By Rebecca Mehlhorn '23
When I first came to LA, I was unbelievably shy, like I wouldn’t talk to some family members shy. If my 8th-grade self could see me now, she would be shocked and wonderfully surprised.
LA’s mission has allowed me to grow into myself and become the young adult I am today. As well as Elm Tree society, I am currently a Spartan Leader, a position I never thought I would be interested in, let alone becoming a fully-fledged leader. Looking back at how I got to this position and security, I think about my regular daily life at LA. At my public school, the class sizes were large, and I was in constant fear of answering questions and being wrong or embarrassing myself in some way. Now, with class sizes with a maximum of around 14, I am much more comfortable expressing my opinions and answering questions with a lot less fear.
This adjustment is one of the many ways Lawrence Academy actively represents its mission, RISE (Recognize, Inspire, Support, and Empower). I constantly feel supported inside and outside of the classroom by my peers, teachers, and other faculty. My teachers also recognize my struggles and offer time and patience and inspire me to improve myself. The mission in action has allowed me to become comfortable and confident at school and participate in non-required activities, including coming on the weekends. This mission helped me break out of my shell and express myself without holding onto unnecessary fears.
I think that is why LA is so impactful to so many students. Many schools have missions, but LA makes it a priority that goes hand and hand with learning. Thinking about a specific time I felt this mission in action, my junior year math class comes to mind. Due to strange circumstances, I was the only girl in that class. Already speaking in class was challenging, but it seemed impossible at the beginning of the year in a classroom with only boys. Thankfully, my teacher recognized me and did everything he could to make me comfortable in this lacrosse and hockey boy-filled environment. By the end of the year, I fully participated in class and came to office hours to study for tests with the rest. This is one of the many ways teachers have helped me navigate and supported me through situations that I would never have approached before coming to Lawrence Academy.