Maybe you noticed that this blog hasn’t been updated in a few weeks? Just asking for a friend. This is the time of year when it is very hard for me to stay focused. It seems the busier I get, the harder it is for me to actually accomplish important tasks. I’m seeing (and fearing) the same for my kids too. If I can’t get away with mailing it in until the end of the year, neither can they. As a focused school employee—and motivated parent looking for ways to support my less than motivated student—I consulted with our Upper School Learning Specialists Anne Sellon and Kathryn Roessler, on how to survive thrive through the end of the school year.
I sat down with a recent graduate of St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes who is currently studying English with a concentration in creative writing at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. I asked Caroline to respond to three specific questions. Below are notes from our conversation:
Me: What creative writing experiences were you part of at SSSAS? How were you supported?
Caroline: I came to college with a strong foundation in writing thanks to my teachers at SSSAS who pushed me and encouraged me to write more. I specifically remember sophomore year in Dr. Klein’s class, when we compiled quarterly journals. Dr. Klein encouraged us to include creative writing. I submitted a creative essay about an epiphany I had experienced, and when I read it aloud in class Dr. Klein said it sounded like the work of someone who reads a lot. (She was right!) In all my English classes there was a combination of critical and creative writing, and I felt fortunate to exercise all parts of my brain throughout my high school career.
"Today, my life was changed. As we walked into camp, the kids ran to us as we got off the bus with “love you's” and “hi.” It was humbling to see each of them share their food, water, love, and endless kindness. I never thought I could go to a place and not be homesick, but Haiti has changed my outlook on life."
—JASMINE VARGAS '19
More reflections on Haiti.
At St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School, we design service learning opportunities to change student perspectives and empower students to pursue work for the common good. The travel-based service learning opportunities we provide give students the ability to apply their knowledge to complex projects so that they can gain a greater understanding of the role and reward of a life of service. Through collaboration with communities around the world, many of which have bloomed into ongoing partnerships, we strive to help our students take meaningful action that improves the quality of life for all. Additionally, these rich global service learning opportunities may comprise the majority of a student's service project, a requirement for graduation. Up to 40 service project hours may be fulfilled through a global or national service through the school.
Read about the transformational global service learning experiences St. Stephen and St. Agnes students are having as told by them.
“Life is a journey, not a destination,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson and so, too, is the Upper School at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes. Our faculty, program offerings and curricula provide our students with deep knowledge, incredible skills, confidence, breadth of exposure and balance. All of these will serve our students well and are not simply a stepping stone towards college. That said, we share the expectations of our students and their parents that a Saints education will prepare students for continued education at a wide range of top colleges, universities, and service academies that reflect the diversity of our students.
So, how do we approach and do it? There are two key elements to the success of our seniors in their college admission process: the commitment and dedication of our experts and our college counseling program, which is actually introduced in the Middle School!