Sara Luzuriaga ’16 takes her place in Andover history as the most recent Editor in Chief of The Phillipian. Her passion and commitment have made her a leader on campus, and she continues to make her mark within the Andover community. We talked to Sara about her experiences at Andover, and her involvement with The Phillipian and other clubs.
What does life outside of Andover look like for you?
My dad was born and raised in Ecuador, and my mom was born in England and spent her teenage years in the United States. I was born in London, but have lived for most of my life in Havertown, a suburb of Philadelphia. I have an 18-year-old brother named Max, who is a freshman at Brown University, and a 15-year-old sister named Paula who is severely mentally disabled. Not a lot of people know about my little sister’s disability. When Paula was born, she was a completely perfect baby. At the age of six months, however, she suffered a series of seizures that severely stunted the development of her brain. We love her dearly, and she has taught me so much about responsibility, maturity, and how to put others before myself. I love her more than anything, and would do anything and everything in my power to make sure she is safe and happy.
As far as hobbies go, I have been dancing since I was three years old. Here at Andover, I take ballet as a sport every day, and I am a member of Andover Dance Group, the advanced modern dance group on campus, and Blue Strut, a student-run jazz dance group. I chose to come to Andover in pursuit of a great challenge. I wanted to be pushed in all aspects of my life, and I have found that here, I work harder every single day.
How has being a part of The Phillipian impacted your experience at Andover?
Becoming part of the Editorial Board for The Phillipian completely changed my Andover experience. Never before have I been so devoted to one single thing. I spend about 40 hours per week working on the paper, and those 40 hours are comprised of editing articles, meeting with different sections, meeting with faculty and staff, planning future events, trying desperately to prevent mistakes each week, and doing damage control for the mistakes we inevitably make. It is an incredible amount of time, work, and stress, but I absolutely love it. The paper itself is beautiful – mistakes and all, I am filled with pride each time I read it and see the results of all those hours in the cramped, windowless newsroom in the basement of Morse. More importantly, though, I love being part of the Editorial board. I love working for hours each week with a group of the most intelligent, interesting, passionate and talented people I have ever met. The newsroom itself is a living, breathing entity, and it’s amazing to be part of that legacy. Lastly, it is a great privilege to inform the students and faculty. We strive to cover all the main events on campus – all news, every Varsity athletic competition, every performance or gallery opening – and also form a connection to our readers through student and faculty features and the opinions in the Commentary section. I love this incredible responsibility.
What are some characteristics you think make a good leader?
I’m still working hard to figure out how to be a good leader. My biggest goal as a leader is to inspire others to work, as opposed to yelling and screaming at the board. I think I’m good at being efficient with work and staying organized, which is incredibly important to the journalistic process. I’m also good at staying calm in stressful situations.
Lastly, what is one piece of advice would you give readers?
I would like to encourage readers to strive ceaselessly for greatness, and to push themselves further than they could have ever imagined. Success never comes easily, and when achieved, it isn’t glamorous or easy. I would advise readers to put everything they have into their work, and they will accomplish anything.