Since 2001, Deep Creek Middle School has supported its students in applying for scholarships to U.S. boarding schools as an alternative option to continuing with their high school education on Eleuthera. To date, 33 students have received over $4 million in awards at prep schools from Virginia to Maine.
This year, the five candidates were split into two groups visiting northern and southern schools. The northern group visited Lawrenceville, The Hill School, Tabor Academy, Brewster Academy, Lawrence Academy, Kimball Union Academy, and Northfield Mt. Hermon. The southern group visited The Pennington School, Perkiomen, Oldfields, Foxcroft, West Nottingham Academy, and Episcopal High School. The students had the opportunity to tour the schools and interview to begin the ninth grade in Fall 2015.
As the week progressed, the DCMS students became more confident in their interview skills and enlightened in what they are looking for in a boarding school. Trevonya Pinder of Waterford says, “After seeing the schools and what they offer, I am inspired and motivated. I am looking for a school that has small classes and a good music program.”
This trip was nine months in the making; students begin the boarding school process the January before the trip and adhere to rigorous standards to remain in the process. This includes an intensive boot camp to study for the SSAT exam and leadership positions in extracurricular activities. For the candidates, their hard work is beginning to pay off. Deep Creek’s Dashae Clarke says, “My favorite part of the trip was meeting the students and interviewers from the different schools. I could picture myself doing the activities that I saw the other kids doing. It made me feel like part of the boarding school family.”
Student Advancement Coordinator Megan Kelly chaperoned the southern group and had the opportunity to visit with DCMS alumni who are already enrolled in the schools. She says, “It is a gratifying experience to see our alumni excelling at their boarding schools. Every former DCMS student we met held multiple leadership roles at their schools: everything from being tour guides to team captains to class presidents.” This success proves that DCMS is preparing students for the rigors of the top schools in the United States.
The trip was enhanced by the hospitality of many Island School alumni families who hosted the students in home stays. Welcoming the DCMS students with Bahamian flags, photos from the Island School, and regional dining specialties, the students quickly felt at home. DCMS is grateful for the generosity of the Paget-Brown family (Heather F’14), the Gould family (Lauren F’12), the Keefe family (Hilary S’04, Andrew S’05, Brittany S’06, and Peter F’13), the McDonough family (current IS Fellow Tom S’08), the Howard-Gould family (Marcus S’13), the Sands-Bliss family (Maya F’13), and the Maxeys. The trip was made even better by the bonds formed with the host families!