ITC Student Studies Law at Stanford University Summer ProgramSince she was in 4th grade, ITC incoming sophomore Samaia Goodrich has said she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up.
Her fourth grade English teacher, Kristina Russo, once asked Samaia what she wanted to be when she grew up. When Samaia said ‘a lawyer,’ Ms. Russo asked her to research the top law schools in the country and share what she discovered.
“From that moment on, I’d tell my family and friends, ‘I’m going to Stanford!’” Samaia said.
This summer, Samaia had the opportunity to do just that – she was invited to spend two weeks at Stanford University as part of the Envision Intensive Law and Trial Program. Along with 140 high school students from across the country and internationally, Samaia spent her days in collegiate style lectures with some of the best law professors, walking the grounds of the prestigious campus.
As part of a “firm,” Samaia and her fellow students were assigned to work together examining a specific law case over the course of the session. They learned the art of defense versus prosecution, direct versus cross-examination, and more. They were required to take copious notes and study each evening, while living in the school’s dorms. The students were also immersed in evening activities to promote team building and fun outside of the classroom – with the experience culminating with a day trip to San Francisco, a dinner cruise, a mock trial, and a certificate ceremony.
“I really appreciated this experience,” Samaia said. “My parents always say that life is about exposure and experiences. It was tough the first few days, because I really missed my family. I think all of the students did! But when I connected with some of the other girls in my firm and got comfortable with the format of the lectures, I was okay. I’m not sure I would want to come this far to go to college, but I know that I’ve been blessed to make it here because I literally believed every day from elementary school through my freshman year in high school that I was going to be on this campus one day. I just didn’t know it would be through this program! We have to see it, believe it, and put the hard work in to achieve our dreams – helping and encouraging others along the way. That’s what me and the friends I’ve met here do each and every day.”
Samaia wanted to say a special thank you to her 4th grade teacher, Kristina Russo, who is now a teacher at Syracuse Latin.
“Never underestimate the power of a teacher who challenges and has high expectations for their students no matter the age,” she said.
Congratulations to Samaia on this impressive opportunity – we wish you the best as you continue on your path to becoming a lawyer one day!
Thank you to some of the major sponsors who supported Samaia in this experience, including The Gifford Foundation, YWCA, Mark and Karla Hall, Mercy Works, Gwen Inc., and a host of other individuals.