From cubs to Lions — that’s what happens when students enter Dwight in Kindergarten and continue their educational journeys with us all the way through grade 12!
They share a history and special bond, and as they get ready to graduate each year, we celebrate them as the newest members of Dwight's 13-year Club: Jade Abramson, Jane Barbero, Cormac Bradley, Gwynne Capiraso, Maya Gomez Gallagher, Mimi Halpern, Adam Levine, Sonya Pesselev, and Maya Singh.
Before they take their last steps together at Graduation next week, we asked our “Dwight lifers” a few questions and here’s what they had to say:
Maya Gomez Gallagher
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius is activism. Through Dwight, I was able to learn about so many different cultures and was encouraged to explore and express my own. But it really was the student body as a whole that fostered my spark. My journey began when I participated in the walk-out for gun violence organized by students and then became more involved in other events such as the Climate and Women's Marches with other students. I joined the Black Lives Matter Club, which inspired me to start the first Hispanic and Latinx Affinity Group at Dwight in 2021. Students, faculty, and staff helped me lead the club so that Hispanic/Latinx members of our community could share the beauty of their very distinct cultures, and also so that anyone who perhaps had not had real access to Latinx safe spaces could come and learn. Ultimately, our goal was to advocate for justice for Hispanic — and all BIPOC — students at Dwight. Additionally Dwight gave me the opportunity to be on the DEI Board as the only student and one of the only Hispanic members.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? My favorite part is being a two-season athlete. Dwight’s Athletics Program made my time in high school the best. Every summer, I looked forward to the fall soccer season because of the sport, coaches, teammates, and more. Playing soccer all four years and being named Co-captain are most definitely my fondest memories. My favorite part about being a part of the team was the amazing community it built.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? Boston University, where I will be majoring in Journalism. I look forward to immersing myself in the passionate community and developing as a culturally oriented journalist along the way.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius is acting. Dwight has offered many programs for me to explore what I am interested in, especially in theater.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? My fondest memories would be the close moments I shared with groups I was passionate about, such as team bus rides before a game or pep talks before the first show goes on.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? Occidental College, where I'll be majoring in theater and minoring in history: I would like to be an actress and definitely work in film and theater.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius throughout my childhood has been playing baseball. I started by playing Little League as young as five, and I have played for a number of travel teams as I got older. It was an amazing experience to play for the Dwight Varsity Baseball team this year, as it was the first time in several years that the School had enough interest to have one! Being able to practice baseball in 2021-22 and playing games this spring has really helped boost my confidence when playing outside of school by giving me even more game opportunities.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? I definitely think one of my greatest Dwight memories was going on the trips throughout Lower and Middle School to London, DC, Boston, etc., as these were times when we all traveled together to learn, and it brought everyone closer in a way that cannot happen in the classroom.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? Syracuse University, where I will be majoring in Supply Chain Management. I hope to work with a large company and manage the company’s inventory/distribution and how those products get to customers.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? Politics and activism. Dwight has allowed me to participate in the local and international political scene through its focus on community service, variety of travel opportunities, and Global Politics course. I've participated in a number of service clubs, including WISER and SustainABLE Start, which have allowed me to engage with both local and international communities. In addition, I was able to travel to the Global Issues Network (GIN) conference in Luxembourg in 2019; there, I met and collaborated with other students from various countries who were similarly passionate about confronting global inequality with an agenda of sustainable development. Lastly, as a Diploma Program student, I have been able to acquire the skills needed to analyze political issues in Global Politics. Dwight has helped me to expand my worldview in various ways that prepare me for a career in global service.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? I have loved meeting students from around the world. Being a student at an international school has always been something in which I take pride, as I now have friends and connections on other continents. I’ve been able to experience a multitude of cultures and perspectives both in and outside of the classroom. Having such a diverse, global community inspires me to travel and live elsewhere after college.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? I have not committed yet, as I’m still waiting on UCAS offers (I plan to go to the UK, specifically Scotland, for college). As of now, I plan to attend the University of St. Andrews and have received an offer to earn an integrated master's degree in International Relations and Sustainable Development there. I hope to work at a nonprofit, social enterprise, or intergovernmental organization in the public health or sustainability sector. As the world begins to increase its focus on stopping climate change and achieving equity in health services, especially for women, I would love to direct and participate in these initiatives. After college, I plan to pursue diplomacy or a job in the World Health Organization, UNICEF, or the Red Cross.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius is basketball and entrepreneurship. I began playing basketball in ninth grade and continued throughout my high school career. The Basketball team has introduced me to many other student-athletes and has given me many opportunities to get involved with Dwight through athletics. The faculty at Dwight has supported me through many projects or events that I have started and hosted throughout high school.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? My favorite memories are being on the Basketball team and becoming close with everyone.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? The University of Miami, where I will be studying entrepreneurship and hope to create my own clothing brand.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? I have always found Dwight to be incredibly helpful in fostering my spark of genius, which is aviation. It’s been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember, and I still catch myself to this day glancing up whenever I hear the rumble or a jet engine above me in New York.
