We are very much looking forward to our highly-anticipated Meet The Alumni Event on March 13 at 11 AM. Families are invited to join school leadership as well as nearly a dozen BASIS alumni from around the country as we reflect on their years at BASIS. Though BASIS Independent McLean is new to Northern Virginia, the BASIS name carries with it a legacy of preparing students to attend some of the world's best colleges and universities. The alumni who will be in attendance at the event are no exception. Currently attending Virginia Tech, Cornell, Brown, Duke, MIT, College of William & Mary, Yale, and Princeton, these former BASIS students embody the preparation for great things that a BASIS education affords. Leading up to March 13, we want to give you a sneak peek of some of the alumni that you will meet.

Joyce Cao shares with us one of the biggest lessons she learned while at BASIS Oro Valley: it is OK to fail. Keep reading for more and be sure to register for the Meet The Alumni Event on March 13 at 11 AM!

joyce.jpgJoyce Cao - BASIS Oro Valley Class of 2015
 Cornell University
 Electrical and Computer Engineering / Business Minor

In what way(s) do you think BASIS best prepared you for your college studies and/or in your current career?

JC: BASIS taught me how to manage my time effectively and learn at an accelerated pace. However, most importantly, BASIS taught me it's okay to fail. I think one of the biggest transitions I experienced going into BASIS was suddenly being put into an environment of like-minded individuals who all had a strong desire to succeed and learn. I met some of the smartest kids I know at BASIS and while working in this environment was great because you learned so much more from just talking to your peers, it also taught me that it's okay to get things wrong and it's okay to ask for help. I would say that this is the most important thing I've learned from BASIS that has prepared me for college.  

What are some of your favorite memories of BASIS?

JC: One of my favorite memories of BASIS is college counseling. Being able to take college counseling as a class was great and really helped me out during the stressful applying to colleges time period. I was able to spend more time on my applications and give them more thought. I also had an amazing college counselor who knew me really well; she always gave me great advice and feedback whenever I needed it.

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

JC: During my senior year I did a project on capturing circulating tumor cells. I worked with a professor at the University of Arizona and a group of undergraduate students researching microfluidic microchannels and how they could be used to effectively diagnose cancer at an earlier stage. This was an amazing experience, and I learned so much from just being able to come into the lab everyday. Having this experience helped me figure out what I wanted to major in and where I wanted my career to go. 

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

JC: When I think of my BASIS teachers the most important thing that comes to mind is how caring and involved they were. My teachers were very involved in my academics, more so than any teachers I've ever had. Whenever I had a question or concern about my academics they were always willing to speak or arrange time with me to go over material. I remember being able to come to school early before classes started to meet with my math teacher and ask him questions about the homework. Most of my teachers also had office hours where you could freely come in and ask questions, which turned out to be really useful and something that I continue to do in college.  

What advice do you have for kids considering BASIS?

JC: My advice to kids considering BASIS is to challenge yourself because you are capable of more than you think. BASIS may sound like a lot of work, but there is so much help along the way. I think a lot of students underestimate how smart they are; BASIS teaches students that they can achieve any goal they set for themselves.  Everyone at BASIS really encourages you to do your best and you'll never feel left behind. 

Don't miss our Meet The Alumni Event on March 13 at 11 AM!

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