• September 21, 2019
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Leesville’s own Juan Estellar has been accepted into Harvard University this past month.

With this acceptance being Estellar’s first, he is able to finally breathe a sigh of relief.

“I didn’t plan in advance to try to apply…there. Only midway through junior year did I realize that I could compete in the application process and Harvard was a viable option,” said Estellar. “I had to rush to take all the necessary SATs and complete the supplementary materials (community service, etc.), but fortunately everything materialized for me in the end.”

At the end of high school, Estellar will have taken a total of 11 AP classes and an innumerable amount of honors classes. He has been a dedicated member of the Car Club, National French Honor Society and National Honor Society throughout the years. He also played on both the school’s and CASL’s soccer teams all four years — a fall and spring commitment — and ended up competing at Regionals this past spring with his club team.

Despite his impressive commitments to multiple extracurriculars while keeping on top of his academics, Estellar said, “I don’t think it was awards or extracurriculars that ultimately influenced Harvard to accept me — anybody can construct a flawless resume. I think they look for unique thinkers who will create a unique environment: students that give just as much to Harvard as Harvard to them.”

What surprised Estellar were the few differences between Harvard’s application and those of other colleges. Overall, it did not seem to pose much of a challenge for him.

“In addition to the generic Common App, I only had to write one supplementary two-page essay (which, in fact, was optional) and one short answer. Other obstacles included the interview and SAT subject tests,” said Estellar.

Although he is thrilled with the acceptance from Harvard, Estellar still plans on competing for the Morehead-Cain scholarship for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completing a regular decision application to Duke University.

“Neither is guaranteed, but I want to create other options for myself so that when I do make my final decision, I will not regret it for four years,” said Estellar. “I still regard [Harvard] as my first choice and have practically finalized the decision in my mind, but I still want to visit before I commit myself there for four years.”

As someone who has always admired the New England area (Boston in particular), packing his bags and moving from Raleigh, North Carolina to Cambridge, Massachusetts would be an exciting transition.

“I’d be thrilled to move to Boston/Cambridge! The history and campus have definitely lured me. I don’t know how well I’d adjust to the cold weather–my winter attire in Raleigh consists of khaki pants and the occasional long-sleeved T-shirt. That definitely won’t suffice for the forbidding Boston winter,” said Estellar.

Along with his uncertain wardrobe, Estellar remains undecided regarding his major. Throughout high school, he has become very interested in multiple possibilities. Anyone who has shared a math class with him, specifically Calculus, knows that Estellar has a special understanding of the topic. Mathematics, along with philosophy, are two of his biggest interests. However, he continues to search for a more practical major and currently considers economics as another one of his possible career paths.

“I haven’t put much thought into what I want to study,” said Estellar. “The future remains pretty hazy–I couldn’t fathom where the next 17 years of my life will take me.”

Everyone who knows Juan Estellar knows that his next 17 years will be just as successful, if not more, than his first.

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