Dwight has been very supportive of my endeavor to obtain my pilot’s license when I was in eleventh grade. They allowed me to move my schedule around, change assignment due dates, and other small acts to allow me to focus time on flying during days with great weather. These small changes helped me greatly work my out-of-classroom interests with the curriculum that I was learning.
What is your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? The fondest memory that I have are all the little moments of seeing teachers in the hallways when going from class to class. Although they seem insignificant, these small moments help define what Dwight is to me, and really show how communal the School is, even though these teachers might have taught me five years ago.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? The University of Oklahoma for what can be essentially called “airline pilot school.” I will be working on my Airline Transport Pilot’s License and I hope to fly for a mainline carrier like CargoLux, Delta, or FedEx if I ever have the opportunity.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius is communications/journalism and connecting with others. Dwight first helped me discover my spark during my freshman year when I had the opportunity to visit the WISER School, the Women's Institute for Secondary Education and Research, in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. Meeting people of different cultures and lifestyles truly inspired me to want to continue connecting with others across cultures, mindsets, and perspectives. Given Dwight's large international and diverse student body, I’ve been able to open my mind and gain perspectives that I don’t think I otherwise would have had. Additionally, Dwight has allowed me to foster my spark of genius through the pillar of Personalized Learning; in each of my classes, teachers have provided me with the opportunity to embrace my love for writing, no matter the subject.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? My fondest memory would be my trip to Kenya, but one memory that I will always have from Dwight was when I was in Kindergarten. We visited “Big Dwight” and I remember seeing all of the middle and high schoolers in the hallway and being in awe of them, thinking how I couldn't wait to be a high schooler at Dwight one day. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves so much and I yearned to be in their shoes. Over ten years later and being in their position now, this will be a memory I will always cherish. I will forever hold close the family that Dwight has made for me.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? King's College London, where I will study Culture, Media, and Creative Industries. Using this degree, I hope to work in global media or public relations.
What’s your spark of genius and how has Dwight helped foster it? My spark of genius is not limited to one skill that I have. Growing up at Dwight, I have learned about the importance of curiosity, challenges, and rigor in order to continue growing and succeeding in the future. I believe that Dwight has taught me to continue challenging myself so that I can work hard to succeed in all my endeavors.
What’s your fondest Dwight memory or what have you enjoyed most? What I enjoy most are the teachers. Since preschool, I have had the most amazing teachers who always strive to help in every way possible as well as make meaningful connections with students. My fondest memory was in second grade when we were preparing for an invention convention. We were each supposed to make an invention and later two people would be chosen to go to a national invention convention. I remember my second grade teacher, Ms. Hecker, helped me develop my kinder binder when I was lost and didn’t know what project I should pursue. Since then, she has become an important role model in my life, makes me feel welcome to come see her at any time, and motivates me to continue thinking outside the box.
What college will you attend and what do you want to study? Boston University, where I will be majoring in marketing and public relations and hope to become a successful PR professional one day.
With many impressive sparks of genius and exciting plans for the future, we know that these seniors, who will forever share great memories of their alma mater, are destined for great things ahead!
- Student Spark