cross country her freshman year, and has played soccer at school and for a club team all four years. She also played the trumpet in the school band through her junior year and serves as a catechist in her church.
In her sophomore year she created a STEM academy for minority middle school girls at several local schools to encourage them to participate in STEM. The program was partially funded by a grant from Stanford University. She also started climate change projects to encourage people to embrace sustainability. During the pandemic, she participated in Kansas Beats the Virus program to help students understand how to prevent the spread of COVID.
As a result of her work with the STEM academy, Leslie was the only high school student invited to participate in the Civil Society and Sustainability Conference at Stanford.
In her junior year, she was named the president of the National Honor Society and was involved in the United Way of the Plains’ Dwane L. Wallace Youth Venture Grant Committee.
She was selected to participate in a five-week program at Princeton University last summer.
Leslie has been named a 2023 Coca-Cola Scholar and was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.
She plans to attend Stanford University and become a cardiothoracic surgeon.