Strengthening Students

George School promotes self-discovery and strength, both as a student and an individual. Rebecca Kim ’22 has found this to be true. Rebecca is proud to be an American-Korean and identifies fully with both cultures. Prior to George School, she found it difficult at times to be ‘different’ in her predominantly white school system and among peers who felt it was okay to make hurtful comments.

“When I visited George School, I was so happy to see a diverse student body and knew immediately that I wanted to attend,” said Rebecca. “I felt embraced and respected by George School and that my opinions mattered. While not everything is perfect, George School strives to be better and is willing to have difficult conversations and I respect that very much,” continued Rebecca.

In the classroom, Rebecca explained, “I always considered myself strong academically, but I learned that academics at George School was very different than my previous experience and to be successful, you must learn how to be a learner. [My English teacher] Shantel Hubert has had a profound impact on me. She taught me how to use my voice and channel it through writing. English has always been my favorite subject and I felt I was a good student. However, in one of my assignments in my freshman year, I received a low grade and was shocked. I could not understand what I was doing incorrectly as I always excelled in my previous school. But they never provided constructive feedback to enable me to grow. George School did, and I had to take time to rebuild my writing skills and reinvent myself as a writer. Consequently, I am a more thoughtful and stronger writer now.”

As a student taking both Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, Rebecca has a heavy academic workload. Asking for assistance is something she learned to embrace. “Prior to George School, I would figure things out as best I could on my own and would never say that I did not understand what was being taught,” said Rebecca. “I quickly learned that at George School, it is a sign of strength to ask for support and that is why we have so many opportunities for consultation. Subjects like math and science build upon prior information so if you miss something, there will be long-term consequences. I now realize it is natural to ask for help and this has given me so much confidence and control over my learning. I understand myself as a student and what I need to grow.”

Outside of the classroom, Rebecca’s joy is music. “Music is everything to me and I cannot imagine not having it in my life,” said Rebecca. “I play the clarinet, am part of the George School Wind Ensemble, and am a member of the pit band for musicals. During the last musical, I also transposed music for other instruments as we had a limited number of musicians.”

While Rebecca doesn’t particularly enjoy sports, she is thankful that George School requires students to have a balanced education which includes involvement in sports. “When I play field hockey, I notice a difference,” commented Rebecca. “It is a great way to release stress and it makes me feel healthier. Walking to the fourth floor in Main after practice or a game is still a challenge, but it makes me feel stronger and more balanced.”

As a boarding student, Rebecca has learned so much from her international roommate and her friends in the dorm. “Nowhere else could I have had this experience,” she said. “Being in the dorm is like having another family. The prefects and dorm parents provide a support structure and are always there for the students. In particular, Kyle Abbott is so kind and knows intuitively when someone on the floor needs extra care. He will simply sit there and listen.”

Another friendship she is grateful for is with alumnus Pete Loucks ’50. “Pete supports the Class of 1950 Scholarship of which I am the current recipient,” explained Rebecca. “I had the opportunity to meet Pete during my freshman year when my family and I travelled to Cornell University to meet him. He is such a wonderful and kind man. Without this generous support, I would not be able to attend George School. My family and I greatly value education, and it was very important that we say thank you to Pete in person for his generosity. I feel thankful to have developed such positive relationships at George School.”