Class of 2021

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CLAIRE, Class of 2021
Elementary/Middle School: Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
Activities/Interests: Varsity Track & Field (STA), Rowing, Newspaper (STA), UMKC Youth Court, The Sunrise Movement, Podcast

Why did you choose to attend St. Teresa's Academy?
It was originally my parent's notion that I attend STA. When I was five years old and we first moved to Kansas City, my babysitters went to St. Teresa’s. My parents were so impressed by their commitment to their homework and their respectability towards me and my parents, they knew then they were going to send me to STA. As I grew up, I began to look forward to attending a school full of people who were as committed to having a great education as I wanted to be, and to be around strong women my age.

What has been your favorite class at STA?
I am on The Dart newspaper, and I can fully say that it has changed my life. It guided me to finding my own voice creatively, and how to uplift the voices in the community. The Dart allowed me to experience leadership and responsibility, which I think is rare, and to have fluid teamwork with a staff of insanely smart individuals.

What is your favorite part of the STA community?
I would say that each class is bonded together through STA. It isn't often that you find whole high school classes who can all genuinely say they've talked to every single person in their grade - and at STA you can! Despite the individual friend groups that reside within the grade, you can rely on any member for support. Nobody would hesitate to fall over themselves to make sure that you're having the best day possible.

What has been your most memorable experience at STA?
One of my most memorable experiences was teaching a class during STA’s Interim Week last year about Jewish holidays and Jewish food. I was given the opportunity to completely shape my own curriculum for three days and use the kitchen to cook traditional Jewish foods. I really connected with the other girls, and I believe made an impact on them by giving them a personal connection to Judaism.

Looking back at your year(s) at STA, what would you tell yourself on the first day of school?
Looking back on my three years, I would probably tell myself to allow room for growth. The people in my life and my life goals have changed a lot thanks to STA. At times, it scared me and I felt unrecognizable to myself, so being open to that change and growth would be my piece of advice because I truly am the best person I can possibly be today.

What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering STA?
To prospective students, I would tell them to talk to as many STA students as possible. Everybody wants to be your friend, no matter if they come from a school with 20 girls or they're the only one. This also goes with being the first one to talk. Everyone is just as nervous as you are, and trust me, they'll be grateful if you start the conversation.

What is the one thing you have learned most about yourself? How has STA helped you discover that?
After three years of attending STA, I learned to protect my core values. When it comes to that, I always come first. I learned to stand my ground and allowed myself to be shaped by others without losing who I am as an individual.