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Ariana Di Landro '21 Studies at Governor's School

Rudy Brandl

Ariana Di Landro ‘21, a rising senior at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School, recently completed an exciting and enlightening month of study at The New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology (GSET) at Rutgers University.

The Governor's School of Engineering & Technology (GSET) is a unique and intensive residential summer program that brings together some of New Jersey’s most talented and motivated high school students. This year, only 18 percent of the applicants were admitted. At no cost to their families, students spend one month of the summer learning through team-based courses and collaborating on cutting-edge topics. The scholars work with peers and professors who are both very smart and very enthusiastic about engineering and technology. 

“I was really nervous first going into GSET, and I had major imposter syndrome,” said Ariana, who had to complete an extensive and competitive application that included two essays, three short answers questions, a two-minute elevator pitch video and a resume. “I genuinely believed that I did not belong there and I am still in shock that I was accepted but now I know that I did belong there. The scholars I was surrounded with were all so driven, ambitious, intellectual and social. I've learned so much about friendships, engineering, leadership, previews of college life and a little bit more about myself.”

This summer, Governor’s Scholars took four academic online classes, completed a virtual research and/or design project in a group, and met equally talented peers and professionals from across the state.  Governor’s Scholars are expected to work very hard and go beyond the already outstanding work they have done in high school. Ariana certainly was challenged by the program.

All GSET students took core classes in robotics and physics. Ariana’s electives were How Stuff Works: Material Science Engineering Edition and the Fundamentals of Micro and Nanofabrication. Her group project was called Cellular Properties and Lipid Synthesis.

“The program's prestige is something that will make my college application stand out for sure, but I believe that the community of GSETers everywhere is a far greater benefit,” Ariana said. “Many of us will go on to do so many life-changing things and the connections with these people will be crucial in figuring out who I want to be and what I want to do in my future. I cannot be more grateful and proud to be a GSET 2020 Alumna.”