Presentation Academy Graduation Essays 2024

My home on Fourth & Breck

Allee Holdcroft

Home. A long-standing array of bricks. The stained glass doors. The pictures that line the walls. The courtyard that holds a surfeit of events—lunch, class, water balloon fights, prayer circles. Stairs in which you walk in the footsteps of decades of women before you. Home. The people you couldn’t imagine life without. The conversations that keep you afloat. The best friends you otherwise wouldn’t have met. The teachers who forever changed the course of your life through their encouragement. The memories embedded in your cells that wired you into the person you are today. Home. 

Home is Presentation Academy. Home is the feeling so strongly found every morning, noon, and night in our beloved school. A feeling nowhere else could even begin to capture. A feeling found in the student section of our volleyball or basketball games, to name a few. A feeling found in our pep rallies, in the laughter in our hallways, in our community service, in our classrooms. Pres is a place we come to learn, but more than that, it is a place where generation after generation of women have attended and always come back to — Once a Pres Girl, always a Pres Girl. Pres has instilled excellence in all its students, inside and outside the classroom. We learn not just dual credit English or dual credit calculus, but the empowering importance of believing in who you are, of always reaching for something greater. 

Presentation Academy. A high school. An epicenter of opportunity. A diverse community of girls from different backgrounds. A place to learn how to distinguish right from wrong. A place to build more than a safe community, but a family of girls who will always have your back. A place to learn how to persevere through the abundance of challenges that life throws at us. A place to become a leader, whether it be through our sports programs, clubs, leadership teams, or theater program. A place to learn that God, that faith, can be found anywhere, in anything. A place to truly discover your place in the world. 

My time here at Fourth and Breck has taught me immeasurable lessons about compassion, faith, community, and leadership. It has taught me that our actions and voices matter. That our lives are up to us. I know that wherever my life takes me, I will always carry a piece of Pres in my heart, that I will strive to carry this sense of home with me everywhere I go. So while it’s so bittersweet, I find strength in the fact that I will always have a home to come back to in Presentation Academy. 

Pres encourages using voice and talent to create change 

Aria Suggs

My Pres journey began three years ago, when, after a couple of weeks as an online student at a public high school (this was in the midst of COVID-19), my mom told me we were going to check out a different option. She and I toured Pres together, wearing masks, with all the desks 6 feet apart. Even with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, we both knew Pres was the place for me. 

Walking into Pres I felt a sense of home. Pres reminded me of my hometown Henderson, Ky., close-knit and cozy. Every classroom I investigated, I saw a teacher and a small group of students. I knew Pres was where I wanted to spend my next four years making bonds with teachers and engaging with my classmates. 

Pres has allowed and encouraged me to explore all my interests. I have never been defined as just an athlete or just a student council officer — I have been encouraged to use my voice and my talents in so many ways. Most importantly, I have been encouraged to use my gifts and talents to create positive change, to move things forward, and to make our community a better place.

The sisterhood I have at Pres is something I wouldn’t change for anything. I have met so many amazing women, young and old, and each interaction reminds me how lucky I am to be part of a community like Pres. I have made bonds with girls that will never go away, regardless of our different backgrounds or where we might end up in the future. 

I have really learned to own who I am. I have grown into my personality. Everyone has always known that I’m outgoing and outspoken, but I’ve also started to embrace other parts of who I am. I’ve grown to accept and love others, even when it’s difficult. I’ve become incredibly responsible and independent. I am confident, unquestionably reliable, smart, hardworking, and loving. These have always been parts of who I am, but Pres has allowed me to fully embrace them, and to use my voice to effect change. 

No matter what obstacles have been thrown my way, I have been able to overcome them. Pres has helped me navigate who I truly am and who I want to be. Through it all, I have learned to work hard to find solutions, to seek help from people I trust, and that no matter what, my voice — and the person I am — matters and makes a difference. I can’t wait to take the lessons I’ve learned at Pres with me as I move on to the next step of my journey.

The magnetic pull of Presentation

Ella Spriggs-Dial

I knew I was always destined for Presentation Academy. My mother, aunt, cousins and grandma all attended Pres, so I had been introduced early on. I remember coming to Pres in the fifth grade to watch my cousin play volleyball. The feeling of watching all the girls play together, smiling, laughing, devoted and passionate was unmatched. It was the first time I felt the magnetic pull of Pres. When I shadowed in seventh grade, everything felt familiar, it all felt like home. I was beyond excited to finally get to Pres. Going into my freshman year, I knew how badly I wanted to be a Pres Girl, but I was nervous about whether Pres wanted me or not, and that maybe I wouldn’t fit in. I was greatly mistaken because there is no such thing as not fitting in at Pres. There is never a moment where you can feel lonely because you are never truly alone in Pres. The reason everyone is so friendly and able to be so close is because to be a Pres Girl is to be open to the experience of growing and being shaped by Pres. Everyone knows that as soon as you enter Pres, it never leaves you. The memories and lessons you learn are ones that stick with you for the rest of your life. Having walked through the Pres experience, I now know that I had no idea how much of myself I was missing. As my time here is coming to an end, I am forever grateful for everything Pres has given me, even though it makes me sad knowing I won’t be here every day next year. I know that my experience here can’t last forever but I won’t ever be entirely gone from Pres because it will always be a second home waiting for me if I ever need it.  

It’s hard to put the feeling of Pres into words. I can talk about every smile, joke, silly conversation, pep rally, school event, sports game, and how much fun you have at Pres, but that doesn’t accurately catch the magnetic feeling you get about Pres. The feeling when you walk into a classroom and know that all the people around you care about you and will be your biggest cheerleaders. The feeling of walking up the front steps on your first day freshman year, knowing that these people will be your sisters for the next 4 years. Never feeling like you can’t do something, because every teacher and student will always push you to reach further and further. It’s hard to describe the deep impact Pres has on every girl that comes through, but all it takes is visiting once to get the taste of the never-ending experience of what a Pres Girl is.

The Record
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