Where do I even begin to describe a place that has become my second home for the past two years?
Where I cultivated some of the most genuine friendships with all kinds of interesting people, discovered my interests in global education and fashion, received full support from a team of inspiring teachers, and most importantly, learned how to care about the world?
My first encounter with GPA consists of my mom and I stumbling upon a building with a small logo of a globe on the front door. As it was my junior year in high school, it was almost time for me to take the oh-so-famous SAT, and we were looking for a place that would help me get a substantial score. Gateway didn’t answer our call, but GPA did (thank the heavens). This simple yet significant twist of fate landed me in a place that has opened my eyes to the bigger world outside of grades and Key Club.
Ironically, I only spent roughly two months in SAT classes at GPA. Instead, with the rightful guidance of David and Myra, the two most dedicated and inspiring people in my life, I spent most of my two years here taking Global Leadership and Take Action workshops. Instead of mechanically solving math problems for two hours, I watched documentaries about the dangers of fast fashion. Instead of memorizing the facts of our beautifully structured government system of checks and balances for my AP U.S. History course at school, I questioned why there were only eight Supreme Court Justices for several months when Obama was still granted the right to choose the next Justice during his presidency.
I was becoming a whole person; one with a heart to care, a brain to question and think critically, and a body to take action against the injustices in our world that I was gradually learning about here.
From holding my very own fashion show and overcoming my self-doubts to getting the very inspiration while sitting on the grass bench in the green room to write the essays that got me to where I will be in exactly 23 days (Yale - Boola Boola!!), GPA has done more for me than I could express in words.
The adults here are not just teachers who help raise our grades; that is only a small percentage of what they do.
They fully invest their time and efforts to make each and every student that enters through the door a whole-rounded, active global citizen. They are our friends and our biggest fans sitting in the bleachers, waiting for us to discover how much potential and influence we have over our communities.
I love GPA, I love David, I love Myra, I love the home in which I have made incredible, unforgettable memories.