Suze Van Adrichem Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Sterling Quad in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Suze Van Adrichem (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Suze van Adrichem is from Amsterdam and considering a major in biology or computer science.

“I’ve always enjoyed school and always want to fully understand what I am learning. When I was a kid, I was very curious and would ask my parents or teachers lots of questions, sometimes to the point where they didn’t have an answer anymore. I knew university was the perfect place for me to explore that curiosity.

“In high school, I liked studying biology and math. I also started the first student-run club at my high school – a computer science club. At Stanford, I hope to explore bioinformatics, but I’m open to other areas like data science and AI. Education is something that I’m also really interested in. In high school, I worked as a weekend teacher and tutor. I really enjoy teaching and explaining concepts to people that allow them to think for themselves and achieve greater things. To know that I helped a student achieve something is really fulfilling.

“To me, languages are beautiful. It’s interesting to see how they differ across countries and continents. My native language is Dutch and I speak English and understand German pretty well. I also did some French and Latin in high school. I’m currently learning Japanese on Duolingo and hope to take Japanese classes at Stanford at some point.”

Luis Cortes Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Branner Hall in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Luis Cortes (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Luis Cortes is from Matola, Maputo, Mozambique, and considering a major in a STEM field.

“In my home country of Mozambique, the culture is defined by having fun at every stage of life, while also working hard to achieve one’s dreams. For example, back at home, I maximized my learning opportunities while enjoying what I love to do most – playing basketball.

“Growing up, I competed in numerous international math and science Olympiads where I got to meet incredibly accomplished people from all over the world. After having a lot of success at these competitions, I realized that I wanted to immerse myself in an intellectual community.

“There is so much waiting to be explored at Stanford. During my time here, I hope to explore new fields, and possibly fuse them with my current interests. For example, I’d like to explore the potential intersection of computer science and photography.

“The array of opportunities I had back home prepared me for my Stanford journey. Ultimately, I want to use the resources that I have here to tackle African problems in the African way. The future of Africa can only be assured when Africans tackle their biggest challenges with inquisitive minds and unassailable hearts.”

Baraa Abdelghne Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Wilbur West Courtyard in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Baraa Abdelghne (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Baraa Abdelghne is from Aleppo, Syria, and Scottsdale, Arizona, and considering a major in biomedical computation.

“I was born in Syria. In 2011, my family and I were besieged by a conflict and lived through war, bombings, and no electricity or water. In July of 2013, my brother, mom, and I went out one day to buy food and my brother was shot in his shoulder. That caused us to leave everything behind in Syria and we followed my brother in an ambulance to Turkey, where he received medical treatment. However, the doctors there couldn’t restore mobility in his arm, so we applied to the United Nations and relocated to Arizona as refugees in 2015.

“Living with my brother in the hospital for 40 days while he was in the intensive care unit instilled in me a passion for helping people. In Arizona, I started volunteering at hospitals and fundraising for cancer patients. I became a certified nursing assistant, and I’m planning to become a certified EMT. It also fueled my interest in becoming a doctor. My brother recovered and is studying cyber security at Arizona State University.

“In 2020, I interned at Stanford Medicine, where I worked in anesthesiology. That experience and the collaborative atmosphere made me realize that Stanford is a great place for me. The weather here is also nice and I’m close to my family.

“This quarter I’m taking a course called The Magic of Medical Imaging. We’re learning about ultrasounds and X-rays. I’m going to take CS106. Next quarter, I hope to participate in research. I’ve also joined the pre-med club.

“I haven’t decided my major yet, but I’m looking into biomedical computation and I hope to combine my love for medicine and technology. I hope my classes will help me pursue my passion for advocating for global health and for people that don’t have the medical attention that they need.”

Christian Figueroa Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Casper Courtyard in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Christian Figueroa (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Christian Figueroa is from Rosemead, California, and considering a major in history.

“I’ve been involved in activism since I was 13 years old. I pretty much live and breathe activism 24/7. I’m particularly interested in advocating for policies related to mental health, the LGBTQ+ community, and science and technology.

“Political journalism is a potential career I’d like to explore because I love to write, and I’ve even considered running for political office one day. At home in Southern California, I used to host a news program at my local TV station that covered the city council meetings. Currently, I am co-authoring a book called Our Election: Young Americans in the 21st Century, which is about the momentum behind Gen-Z activism. I also recently joined the Stanford Daily as a news writer.

“At Stanford, I’m considering majoring in history. The history of the United States is particularly interesting to me; I think understanding the birth and formation of our democracy is really important for any activist. While I’m here, I also hope to study abroad and participate in the Stanford in Washington program.

“Stanford has been my dream school since I was a child, so being here is definitely a dream fulfilled and I’m humbled every single day having the opportunity to learn here.”

Courtney Ogden Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Lagunitas Court in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Courtney Ogden (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Courtney Ogden is from Atlanta and considering a major in symbolic systems.

“Summer classes are required for most first-year student-athletes, and I’m really glad I took them. Those classes helped me get my head on straight and prepare me for the academic school year when I’m juggling school and basketball.

“I’ve always been around basketball; my dad played college ball at Murray State University. I’ve been playing since the third grade. That year I went to Dell Curry’s summer basketball camp, which is where I played my first official game. I was the only girl there and even though I was annoyed that the boys wouldn’t pass me the ball, I’m glad I got that experience because I got a lot of encouragement – it was a pivotal moment in my basketball career. After getting my first scholarship offer in sixth grade, the possibility of a basketball career became real for me and I knew I wanted to do this. I hope to play professionally after college.

“There’s so much to do at Stanford outside of sports, and exploring those opportunities is important to me while I’m here. I’m considering studying symbolic systems because the combination of psychology and computer science really intrigues me.”

Anna Yang Stanford Class of 2027 poses for a portrait in Toyon Hall in Stanford California October 12, 2023.

Anna Yang (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Anna Yang is from San Jose, California, and considering a major in symbolic systems.

“I was always a little bit of a writer. I was also a very quiet kid, so I would use my diary to express myself and talk about my life. My first memory of writing poetry was with my amazing fourth-grade teacher, who taught us how to write poetry using metaphors. I really liked it because it was very figurative, it didn’t have to reflect exactly what I saw in the world, and it was creative.

“My first time reading poetry out loud was to a panel of judges when I competed to be the Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate my sophomore year of high school. That was scary because when you’re reading poetry out loud and somebody can see your face and emotions, it feels very vulnerable. But it’s also special because it gives movement to poetry, or personalizes it and gives a real, raw experience that the audience can relate to. It’s powerful in a way that written poetry isn’t.

“I did not become the laureate that year, but being in that encouraging space of other youth poets gave me the confidence to step up my spoken word game by going to coffee shops and practicing my poetry publicly. People were really supportive, which shifted my perspective on reading poetry out loud. I became the Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate near the end of my junior year of high school. Having that title was very empowering because I was invited to spaces that I never imagined I’d be and I had authority. Not only was my voice heard, but it also could influence and impact the spaces I performed in – something I’d rarely felt before as a young poet.”