Abby Byrtus ’20

Farmingdale, New JerseyUniversity of Vermont
For Abby, some of the biggest lessons of George School were learned half a world away.

Is there something at George School that has made a big impact on you?

The impact of my service trip cannot be overstated. Going to Uganda opened my eyes to how big the world is and how different each culture is. It changed me for the better.

The first week, we worked in a school. We shared experiences, helped bring water from the well, played sports, helped teach English lessons, and brought gifts and supplies. The second week, we traveled the country, going to national parks and on excursions to see different animals. We went to see a family of gorillas living in the mountain range between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I am so glad I went because I fell in love with traveling and working with animals. I found my passion on this trip and plan to go to college for zoology.

What is it like to live in a dorm?

Living in a dorm is amazing. It’s really like a second family. Everyone is extremely supportive of each other when it comes to keeping up on homework, making sure your mental health is good, and making everyone feel safe and welcomed. The best part about it is weekends. We often bake cookies and watch movies. We even introduced Friday night Shabbat dinners for everyone in the dorm when a specific dorm parent is on duty. There is always something to do on weekends, and there are always people around.

More about Abby:

Involved in many school theatrical productions, Abby is on the Student Activities Board, Class of 2020 Executive Team, and ROAR (Reaching Out for Animal Rights), for which she is a leader. She received the school’s Laramore Award as a “quiet giver.”