Name: Victoria Kolawole
Class of: 2019
Hometown/Neighborhood: Far Rockaway, NY
Favorite subject: English
Favorite extra-curricular activity/sport: Softball and Newspaper
I chose Girard because: I’ve had family that have graduated from here and lead pretty successful lives, so I figured it was worth a shot. It isn't easy, but it is worthwhile.
The best part of living in a dorm is: The bonds you form with your classmates are unlike any other. All of my classmates aren’t necessarily best friends, but there is just an unexplainable connection there and that’s a beautiful thing.
My favorite lesson last school year was: When I was reading Ender’s Game in my 10th grade ELA (Thank you, Ms. Richman!), because that taught me a lot about myself. I was in process of getting to know who I was and I, being the third-born or the “Third” in my family, I identified with a lot of the emotions Ender described, one of which is not knowing where you fit in. To use Walt Whitman’s words, "I contain multitudes," I can’t just be defined as one thing and I thinks that’s pretty cool.
My favorite spot on campus is: That’s a hard one, between the high school library and the steps of Founder’s Hall, I’d have to go with the library. Its large windows display an amazing view of Founder’s Hall and have prompted a lot of impromptu photoshoots during later hours when I’ve finished one of my longer study sessions.
One thing I wish people knew about Girard is: Don't let the walls fool you, Girard isn't a school for bad kids. It’s also not for people who can’t handle it.
Girard first felt like home when: My first Cavalier Day, which now feels like forever ago, was amazing. We had events like Crazy Hat Race and Water Balloon Toss, and although I ended up semi-soaked because of my good-for-nothing hand-eye coordination, my seniors at the time (Kyle Hanna and my cousin, Ola Idowu) made lil’ol first-grade me feel like I had just won a marathon! I don’t remember if I was on Garnet or Steel, but I do remember enjoying my ice cream and not wanting be anywhere else but right there in that moment.
My favorite Girard tradition is: our spring and winter concerts. A lot of people don't understand how much work goes into them, but they are some kind of magical to me. The most recent spring concert we had was one of the best we’ve had so far, in my opinion. The Upper School Choir performed Beyoncé’s Pray You Catch Me and Boyz II Men’s End of the Road and the seniors did a little bit at the end where Rashae Benbow and Siddiq Rivera-Sabir did these heartfelt spoken parts. The set list, the mood, the message... everything was just there.
If I didn't go to Girard I might have never: Discovered how much I love softball. An RA suggested it and I just went along with it. It was really tough at first, given that I wasn’t as physically coordinated back then, but I kept working at it. Now, I’m hooked.
On the weekends, I miss: Walking back from dinner and seeing the sunset on the track. There is something calming about the way the sky manages to incorporate all of these differing hues and just fits them just right in with the landscape.
I'd recommend Girard to anyone who: Is looking for a gateway to something better. If there’s one thing Girard is known for, it’s its many success stories. From Brandon Dixon and Abu Fofanah to G’mrice Davis and Ola Idowu, the success stories that began in the Girard community come in many shapes and sizes! I pray I’ll make it there, as well. Hail Girard!