December 10, 2020

In their own words

Two seniors share what financial aid and Andover mean to them

Need-blind admission has left an indelible mark at Andover—and on the lives it has touched over the past 14 years. Today it remains as powerful as ever. Forty-six percent of current students receive financial aid, and not a dollar must be paid back.

This commitment is a top priority of Knowledge & Goodness, and the campaign’s Andover Financial Aid Challenge is ensuring even more assistance is available to talented students, many of whom wouldn’t be able to attend PA otherwise. The challenge offers a 3:1 dollar match for all gifts that bolster existing scholarships or create new ones. One goal is to endow 80 percent of all student aid, which will secure need-blind admission in perpetuity. The other? Create more personal stories like these.

Weston, Florida

What does your scholarship mean to you?
My scholarship represents all of the opportunities for learning and success Andover has given me over the past years. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to explore my passions and interests at a school like Phillips Academy, where my teachers and fellow students encourage me to try new things and be the best version of myself.

What’s your favorite course and why?
Definitely Biology 580 with Dr. Andrea Bailey, and it was also the most challenging course I’ve ever taken. The class’s rigor and small size created such a close bond between all my classmates. And I got to apply what I learned in the classroom to topics like microbiology, evolution, and genetics when exploring my own interests in the issues facing today’s world. One of my favorite papers I’ve written was on the genetic basis of opioid addiction, and I hope to continue my research this year in Biology 600.

How have you tried to make PA a better place?
I try my best to make PA a better place by being empathetic and trying to understand those around me, as well as by educating myself and others on topics around justice. I have been co-president of our school’s intersectional feminist club, WoFo, for three years, and the board and I try to create a safe space where people can learn more about feminism and racial justice issues. This year, as a member of upper management on The Phillipian, my main goal is to place justice and inclusion at the forefront of our newspaper’s mission.

Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada

How have you grown since arriving at Andover?
Students here love to learn, and their inquisitiveness drives me to ask more questions and look for deeper answers. I have found a renewed love for my sport—varsity swimming—and have become much more independent. I am beyond grateful to have been exposed to people from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs, as they have provided me with knowledge and experiences that have enhanced my appreciation for diversity in this community. People here are so kind and giving of their time—it makes me want to be the same with others.

What do you hope to accomplish after graduation?
I’m aiming to pursue swimming while completing my higher education. Not only does it bring me joy, but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment as I continue to track my progress and results. In the classroom, I intend to major in science, likely in engineering, because I’ve always been intrigued with how machines and objects—those we use in our everyday lives—are made and the logic behind them. Whatever my future field, I hope that I can contribute in a positive way.

Why should someone consider donating to financial aid?
Giving a student an opportunity that they would not have had otherwise is a true non sibi moment. I benefit each day from the kindness that was shown to me, and I will be forever grateful. My intention is to give back in any way I can to Andover so someone else can feel the same way I did when I received my financial aid package and can experience Andover for themselves. Financial aid is more than a donation—it is a gesture that shows a student that someone believes in them.

Originally printed in The Vista: Views from the Knowledge & Goodness Campaign, fall 2020.

Categories: Campaign News

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