1. Why was The Advanced Academy of Georgia important to you?
The Advanced Academy gave me a chance to explore and grow personally as well as intellectually. I was given opportunities to participate in many organizations (SGA, different Academy positions, Model UN, Odyssey of the Mind, etc.) that would have been impossible otherwise. I made close friendships with other Academy students who had similar interests, as well as with many interested in different fields. It was an accepting environment, where everyone was comfortable. Being smart was cool, and the Academy made the transition to college much easier. I also made many friends with the RA's and the students in my classes who provided great role models for me to follow.
2. What would your last year in high school have been like if you stayed?
This is the sort of "what if" question that is impossible to answer, but I would say that I would not have been around other people, both my age and older, who could relate to my interests intellectually and socially. I would have taken the basic required classes, but probably not have been exposed to as many diverse subjects, such as sociology and literary theory. I would have continued spending time with people I had known practically since birth, without meeting others from radically different backgrounds who challenged me to grow in my perceptions of others.
3. Where would you be now if you did not attend The Academy? How would your life be different?
I really have no idea what my life would have been like had I not been given the opportunities the Academy offers. My high school did not even offer Latin as a course, but due to taking Latin at West Georgia , I am now in graduate school at Yale, working toward a Ph.D. in Classics. I can't imagine being in any other field, but without the Academy, I wouldn't even have been aware of Classics as an option (Note: Latin has since been discontinued at UWG). I was lucky to attend Brown as an undergraduate, and I doubt that I would have even applied if I had stayed at Bremen High School . I am fairly confident that I was admitted based on the unique experience and motivation that an education at the Academy displays. It gave me a chance to distinguish myself in many ways that an education at a small public school, however accommodating, simply cannot offer. It is an unfortunate truth that such schools cannot practically offer programs to enrich gifted students in such deep and fundamental ways, but the Academy offers a safe and welcoming environment where students can be challenged and supported. I am deeply grateful to have been given such opportunities, and I would urge that they be offered to as many other students as possible.