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.

Sophie Sandweiss shares with us her perspective on the best part about being at BASIS: the freedom to able to talk passionately about the things that mattered most to her and having real and meaningful discussions with people who cared. Keep reading for more and be sure to register for the Meet The Alumni Event on March 13 at 11 AM!

sophie.pngSophie Sandweiss - BASIS Oro Valley Class of 2015
 Brown University
 Cognitive Neuroscience

When did you start at BASIS? Tell us about transitioning to the program.

SS: When I arrived in class on the first day of school in 8th grade, my teacher, Mr. Aiken, told us not to sit down. He told us about Aristotle's allegory of the cave and said that in order to take our seats, we had to agree to earn them-- to leave the cave, and enter a new world of hard work and true learning. He pushed us in that class; he asked us tough questions and expected nothing less than our best efforts. When I think back to my time at BASIS, it is teachers like him that made my experience so special and worthwhile. 

Did you do a Senior Project? If so, what was it about?

SS: For my Senior Project I created a peer mentoring program and implemented it at BASIS Oro Valley. It worked with Upper and Lower School students to promote confidence, mindset, mindfulness, and community through activities and research based in social emotional learning and positive psychology in schools. I also created a program binder that details how to replicate the program in any middle or high school that is looking to bolster social and emotional learning in their students. 

What are some of your favorite memories of BASIS?

SS: My favorite memories of BASIS are from the discussions I had with teachers and other students. The best part about being at BASIS for me was that I was able to talk passionately about the things that mattered most to me, and I could have real and meaningful discussions with people who cared. 

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

SS: I am a total brain nerd. I am really passionate about what makes our brains tick and how our brain and mind interact to make us who we are, which is why I am studying Cognitive Neuroscience. I think the most important part for me is being about to take that research back into the community and apply it to something that helps a bigger cause, like integrating social and emotional learning in schools to reduce stress and burnout.

What advice do you have for kids considering BASIS?

SS: My biggest piece of advice for kids considering BASIS is this: ask yourself if you want to be here. You have to work to be successful, but if you want it, and you use your resources and ask for help when you're struggling, then you will be successful. 

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

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