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Kelly Duggan (S11) Reflects on IS and “Giving Back Twice”

December 2, 2011
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Island School has given me leadership skills and confidence I need to take control of my own education. These skills are useful in the classroom, in the field, or during extracurricular activities.

After Island School, I focused more on the courses I was passionate about. I became happy and eager to go to class and do the work. I was even willing to do more and go deeper into matters on my own time because of curiosity and fascination. I had a new mindset of being excited to learn. “Education” took the place of “school” in my vocabulary. I forgot about a letter grade and focused on the information in front of me. I thought about how I could use that information to pursue my dreams and make a change in the world.

One big idea at the Island School is “leadership affecting change.” Currently, I am volunteering at Newport Hospital in the Emergency Room. It is my ultimate goal to become a surgeon, travel around the world, and save lives. I want to save the lives of those who have experienced terrible things, and share with them amazing stories of success and dreams.

Island School has taught me self-leadership. This means starting something new or something differently so that I can reach my goals and interests. I came back with the confidence to step “out-of-the-box” and create my own path toward my aspirations. I act as a designated leader in my school now, and I have encouraged two other friends to volunteer at the hospital. Another leadership opportunity I have pursued is being Varsity Field Hockey Captain for the 2012 season. This is not only a place for me to be an appointed leader, but also a peer leader. Even as a captain, it is important to work together with the group. We always use the analogy of a machine: every part has to work to create the final outcome and it’s up to us to decide what we want to make.

Island School has taught me to own my experiences and make my vision come true. Whatever I put in is what I will get out. I now have the confidence and leadership to make my experiences successful, and that is well worth an A+.

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