Incoming School Vice President Molly W. ’24 (left) and incoming School President Catherine S. ’24 at the GFS Club Fair.

Hometown: Batesville, Ind.
Favorite dorm room snack. Popcorn 😋
Describe your GFS experience thus far in three words. Invigorating, challenging and joyful.

Why GFS?
I chose Garrison Forest because of the many academic and social opportunities that it offers. From the WISE program and Jenkins Fellowship to living on campus and weekend activities, GFS has a plethora of resources that allow students to learn and grow. The community at Garrison was also a significant deciding factor for me because it is so welcoming, positive, supportive and exciting, and I could see that even as a prospective student.

Describe your first year at GFS.
My first year at GFS was quite unusual because my freshman year also happened to be the year of COVID-19. So, many of the challenges that I faced as a new student involved feeling disconnected and like I was missing out. However, the first day I was on campus was one of the best days I've ever had at GFS because it was a day full of fun, new friends and new experiences. My first month on campus was the most exciting time for me because every faculty member and peer was helping me weave my way into the GFS community and guiding me as I familiarized myself with the Baltimore area. My first year was invigorating, uncertain and different than any school year I've ever had. I was able to overcome all of the challenges that I faced, like homesickness, nerves about being in a new environment and disconnection, because of the community at Garrison Forest. Other new students were feeling similarly, so I was able to find comfort in my peers and also in the faculty on campus because they were so supportive and positive.

Top 3 Skills You’ve Gained Since Joining GFS:
Communication, independence and curiosity.

Most Memorable Non-Academic Experience: Boarding!!! I love living on campus and being able to call GFS my second home. I have made the best friends I have ever had through boarding and get to spend every day surrounded by them. On top of that, we all go on weekend activities together, whether that be a trip to the mall, laser-tag or D.C. which has allowed us to experience things, new and old, together.

Favorite Club or Organization at GFS?
I have been a part of many different clubs, but my favorite has been GAINS (Girls Advancing in STEM) because of all of the possibilities it has opened my eyes to in the world of STEM, all of the resources it has given me access to and all of the fun we have been able to have while doing STEM-related activities.

What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership means being respectful towards and listening to those surrounding you, understanding others' perspectives and demonstrating good character to your peers. Leadership also means trying your hardest to make changes when they're necessary, working to benefit your peers and considering what is rational and what isn't. 

Which GFS Core Value most resonates with you? Why?
The Core Value that resonates with me the most is “Be Curious” because curiosity is what allows me to push further in my education and understand what is going on around me. Curiosity opens doors to new possibilities, which is an important leadership skill because it allows us to problem-solve and grow. Also, I think Garrison hosts a community of avidly curious students and teachers.