Sophomores to College

Three students gain early access

Haley Wong, Section Editor

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Most people in the United States will go through elementary, middle, and high school before they get to college, but for some Shorewood students, this may not be the case.

The University of Washington provides an alternative option to high school where students can apply to the Robinson Center for Young Scholars and leave high school early.

Sophomore year, students can apply to this program as if they were applying to college, with written essays and SAT or ACT scores required. This year, three Shorewood students, Brandon Mochizuki, Jonathan Zhou, and Imran Majeed have all been accepted into this program.

So how did these three get selected into this program? “It’s not a 1600 SAT,” said Mochizuki. The main thing admission officers look at are the college essays. They look for individuals who are responsible, committed, and uniquely talented. Zhou agrees that the essay was the hardest part, due to the large gap between college and high school level writing.


There were many reasons these three decided to opt out of high school. “I did not feel challenged enough in high school, especially certain classes,” said Mochizuki, who often finished his math work rapidly and had a lot of free time for the rest of the period. Zhou also felt the same way and sought a greater challenge that would also allow him to enter the workforce early, learn new things, and meet people with the same interests as him.

Both Mochizuki and Zhou are interested in the computer science classes that UW has to offer. Mochizuki wants to focus more on software programming or web development as he is hoping to work for Google or Microsoft in the future. Zhou, on the other hand, is more interested in either hardware design or system development and seeks employment at Google or AMD.

By leaving high school early, it is likely that these three will miss out on some important high school experiences like prom and graduation. “I think it’s a worthy sacrifice in the name of education,” said Zhou, who agrees that he will be skipping key high school events. Mochizuki, on the other hand, thinks that he’s already missing out as he’s only been focusing on school and not on extracurricular activities.

Despite missing out on a normal high school experience, these three are all excited to get a jump start in their life. “I’m excited for the freedom that college has to offer,” said Zhou. College allows a flexible schedule where students can pick the classes they want, when they want them.

With all of this in mind, students who want a challenge and feel they would be able to handle a greater workload can consider applying for this opportunity. For more information, students can check out the Robinsons Center for Young Scholars page on the UW website. 

Raven Abridello
Brandon Mochizuki hopes to work for Google or Microsoft

Raven Abridello
Johnathan Zhou is looking into computer science

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