OLA graduate wins top prize in College Board contest
By Cassandra Favre, Staff Writer
Jun 15, 2017, 17:12
A still from Sandoz's Instagram video. Photo submitted.
More than 200 of Mississippi's seniors entered the College Board's Mississippi Pledge Your #Collegiance contest.
But only one could take home the top prize of $1,000 and that was Sarah Sandoz, a recent graduate of Our Lady Academy in Bay St. Louis. She was also this year's salutatorian.
"We created our #Collegiance campaign to celebrate all those students who have achieved this important milestone," Director of Student Communications at the College Board Andrew Elwell said. "This campaign gives students the opportunity to creatively share their decision as they look ahead to their first year of college."
Elwell said this is the campaign's third year.
This year, the organization partnered with College Countdown in Mississippi to support a "college culture," he said.
"We created a state specific contest in Mississippi," Elwell said.
The College Board's Director of Media Relations Maria Eugenia Alcon-Heraux, said participants created Instagram videos that announced the college of their choosing.
Sandoz said she heard about the contest via an email from the University of Southern Mississippi, the college she pledged to.
"I looked further into it and said 'that sounds like a good idea,''' she said.
Sandoz said she made her video – which she wanted to resemble a movie trailer – using the IMovie application on her phone.
She said her brother Michael suggested she use archery in her video. Sandoz is an avid archer and played for four years at OLA.
Sandoz said her video begins with college papers sitting on a table. Michael also helped her shoot the video, she said.
"I'm stressing over which college to choose," she said. "I grab my bow and arrow. I attached a bow to fishing line. I shoot the arrow into the night and it travels across pictures of the schools I thought about. It lands on the target with USM as the bulls eye."
Sandoz said she didn't expect to win.
"I was in disbelief, but I had a lot of pride," she said. "It's cool that something I had a lot of fun doing, I was rewarded for."
Sandoz said she will study elementary education at USM.
"I've always felt called to be a teacher," she said. "I have a passion for being with kids. In first grade, I had an amazing teacher, Ms. Wagner. I always wanted to be like her. USM has a great teaching program."
Sandoz will also be joining her brother and sister at USM.
Elwell said the College Board is responsible for creating the SAT test and advanced placement tests in high schools.
He said there are free college resources available for students.
The Big Future website, www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org/, provides students resources to help them choose a school and complete an application for both admittance and financial aid, Elwell said.
The CollegeGo mobile application keeps students connected to their College Board account, he said.
"There are resources available for students planning for college," he said. "We're excited to partner with schools and students in Mississippi to instill a college culture and celebrate those who have made their decisions."
Sandoz's video can be viewed via Instagram and Twitter at sarah_sandoz.