Gabriella S., Class of 2018Prior to enrolling at Ranney in seventh grade, I spent the majority of my time hanging out with friends, watching Netflix and playing basketball with my brother—typical activities that any Middle School-aged girl would partake in. However, I had dreams for something more… passions I hadn’t even discovered until arriving at Ranney.
The Ranney community did more than welcome me. Like any new kid, I was overwhelmingly nervous. I vividly remember my heart racing as I changed my hair over and over for my first day at a new school. Looking back, I wish I could tell myself how perfectly it would all turn out.
I quickly joined the crew team because my sister also rowed, and I thought it would be a perfect way to meet people. Ranney’s athletic program may not be one chock full of championship titles, but it’s one of warmth, spirit, hard work and strong team bonds. Since entering the Upper School, I have played for the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. These teams not only helped me to discover my passion for competition but also taught me endless lessons, such as the importance of hard work and collaboration on the field and in the classroom.
At the same time, it’s been an absolute honor to play with such outstanding and supportive teammates. For example, last year was the first time I ever held a lacrosse stick and—trust me—it was not pretty. However, with the encouragement of my teammates, I became confident in lacrosse and am now ecstatic about the upcoming season. Ranney has given me the opportunity to be a part of something much larger than scoring a goal. I am so lucky to have developed everlasting relationships with my teammates, whether they are freshman, sophomores, juniors or seniors. They are people I know I can always count on for anything!
Ranney has also provided me with leadership opportunities. Ever since my “Ned’s Declassified” TV-watching days, I had wanted to be on a student council. However, when I attended public school, I never imagined running for a position. My grade consisted of about 300 kids and I hardly knew most of them. I certainly did not feel fit to lead them. When I came to Ranney, I quickly got to know the Class of 2018 (about 80 members), and felt confident that I could successfully represent and execute their needs in our Class Council. I ran for the Vice Presidency in my freshmen year and was elected! I got re-elected as a sophomore. My Vice-Presidency is something I will always be passionate about and I cannot thank Ranney enough for helping me to fulfill this goal. As a member of class council, I have had the opportunity to further familiarize myself with my classmates and have a strong say in the decisions that affect them.
Ranney School is truly a place that encourages every student to find his or her interests and, beyond that, to find a way to live them. One more example occurred last June, when students received a list of courses to choose from. With a firm infatuation with French, I wanted to double up on my language classes—which is not a conventional course load. After talking to my advisors, I was able to work in an additional language class while still meeting my academic requirements. Now, I enjoy not only French, but also Spanish.
Overall, Ranney has taught me that I am capable of truly accomplishing anything I want in life, given the right environment and hard work. I will never forget to thank Ranney in remembering why I am who I am today.
Watch Gabriella in this YouTube video
about her Global Citizens Group Art Installation Project.View a video perspective with Varsity Basketball player Scottie Lewis, Class of 2019 here (Ranney's YouTube Channel).