The freedom here was the first thing that jumped out at me. I was like, am I ready for this? But then eventually you catch the flow and everything falls into place.
My parents are from Colombia and I was born in Hong Kong. Before I went to Putney I was at a public school in Boston. Before that, I was in Rio at an international school, and before that, I was at a British school in Shanghai.
Vermont is extremely different from where I’ve been… But it’s positive and I love it. It’s very beautiful and the school is very cool.
We weren’t familiar with any progressive schools. But education is really important to my family and I wanted to get the most out of my high school experience. We were mostly looking at traditional schools in New England, the kind of places with good test scores. Putney was our choice for a number of different reasons.
One of my friends graduated before me and went off to college. He’s been telling me how much Putney prepared him for college in general. The freedom we have, the way classes are structured, the way tests are given. He feels really ready, and like going to Putney was one of the best things he’s done. It’s the same for me. I’m getting lots out of this, and it’s helping me make a future.
For one of my project week projects, my friends and I made an ‘escape room.’ It was a big success, and the school made a video about it. The CEO of a creative design engineering firm saw it and was very impressed, so I went and worked with them in Mexico for an internship. They invited me back to their offices in Madrid and had me work on the NASA Space Apps Challenge. I was working alongside Airbus engineers! Incredibly, my team took second place.
It’s such a tight-knit community. Everyone’s on the same page. At the end of the day, there is someone there for everything. It’s pretty nice.