Our team at BASIS Independent McLean is gearing up for an exciting alumni panel on March 13 at 11 AM where families will meet nearly a dozen BASIS alumni from around the country, many of whom are studying in or near the greater D.C. metro area. As we prepare for this landmark event, we thought we'd bring some highlights of the panel to our readers here. Currently attending Virginia Tech, Cornell, Brown, Duke, MIT, College of William & Mary, Yale, and Princeton, these former BASIS.ed students embody the preparation for great things that a BASIS.ed education affords. Sydney Hecht is certainly a good example:

Sydney_Hecht-53.jpgSydney Hecht - BASIS Oro Valley Class of 2015
College: 
College of William & Mary Class of 2019
Major(s):
 Psychology and Kinesiology

What did you do to balance academics with things outside of school, like your social life, extracurriculars, team sports, etc.?

SH: I was very involved in extracurriculars. I was on a competitive dance team throughout high school and also worked as a dance teacher, I was a member on the Oro Valley Town council, volunteered in National Honor Society and United Students of BASIS, and was a fellow for the Arizona Democratic Office. Even though BASIS provides their students a rigorous course load, it is absolutely possible to pursue your passions. 

Did you do a senior project? If so, what was it about?

SH: Participating in the Senior Projects was the best decision I have ever made in my life. For my senior project, I traveled to Jaipur, India and taught dance to children in a special needs school. The experience not only taught me many things about the India culture, childhood education, dance therapy, and myself, but also helped me determine what I want to do with my future. Watch this video where Sydney explains her Senior Project in greater detail.

When you think of your BASIS teachers, what comes to mind?

SH: The first word that comes to mind when I think of BASIS teachers is passionate. BASIS teachers are not only passionate about the topics they teach, but also the success and well-being of their students. There are innumerable occasions when a teacher took time out of their own schedule to talk with me, sometimes academically, but most often not.  Many of my teachers have even come watch me perform at my dance shows!

What are you most proud of and/or passionate about in your life?

SH: I am most proud of the person I have become after graduating from BASIS. Prior to attending BASIS, I was a shy girl who had no confidence academically. BASIS has taught me that with hard work comes great achievement and it inspired me to do things I never thought were possible.

What advice do you have for kids considering BASIS?

SH: When I was considering BASIS, I was worried that I wouldn't have the "normal high school experience". That most definitely was not the case. We had spirit days, prom and school dances, and plenty of high school drama.

Anything else you want to share with a new family (or student) considering a BASIS school?

SH: I promise it is possible to balance coursework with extracurricular activities! It is all about time management. If you stay on top of homework and utilize your study time, you can be very active outside of school and still get to bed at a normal hour.

Do you have any questions for Sydney? Leave them in the comments section, below: