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San Domenico School News & Events

Alumni Spotlight: Anna Valadao Defaria'20, Lehigh University

Anna Valadao Defaria, matriculating to Lehigh University

As a highly involved and engaged student at San Domenico, Anna had her sights set on a college that emulates San Domenico’s commitment to community and student voice. Through her involvement as Head Prefect, President of Latino League, SD Varsity Volleyball and Soccer, Breakthrough San Francisco, and more, Anna has honed and refined her leadership and collaboration skills over her four years at SD. “Many of the skills and study habits I have learned as a student at SD will definitely help me be successful in college. Having the opportunity to be in the boarding program will be a huge advantage going to college because it’s given me the experience of living in dorms and being far away from home. I have become much more independent, mature, and creative as a result of living in the dorms. SD has prepared me well as a student and as a person.”

Anna will matriculate to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA in the fall to study business. “Initially, I felt that Lehigh was a good fit for me because of the size of the school, the hands-on learning opportunities, and great professors, but as I have gotten to know the Lehigh better, I have realized that the reasons I like the school are deeper than just the basic facts. The emphasis on a global learning experience and an entrepreneurial education are two things I found to be unique to Lehigh. I also was impressed by how connected professors and students were, as well as the high level of alumni involvement.”

As an incoming freshman, Anna will also join the Lehigh community as a POSSE Scholar. The POSSE Foundation supports high achieving, underrepresented students to match them with POSSE-partner colleges and universities across the country. With 17,000 students nominated this year Anna was one of just 730 students selected after three rounds of intensive interviews. She will join a cohort of ten POSSE students at Lehigh next fall. “Currently, I am going through Pre-Collegiate Training, where my Posse and I go through workshops to learn about each other and prepare for the college experience. When I arrive on campus, I will be part of the Campus Program, where my Posse and I will meet with a mentor weekly and attend PossePlus Retreats annually. The Campus program ensures that Posse Scholars are academically successful and become leaders in the workforce.”