This New Year brought with it new tidings to the African Leadership Academy all the way from Connecticut, USA when Miss Porter’s School visited the Academy. The relationship between the two institutions has been very close with Miss Porter’s School sending students to the academy each year. This year, ALAians media interviewed some of the students to find out how their stay here at the academy had been.
Their stay here at the academy was eventful with very many highlights. From the deep conversations in seminal readings that inspired Claire to find her own voice to all the amazing humans on campus they interacted with to the student-led classes and discussions they were a part of that would pursue ideas with great depth, Miss Porter’s School enjoyed being part of this Academy.
Kudos to the groundsmen who spend their time working on our grounds as their efforts did not go unnoticed by Miss Porter’s School. They found our campus beautiful with well-tended lawns that make very nice picnic and chilling spots. Ashley described our community as “a small knit community … where everyone seemed to be in a celebratory mood.” This, I suppose, is fostered by the many support structures put in place by the administration such as the house program, the advisory families, peer counselor families and the various hall spirits.
Moreover, Miss Porter’s School found the BUILD model interesting as they worked in teams to identify various problems and develop human-centered solutions. Despite the fact that most of their classes were in the evening after a day full of excursions and classes, they still managed to learn and take away something useful. Perhaps in future, Global programs could consider having classes in the morning for visiting schools before they leave for excursions.
All in all, Miss Porter’s visit was enlightening and fruitful. During their stay here at the Academy and Johannesburg, Priyanka realized the value of being grateful from seeing a community that is motivated by their love for one another rather than materialistic ambitions. Maia was amazed to see that despite people having opposing views on fundamental topics, they were still able to argue out their ideas in a healthy way and not let that get in the way of their interactions. Sheila was amazed to see that despite the diverse nature of people in our academy, African Leadership Academy was a community that valued character over other physical distinctions unlike in certain areas of her country.
As Miss Porter’s girls depart today, we are grateful to all the chommies that hosted them and everyone that made them feel part of the academy. I hope they take with them positive lessons from our community as we wait to see them yet again next year.