Freshman Starts at Manhattan Following Perfect High School Career

An aspiring lawyer, Samantha Corrado ’16 hopes to achieve similar standards in college.

With less than three weeks left before the first day of classes, Samantha Corrado picked up James Patterson’s newest book 11th Hour — a fitting choice for the soon-to-be Jasper who hadn’t shopped or packed anything for school yet.

Samantha CorradoBut if Corrado’s past is any indication for the future, she shouldn’t be worried.

The 17-year-old from Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., graduated a year early from Walter Panas High School with a perfect 100 percent grade average.  

Able to choose from nearly any college she wanted to attend, Corrado set her sights on Manhattan, the same school from which her grandfather, Fred Corrado, graduated in 1961.

“I liked the small class sizes,” she says. “I didn’t want to be in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of people. I prefer one-on-one interaction.”

Personalized academics have certainly worked well in the past for Corrado, who completed her high school degree early by adding two courses to her schedule through Florida Virtual School, one of the nation’s first accredited online high schools.

“When I first met Samantha during her interview, I was quite impressed by her maturity and enthusiasm for learning,” says Dana Rose, director of Admissions at Manhattan. “I knew immediately that Samantha would enrich our campus community because of her interest in campus life and her commitment to continuing her academic success.”

Throughout her time at Walter Panas, Corrado balanced Advanced Placement classes with honors math and science courses, and even found time to compete in gymnastics, a sport she’s enjoyed since the age of eight.

The oldest of three, Corrado says her parents were always supportive but never strict about grades — a successful model, considering her own achievements and that of her younger brother, who also boasts a perfect average in middle school.

I want to go to law school, so I’m keeping my options open. [Becoming a lawyer] was the first thing I ever wanted to do.

During the summer, Corrado spent her time like most high school grads do — at the beach, at concerts, at the aquarium and zoo — with one exception: at a university-level calculus course at Westchester Community College.

“I like the classroom setting,” she admits. “I just really like learning and knowing things.”

Which is why Corrado can’t wait to get started as a psychology major at Manhattan. She even has plans to add a philosophy minor — the course of study with the best LSAT results, she explains.

“I want to go to law school, so I’m keeping my options open,” she says. “[Becoming a lawyer] was the first thing I ever wanted to do.”

Confident in her class schedule — which also includes Italian for fun — Corrado says she’s equally excited about the college experience, gearing up for dorm life in East Hill and Saturdays in the City.

And there’s no doubt that she’ll find time to keep reading Patterson, her favorite author and fellow Jasper success story.

“Manhattan’s good name and the success of its graduates was certainly a characteristic that led me to ultimately choose the school,” she says.