Cassandra Cree - Second Prize Winner

Last week, College Admissions Assistance, LLC (CAA) announced the five winners of its seventh annual scholarship contest, and Cassandra Cree was awarded the $750 Second Prize. Cassandra told CAA in a phone interview that she plans to use her scholarship winnings for books and classes at Humboldt State.   Born and raised in West Hills, CA, Cassandra is excited to move to Northern California to attend Humboldt State in the fall where she will double major in elementary education and dance. She hopes to one day inspire and teach others through dance because it is her passion. “It is my main hobby and I haven’t had many others that I have actually stuck with like I have with dance,” she said.  Cassandra has participated in the activity since the age of five when she joined her first studio. While at Humboldt State, she plans to join a dance team and has already signed up to take Thai Chi and Modern Dance.   In addition to dance she has spent a lot of her spare time volunteering. “I went to school with over 5,000 kids and over 1,000 in my grade alone so there was plenty to do,” she explained. She told CAA that she worked on a ranch helping special needs students, raised money for awareness for kids on the front lines in Congo, and earned over 50 hours of community service for her confirmation.   Cassandra said she would advise underclassmen to start their college and career planning early and should be honest with themselves explaining that it isn’t easy to do on your own. Now that it’s summer, she said she plans to spend time with her family and friends but will also perform in a dance recital and then a dance competition in Las Vegas. She said she expects that her mom will be by her side as usual.   “My mom is really proud of my dancing and she’s been there every time I’ve performed,” she said. “We have a really close relationship and she’s kind of freaking out about me going to college.”   Humboldt State’s nickname is “Hills and Stairs,” which is fine with Cassandra being the active individual she is. “You walk everywhere,” she explained. “But it’s a great way to stay in shape and you’re right in the middle of the Redwoods!” In addition to walking the hills and stairs of Humboldt’s campus, she told CAA that she found its diversity most inspiring and looks forward to learning more about the humble town of Arcata.   “When I visited, it was a normal school day with everyone walking around,” she explained. “There were a lot of ‘hippies’ and athletes, which is much different than who you see walking around in West Hills. It is a very free atmosphere, which is what I was looking for.”   Cassandra said CAA helped her stay organized and on track to realize her dream of earning her bachelor’s degree. “I was first thinking that I would start at a community college,” she explained. “CAA helped guide me through the process, step-by-step, to get me caught-up with everything necessary to start at a four-year college.” She said she would recommend the CAA program to help others realize their dreams.   “I am so grateful that I found CAA,” she said. “I would recommend them to anyone that needs help getting started.”