Readying for a new chapter of her life

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Point Pleasant Borough High School senior Soncera “Sunny” Ball is celebrating her acceptance into four Ivy League schools and will be a freshman at Princeton University this fall. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

Point Pleasant Borough High School senior Soncera “Sunny” Ball is celebrating her acceptance into four Ivy League schools: Brown, Cornell, Yale and Princeton universities.

Sunny, who is currently first in her class and an All-Eastern musician, has also been accepted into numerous other schools across the country including Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Honors College and Mason Gross School of the Arts; as well as “Little Ivy” colleges including Amherst College, Vassar College and Bucknell University.

“It sort of has always been my dream since I was very young. I was 11 years old the first time I visited Princeton’s campus, which is very close to home for us,” Sunny told The Ocean Star. 

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“It is a beautiful place to walk around, but it also has such an incredible academic environment and there is a sort of respectful quiet but exciting energy at the same time. I always knew that was where I wanted to go, but I never knew if I would be able to do it or not.

“As I started to get responses from a couple colleges I was sort of disheartened at first, because a couple colleges that were, by the numbers, easier to get into, I got wait-listed to, so I gave up hope early on, but it was so exciting when I finally got those acceptance letters. All the Ivy Leagues came out late this year because they had a lot of applicants and it was a gratifying moment knowing that I would actually be able to have the life that I had worked for, so it was so exciting and there was a lot of yelling.

“Princeton always felt right to me. It is not just the campus; it is something about the way that college is and the things that are important at Princeton have always been important to me and I was looking for a place where I can focus on my academics and not have to sacrifice anything else for that. Princeton also has a really amazing music program and a really amazing study abroad program … and I think Princeton is a place where I can practice my art and practice my academics.”

Sunny’s mom Katie spoke further about her daughter’s love of Princeton and why it was an easy decision to say yes to attending the university in the fall.

“She has been visiting Ivy League campuses for years, and it has always been her dream to be able to study at one of these schools. Her love affair with Princeton started in middle school, when she toured the campus and visited the art museum,” she told The Ocean Star.

“At that time, she also attended a three-week camp at Princeton, which allowed her to stay in the dorms and attend classes at the university. Ever since then, she has worked incredibly hard to make her Ivy League dream a reality. She toured campuses, sat in on classes, and connected with the horn instructors at the universities.  

“She was shocked and thrilled to have been accepted not only to Princeton, but also the other amazing institutions. While it did feel strange to decline Yale, Princeton has always been where she sees herself learning and growing. In the end, it was an easy decision.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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