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College degree for El Dorado Hills teenager

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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While her middle school classmates were graduating from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills this spring, Alexandra Sanne was graduating at the top of her class ? from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. Sanne, who prefers being called Ali, enrolled as a freshman at the women?s college at age 14, graduating at 17. She?ll be 18 on Aug. 8, making her a Leo astrologically, which is OK with her. ?I?ve heard that Leos are ambitious and outgoing. I like to think of myself as being those two things,? she said. She doesn?t regret forgoing high school for college. Her homesickness during her freshman year at times made her physically ill but she adjusted to life and schooling at 800 on-campus student Mary Baldwin. Her high school in-touch moments were attending a homecoming and a junior-senior prom with a friend and dating students at a nearby men?s boarding college and a military school. Almost daily telephone or e-mail contact with her parents and her younger brother helped fill the distance gap. With undergraduate studies behind her, Sanne is considering attending graduate school, possibly studying for a master?s degree in business or engineering or a law degree. ?There are a lot of options,? she said. During the current summer break, Sanne is working as an associate account manager for TrialGraphix, a Washington, D.C., jury and trial consulting firm, where she maintains relationships with clients and manages accounts. Born in Carmichael and growing up in El Dorado Hills since age 4 are strong ties to California and the West Coast and ?I want to go back to California,? she said, but she has ?fallen in love? with the nation?s capital, the major center for all things government and political. ?It?s important for me to explore,? said Sanne, who once thought about running for office one day but said now her preference would be to work ?behind the scenes? in politics. Her political heroine is Hillary Clinton, ?definitely. She?s done a lot for women,? she said. Mary Baldwin is a two-hour drive to D.C. and her present job gives her a taste of life in the capital. The city also feeds her interest in international relations, the field in which she earned her degree and was the top graduate in her major and in the top 10 percent of the total graduating class. Sanne was accepted for but turned down offers to work as an unpaid intern this summer for California Governor Jerry Brown and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson so she could remain in D.C. She?s still a Sacramento Kings fan and worked for the team last summer selling tickets to businesses. Sanne studied French for one year and Spanish for two years in college. Her international relations area of interest is foreign policy. She believes she?ll return to California one day, but not permanently to El Dorado Hills. ?I do love the Sacramento area and have a great love for where I grew up but I also love being close to a coast line so it will probably be Southern California or towards the central coast,? she said. When she left for Mary Baldwin, Sanne?s interest was in medical school and becoming a pediatrician. ?It?s something I would have loved to do but I wanted to be good at whatever I was going to go into and it just didn?t pique my interest as much as I thought it would,? she said. ?I was just 13 back then.? Travel is of interest and Sanne visited every state on the Eastern seaboard and studied ethics for three weeks in Europe at the end of her sophomore year, touring Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. Her parents and brother Logan, a junior at Oak Ridge High School, live in Governor Village in El Dorado Hills. Her father works for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. ?Mary Baldwin was a great experience,? summed up Sanne. ?I don?t think it?s for everybody but I?m glad I did it. I know there were times when it would have been better for me to go to high school, but I?m glad I went to college.?