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Five sophomores accepted to TAMS

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After a long process of interviewing, researching and preparing, five sophomores have been accepted into the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). Students will leave Hebron and live on campus at University of North Texas (UNT) for the next two years, where they will pursue their academic interest in a science or math of their choice.

Ambika Kapil

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Question:What was your reaction when you found out you got into TAMS?

Answer: I was kind of shocked. When I first turned in my SAT scores, they weren’t as high as I wanted them to be. I was kind of shocked because I don’t think I’m extremely smart, I think I’m just the goofy kid who tries their best. I refused to open the email until I got home. Me and my mom, I remember we opened the email and it said, ‘Congratulations’ and I like screamed and ran out of the room. It was kind of surreal, because it was like this kid, that everyone told they couldn’t do anything, did something.

Q: What do you believe you will get out of this experience in going to TAMS?

A: When I go there, I feel like I’m finally going to be with people who would be proud of what I do, instead of more interested in throwing me under the bus. I’m really excited because I get to do research and work with professors and figure out what’s going on in the science field.

Q: What kind of research will you be doing?

A: I’ll be doing [research on] cancer cells. My grandma passed away of breast cancer and my mom survived breast cancer. On my dad’s side, [my grandmother] passed away because of a heart attack and asthma and I have asthma too. The cancer cells and the cells for asthma are very similar and so I’m really excited to study that. Maybe in the future I can have an impact on ending it or finding a cure for it.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Hebron?

A: I’m so excited. It’s just because … a lot of people were like, ‘Oh you’re going to hate it.’ They were only interested in telling me the negatives. But I looked into it to double check what they were telling me, it was lies. I’m just excited to leave that type of environment. I love the people, for the most part, here but I’m also excited to meet a new type of people. I get to be in a new type of environment.

Q: How do you feel about starting “college life” early?

A: I’m normal about it because I’ve moved around a lot and been to different schools so much. I know what it’s like to be in a cluster of people. I’m not afraid, I think I’ll be OK.

Zain Khoja

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Q: What was your reaction when you found out you go into TAMS?

A: I was very excited at first. I have tons of friends at TAMS and I’ve always wanted that type of community. Getting in was like an amazing feeling and I was so grateful for the opportunity.

Q: What do you believe you will get out of this experience in going to TAMS?

A: I think the most important thing I will get out of TAMS is the experience. TAMS is known for its community and experience from research. I’m hoping to get a head start on my future profession and meet awesome people.

Q: What kind of research will you be doing?

A: I’m planning to do either chemistry research or user experience research. Those opportunities are really prestigious at TAMS and I’m excited to possibly be a part of them.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Hebron?

A: I’ve been at Hebron for two years now and it’s been so much fun. I love coming to school every day and being able to know I will see my friends.

Q: How do you feel about starting “college life” early?

A: I’m super hyped. One of the aspects of high school I didn’t adore was being stuck in so many time restrictions when I needed flexibility to learn different subjects. TAMS class scheduling provides that as well as tons of time to earn new things that really engage you. I’m also really excited to be with my friends all the time and have more leisure time.

Megha Philip

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Q: What was your reaction when you found out you got into TAMS?

A: I think I had mixed feelings. Up until then I really wanted to get in, but then when I got in, I didn’t as much because of the changes that were going to happen if I did go. Here I have like a frontier, I know what’s going on here. There’s going to be so much to do, that kind of scared me. I wasn’t totally happy when I got in. I didn’t think about the practical stuff until I got in. I didn’t really think about applying until some of my friends were all getting in because they applied early decision. Some of them were like, ‘Hey why didn’t you apply,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, why didn’t I apply?’ I just wanted to apply to see if I would get in and I did.

Q: What do you believe you will get out of this experience in going to TAMS?

A: I think I’m really sheltered right now. I guess I have a lot of influence from my family, and I’ve never been that independent, so it’s like broadening horizons. I’ll learn how to just be by myself and I think that’s really crucial.

Q: What research will you be doing?

A: I didn’t really even think about research. I didn’t really know TAMS was big on research until interview day when everyone was talking about it. I didn’t go to the preview days. I think I want to do something that would be beneficial to people beyond myself because I don’t want to like do something just on knowledge. I want to do something that would really make an impact on other people’s lives, even if it’s a small part. I want to make someone’s life positively easier or better.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Hebron?

A: I’m not going to cry or anything. The school itself, I don’t really care, but the people, I think that’s what I’m going to miss. I think I’ll miss friends and stuff like that.

Q: How do you feel about starting “college life” early?

A: You don’t have to let people know where you’re going, you just have to be back by like 12 and that’s it. It’ll be interesting to see what I do with it. I’m not bad, I don’t think I’ll go crazy. It’ll be interesting.

Shivam Semwal

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Q: What was your reaction when you found out you got into TAMS?

A: It was very exciting, but I was also slightly worried. I knew that my family really wanted me to stay but it’s going to be a very good opportunity. I’m pretty excited, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Q: What do you believe you will get out of this experience in going to TAMS?

A: I’m at a college. I can do whatever math I want to do. I save two years of college over there. It’s also really cheap too.

Q: What kind of research will you be doing?

A: If I’m researching, I’m going to be doing computer science research which is a lot different than the other people there. When you do computer science research, you basically help a professor and if they have a problem for you, you learn beside them. I don’t know much about it, so I’m just going to learn with them.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Hebron?

A: I’m going to miss a lot of my friends here, but at the same time Hebron is competitive. Even though it is more competitive at TAMS, you don’t get ranked, which is really nice. Over here, everyone’s always talking about grades, there’s no really fun topic. Over there you have more meaningful relationships.

Q: How do you feel about starting “college life” early?

A: It’s just so much excitement. You get to live in a dorm, no parents, there’s no cons about college life, it’s so much fun. You get to eat whatever you want to eat, go to sleep whenever you want to sleep. There’s no one to tell you what to do. But at the same time, I’m going to make sure that I stay grounded so I don’t become crazy.

Jennifer Zhang

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Q: What was your reaction when you found out you got into TAMS?

A: I didn’t really have one — happy I guess. It was lowkey unexpected. When we had my interview, there was this guy next to me. The interviewer asked [him], ‘Hey how do your parents feel about you coming here?’ and they started talking about physics and astroscience and I was completely lost after that.

Q: What do you believe you will get out of that experience in going to TAMS?

A: My main reason for going there would be research experience.

Q: What will you be researching?

A: I actually contacted the director for science, the engineering associate dean, so material science or biomedical engineering. I’m interested in materials — they’ve been researching stem cells and how they regenerate. They have a research thing with one of the professors, and [the research] is being funded by the Navy to create a material that regenerates and heal itself.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Hebron?

A: I’ll miss people.

Q: How do you feel about starting “college life” early?

A: If you think about it, there’s not that much of a difference. It’s just I won’t have an 8-hour/day schedule, maybe four hours a day or six hours a day. There’s more freedom.

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Five sophomores accepted to TAMS