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South Carolina Honors College

Leah DeFreitas

Ask me about… Campus involvement, transferring into Honors, and studying abroad!

I’m a junior from right outside Washington, D.C. majoring in Journalism and minoring in Spanish. I would love to combine my passion for storytelling and social justice and turn it into a career. After graduation, my goal is to attend law school and pursue a career in advocacy while freelance writing simultaneously.   

My advice for prospective students: Explore Garnet Gate before coming to campus! I was able to find some really great organizations on Garnet Gate as a senior in high school. I knew exactly when their interest meetings and auditions were in the fall, and I was able to get involved right away.

My advice for current students: Take advantage of the resources on campus by scheduling advising appointments, tutoring, resume building workshops, and other events that can help you reach your goals. I really appreciate getting to work on my application essays at the writing center.

My favorite thing about the Honors College: The small class sizes in honors align with my learning style so well. I’ve loved getting to know my professors on a more personal level, and I feel like I retain a lot more knowledge from my Honors courses.

My reason for choosing the SCHC: After being admitted into UofSC as a Capstone Scholar, I met a lot of Honors students through my campus organizations and heard glowing reviews about the Honors College. The students I knew in the Honors College were driven and ambitious, and I wanted to surround myself with individuals like them. I wanted to get the most of my academic experience in college, so I applied as a current student, and today I am an Honors Ambassador!

My hobbies: I love writing, “veganizing” traditional global recipes, and making Spotify playlists inspired by the places I travel. Most recently, I’ve been cooking vegan paella and creating playlists inspired by my study abroad trip to Cádiz, Spain!

Something I’m proud of: Last year, I joined the UofSC Mock Trial Program. I had no experience with Mock Trial prior to college, but as a pre-law student I really wanted to get involved. After just one semester, I made it onto a varsity team in the spring and won an award for my performance as a witness!

Skill I’d like to master: I would like to become professionally fluent in Spanish. As a Spanish minor, I am now taking an Honors Business Spanish class and I’m really loving the challenge. I can already see my vocabulary expanding to fit into more professional spaces.

Favorite study music: I love studying while listening to bossa nova and jazz music. My family is from Brazil, so bossa nova always gives me the same comforting feeling I had while visiting my grandparents during the holidays.

Favorite childhood memory: Every night in high school when I was up late doing homework, my dad would come downstairs to make a midnight snack of a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It wasn’t until I went off to college that I realized he came down to the kitchen just to check on me. Now every time I eat a PB&J, I think of him.

My hero: Anthony Bourdain. As a storyteller and lover of food and culture, his work will always have my heart.

My escape: The Kappa Kappa Gamma house. You can find me on a couch with a cup of tea and a Netflix movie, or on the porch swing having my lunch while enjoying the South Carolina fall weather. I’ve always felt like the house was a safe space for me to take a break from the real world.


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