Oh, sure, Enock was nervous, and even with that open mind, he was expecting a few months-long adjustment period. By the end of his first week, though, the elm tree-shaded hillside felt like home.
“At that point, I realized, yeah, it’s not that different, and that openness to change really helped: I was ready to experience new things and really live with them, and, that way, I really got to connect with everyone around [me],” he recalls. “I never really missed home because it started feeling like everything was normal … [like] I already have what I need here.”
Enock arrived at Lawrence Academy through the school’s partnership with Kenya’s M-PESA Foundation Academy. He was one of several students in the running for the spot, but an LA Admissions rep remembers the whole Admissions Office immediately gravitating toward him after reading through his file — and it’s easy to understand why.
“The purpose of Lawrence Academy is, basically, to realize yourself, and, from that, they then help you find ways in which you can build yourself,” Enock says, succinctly summarizing the school’s mission. “You get to really expand your scope of thinking and get perspectives on everything. You’re encouraged to really step out of your comfort zone and really realize that there is something you can do beyond that…
At LA, Enock has found himself not only exploring favorite subjects in deeper and more challenging ways than he could have at his former school, but also finding new passions and talents. For example, he discovered a love for public speaking and recitation, and made it to the final around of his junior class’ Judith French Poetry Recitation competition.
Or, take athletics: In Kenya, Enock’s main sport was field hockey, but at Lawrence, he’s become a cross country all-star. He now owns the course record at St. George’s School, as well as several Lawrence Academy track and field marks and plans to continue his running career at Tufts University in nearby Medford.
“I thought [field hockey] was what I was going to do for life until I came to Lawrence Academy, and then I was introduced to running,” Enock says. It was Head of School Dan Scheibe who suggested Enock try out for LA’s cross country team, in fact.
“It went well,” Enock continues humbly, giving no indication that his personal record for a 5K race is an incredible 15:34.
Throughout our conversation, Enock mentions again and again the diverse and supportive community he’s become a part of at LA. Whether it’s the school’s variety of extracurricular offerings, the daily advisory group meetings — which he describes as “sort of getting your own [on-campus] parent” — or the friends he’s made, he says, from the very beginning, he’s felt at home more than he has away from it.
“Of course, I’ll miss every friend at Lawrence Academy,” Enock admits, but, “I feel like I’m ready because I’m going to now meet people who aren’t that different from the people at Lawrence Academy, so if I can … create the same experiences at Tufts, then, yes, it will be easy.”