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QSI Astana - Sara and Sofya

By Dr. Terry Burns
QSI Astana Counselor 

This is the time of year where we get to celebrate our QSI Astana graduates. 

We are highlighting two of our outstanding young QSIA women, who just happen to be best friends. I am not entirely sure whether quality people attract quality people, or perhaps these two friends just encouraged each other to excellence, but what a dynamic duo of “Doing things right.”

Sara Enns

Sara Enns is originally from Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her parents, Phillip and Lori Enns, are professors at the esteemed Nazarbayev University here in Astana. She has literally grown up in Kazakhstan and has attended QSI since 2012.

Sara is graduating this year with a perfect 4.0, a host of AP courses, and, as you may have guessed, all perfect scores. She is extremely humble and would be embarrassed by all this praise, but her SAT score was not too shabby either. 

In addition to being an outstanding academic student, Sara was also an influential leader on the soccer pitch and in the gym. 

After getting offers from literally every top school in Canada, and especially the University of Toronto, Sara has committed to Waterloo University in Kitchener-Waterloo. When asked about her university choice, Sara explained, “I picked UW because it had a dedicated faculty for environment studies. I discovered the specific program, ‘Climate and Environmental Change’ during the summer of 2021, and researched it extensively. I knew I would enjoy the course material as well as the prestige of being one of the first students in the program (it's new - starting Fall 2022).” As a co-op student in this new and exciting program, she can earn up to $20,000 each work term and often these graduates wind up working right where they did their co-op placements!

When Sara was asked about why she didn’t apply to the Ivies, she simply stated, “I know where I want to study and live and that is Canada.” A friend nearby added, “But wouldn’t you like to have turned down Harvard?”

Sara credits the AP Capstone program for preparing her for the “feel” of university life and competitiveness.

When it comes to identifying the real leader in a room, Sara is usually that leader. She is soft-spoken and wise, and when she speaks, “Everybody listens.” 

Sara hopes to work as a researcher or data analyst in the field of environmental science or to work with an NGO/charity organization. 

Sofya Detkina

The second member of our Dynamic Duo of “Doing things right,” is Sofya Detkina. Sofya’s story is unique and heartwarming.

Sofya enrolled at QSIA as a 7-year-old and has studied in two buildings and has a lot to say about “literally” growing up at QSIA. A scholarship student, Sofya will graduate with a 3.92 average, a long list of AP courses and a very respectable SAT score. She is a Kazakh citizen and is proud of her country.
Sofya has been a perennial member of just about every sports team and serves as the President of our National Honors Society.

Sofya is just one of those people who never has a down day, nor do you ever hear a negative word about anyone coming from her. She is all about relationships and remarked, “Now, I view all of my relationships as gardens that I have to tend and look after, so the plants there don't wilt.”  She sees each person as an opportunity to make an “investment.” She added, “This school made me curious about people. Nowadays, there is never a person whom I run across that I think of as ‘boring and dull.’" She has learned to always look for the hidden good in everyone she meets.

Additionally, Sofya values her Mastery Learning experience and shared, “I know that I can never quit on anything, because each and every TSW must be fully mastered, so why avoid what must be done.” She has prided herself for working hard and has always honored the school academic integrity policy. “No one needs be dishonest in this system,” she added. Sofya explains that her character was very much formed by our Success Orientations. She reminisced, “I used to love to win prizes for being good; I eventually lived out those SO principles because they are the right way to live.”

Sofya will be studying at LCC International University after receiving a full scholarship and will major in International Relations and Development. One of the most polished public speakers we have ever seen at the secondary level, it will not be difficult to envision her leading and communicating for any organization fortunate enough to hire her.