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Amira Brownell Selected by UPenn for Summer Seminars

Amira Brownell '22 does not readily take NO for an answer. When Amira competed to be one of the students that Sanford sent to the HOBY Leadership Program at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, she was not selected. Not to be deterred, Amira and her mom researched leadership programs at universities that more closely aligned with Amira’s interests and could possibly become places to consider as collegiate choices. Amira moved forward with the application process and, as a result, Amira will spend a good portion of her summer at the Wharton School on the University of Pennsylvania campus as a participant in the highly competitive three-week Wharton Sports Business Academy and the two-week Wharton Essentials of Finance Program.
In order to be considered for these prestigious and highly competitive summer opportunities, Amira had to complete an extensive online application, write two essays for each program, and provide letters of recommendation. Amira shared: "I felt from my research that the Wharton programs were a great match for my skill set and interests, and I am so pleased to have been accepted by both of them."

Amira plays for Sanford’s field hockey and lacrosse teams, and she admits to being both an athlete and a sports fan, but what she really likes is the business behind the athletic competitions. She elaborated: “I am a big Villanova fan, especially men’s basketball. Their excellent coach, Jay Wright, earns $3.9 million dollars per season, more than many administrators and educators at the school. How can he earn that much money when others do not? I am curious about the programs and their impact on the revenue of the institution and how that money is distributed. Sports requires athletes, but it is very much about business and not just the people.”

The Essentials of Finance Program directly connects with Amira’s interest in money and how it works. "How do you manage your funds to ensure that your expenses don’t outweigh your income and your liabilities don’t outweigh your assets?" she asked. "I am hoping that this summer I will have the chance to apply the principles of mathematics that I know and, more importantly, prepare for the future high-level math courses I intend to study in the next two years."

Amira recognizes that leadership does not always immediately translate to management. As a sophomore and a member of Sanford clubs such as the Black Student Union, Diversity Alliance, and Student Activities, Amira has not yet had the opportunity to hold an office, and UPenn’s application focused heavily on the concept of leadership. She stated: "Leaders exist at all levels of an organization and oftentimes your greatest leadership opportunities exist in your personal interactions." Amira used her own family to explain: "I take my responsibility as the older sister very seriously. In one of my essays, I discussed the leadership required to be a positive role model for my 13-year-old brother. It is too easy to get involved with the wrong things, and my choices send a very strong positive message to him about how he should remain true to himself and always work to be the best version of himself. Day-to-day decisions reflect your character and your leadership in ways that differ from being a president of a club. Both serve important functions, but too often we don’t always remember to emphasize the power of leading by example."

Lauren More, UPenn’s Director of Summer High School Programs, stated in her letters of acceptance to Amira: "Our programs are designed to educate and inspire, and we hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity. Your academic accomplishments indicate you’ll make a great addition to the Wharton community, and we look forward to hosting you this summer." We congratulate Amira for her selection and look forward to hearing about her summer adventures and experiences that will include living in a dorm with students from all across the world and participating in these two educational academies.

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