Every spring at Reunions, George School recognizes alumni who have excelled in their chosen profession or have done extraordinary things through volunteer and philanthropic endeavors. This year, the selection committee has chosen Lila Anton ’01 to receive the George School Young Alumni Award for many reasons, among them her impressive work with Netflix Japan. We asked Lila a few questions about her experience at George School and what the award means to her.
Q: What does receiving the George School Young Alumni Award mean to you?
A: In a way, receiving the award is a full-circle moment. George School was more impactful for me than college as it was where my world opened up – I learned English and made lifetime friends. I have received other awards throughout my career, but no one knows me like George School, so this award is the most important for me.
Q: What drew you to George School?
A: My older brother attended George School as well! My parents knew that if my siblings and I grew up in Japan without speaking English, our lives would be limited. So, my father did an extensive study of all the boarding schools in the United States. George School appealed to my parents because although they are not religious, they align with the Quaker faith of God being within. This made my parents feel more comfortable sending me so far away for school.
Q: What was your favorite moment or memory from George School?
A: I can’t pick just one – here are my top three.
Dorm life is one of my favorite memories at George School because when you live with your friends for so long, you see a lot and get to know them on a deeper level. The friendships I hold from George School are a different type of relationship compared to my other friends as we grew up together from a young age.
Going to Palestine and Israel my junior year was a huge experience for me.
During my freshman year, someone a few years older suddenly passed away. I’ll never forget the campus uniting together at the steps by the red square, built in memory of Carter, to grieve, make sure his legacy lived on, and learn about the preciousness of life.
Q: Do you have any advice for current George School students?
A: Soak it in. Take on all the opportunities that George School provides and expand yourself. Get to know a lot of different people – don’t stay in your bubble. Once you graduate, continue to be in touch with everyone.
Q: When did you first become interested in media and marketing?
A: Communicating through storytelling is something that I have always been drawn to. At George School, I made a lot of videos of different dorm life activities. After graduating from Guilford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology, I wasn’t sure how to apply my degree in the working world. At one interview, the interviewer (who later ended up being my boss) told me that the study of sociology correlates with marketing perfectly because you have to be aware of how people interact within the different contexts of society.
Q: Any closing remarks?
A: I am so thankful that George School is recognizing me. It was such a great surprise and made me feel glad. When I think of George School, it warms my heart as it was such an important place for me. I talk about George School quite a lot and can’t speak highly enough of the faculty because they care.