Michelle Fonseca, a senior at Lynn English High School, realized that she very much liked the hospitality industry while working at a part-time job at a nursing home.
Fonseca took from that positive experience and applied to the foremost institution in that field, the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
In March Fonseca received her acceptance letter in the mail from Cornell, albeit in a “thin” envelope.
“I came home from a Math Team competition and the letter was sitting on my kitchen table and it was thin so I was concerned,” recalled Fonseca, daughter of Yorth and Maria Fonseca. “But it was an acceptance letter and the whole family was ecstatic.”
And although Cornell was her top choice, Fonseca still had a tough decision to make, having also been accepted to Boston University, UNH, UMass/Amherst, and Salem State.
“But I picked Cornell because it was the top school for my major which is going to be Hotel Administration,” related Fonseca. “I did my research on it and after I figured out I wanted to major in Hotel Administration, Cornell was the one that kept coming up.”
Ultimately, Fonseca said she would like to work in a major hotel in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world.
Fonseca attended the Ford School through seventh grade and Marshall Middle School in eighth grade. At English she is an honor roll student who is ranked fifth in the Class of 2014. She has been a member of the Math Team, Quiz Team, Latin Club, Latin Quiz Team, and has competed in track and tennis. She is also an aide in the guidance department.
Fonseca said she received an excellent education during her four years at English.
“I think all the AP [Advanced Placement] classes have helped prepare me well for college,” said Fonseca. “You learn about your work load and time management. It’s great that there are so many AP classes that are offered. It is also helpful that we [students] help each other and push each other to work harder. The teachers at English are great and have worked hard to make sure that we reach our potential be our best.”
She’s grateful to her guidance counselor, Matt Wilkins, for his assistance in the college admissions process.
“Mr. Wilkins has been very helpful. He’s always pushed me and made sure that I’ve been on right track for all four years. He’s always been there when I needed him.”
Wilkins said he and the school were proud that Fonseca, who is one of his students and an aide in the guidance office, was heading to Cornell, a member of the prestigious Ivy League.
“Lynn English is very proud of Michelle and her acceptance to Cornell University,” said Wilkins. “She is a friendly, diligent and determined young lady who has successfully balanced a rigorous academic schedule with numerous extracurricular activities. We believe that Michelle is the first Lynn English student to be accepted to Cornell since the mid-1990s and we wish her the best.”
English Principal Strangie also praised Fonseca, saying that her acceptance to Cornell was “an outstanding achievement for an outstanding achievement.”
“Michelle is a great kid and will achieve success at Cornell,” said Strangie.
Fonseca traveled Ithaca, N.Y. for an orientation session at Cornell where she met incoming freshmen from across the country who have the same major.
“It’s a big, beautiful campus with a lot of hills so it could be tough to navigate in the winter,” said Fonseca. “But I love the school and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be taking some courses at Cornell this summer.”