I began attending The First Academy in second grade and graduated in 2016. Some of the best memories of my life so far have come from the Upper School hallways and Natalie Thomas Memorial Gymnasium. I am currently a junior at Dartmouth, pursuing a degree in psychology with career aspirations in professional sports management. I also play Division 1 volleyball for Dartmouth in the Ivy League. I am so grateful for how TFA prepared me for the opportunity to continue being a student-athlete at the highest level. The work ethic, discipline, and passion I learned in the classroom and on the court at The First Academy are certainly serving me well so far. In addition to my academic and athletic life at Dartmouth, I am involved in a local church (Christ Redeemer Church, Hanover, NH), where I regularly serve in the children’s ministry and am involved in college ministry. I am also on the leadership team for a student-athlete Bible study group on my campus. TFA helped instill in me the importance of serving in the church and in the community as a way to grow spiritually personally, as well as to spread the joy and love of Christ to others.

Numerous teachers, coaches, and faculty at The First Academy made a lasting impact on my life for which I am so thankful. Mrs. Combs, whom I had the privilege of having in third, fifth, and seventh grade, is one of the most compassionate and patient women I have met. Mr. Harrison, who taught me for two years in Calculus and AP Calculus, is a brilliant teacher and a witty and caring person, and he truly made math my favorite subject throughout Upper School. Mr. Kowars and Dr. Holter both instilled critical reading and writing skills that have been useful with the rigorous academics at Dartmouth. Coach Malone and Coach Lehnhoff are two of the most incredible women, and I am so blessed to have had them in my life for so many years with Royals Volleyball. In addition to helping me with my volleyball skills, they poured into me daily and were there for me through several trying times in high school.

Perhaps the thing I am most thankful for The First Academy for is how it prepared me to think critically about my faith. Most students are met with challenges to their faith when they embark to college, and this could not be truer at an institution like Dartmouth. However, through the Bible and Apologetics classes and interactions with my peers and teachers at TFA, I feel I was poised to be able to defend and stand firm in my faith. I am indebted to The First Academy for all the memories and lessons I learned during my 11 years there, and I am proud to be a Royal!