Presentation Graduation Essays 2023

Pres accepts student for who she is

Allie Conover

When she first shadowed at Presentation Academy, she found herself a comfortable home. A place she could be herself and find others who would accept her for who she was. When she first walked through the old but still beautiful front doors with the friends she met at Freshman Orientation, she knew she was at home.

She struggled with the transition from grade school to high school at first, but very quickly adjusted to her new surroundings. But she was still a quiet and reserved person, and she enclosed herself within walls, despite being surrounded by many wonderful people. Over the years, however, she broke those walls down and gained confidence. She found her voice and came to terms with who she was. She was a writer. She was a creator and an advocate, according to her Myers-Briggs Personality Test. But, most importantly, she was free to be herself, and that comforted her.

Despite how long the days felt, she found that the years had flown by faster than she had thought possible. Assignments and projects were a blurry memory, but she reflected on all the good times she had experienced through her high school years. A STEAM Club field trip to the zoo. Singing in the school chorus for a brief time. Every single theater experience, from Twelve Angry Women to Clue to Zombie Prom. Getting to write and produce her own show, a challenging but exciting experience! All the wonderful people she knew. The people she no longer were close with but accepted that people change. She knew that she had certainly changed for the better, for her own sake. For her own well-being. If she was still the girl from freshman year, the one who closed herself up to the world, then she would have been miserable for the rest of her time in high school, as well as the rest of her life. But she didn’t let that happen. She grew up, and she loved the person she had become.

All of these changes happened because of her time spent at Presentation, and she is grateful that she had the opportunity to spend her high school career growing and learning there. Though she is leaving this chapter behind, the memories will remain in her mind for the rest of her life.

She is me. I’m so happy I’ve made it this far, and I hope that college will provide me with new experiences, challenges, and opportunities. I thank all of the friends I’ve made for being there along the way to laugh and cry and embrace. Thank you to the teachers who have helped me improve my skills and learn new knowledge.

Thank you, Presentation Academy, for having me.

Pres helps student discover her authentic self 

Fatimah Alawami

As I walked up the front steps into the doors of Presentation Academy on my first day of freshman year, I knew this school would become my second home for the next four years. I came to Pres as one of two people from my middle school, unfamiliar with the rich traditions that have been passed down for generations. I essentially had the opportunity to become the person I’ve always wanted to be, and this made me look forward to coming to school every day. 

Throughout my time at Pres, I’ve been surrounded by a strong community of sisters from all different backgrounds, zip codes, and stories that have been immensely touching. During my time as an underclassman, the upperclassmen represented values and characteristics I admired. Their confidence, leadership, kindness, and proactivity that filled the hallways held a powerful symbol of their growth as a Pres Girl. I knew I wanted to be that inspiration for others, and so I began to involve myself in all my interests: student Y-Club, Dance Team, WE Day club, and volunteering outside of school. I also helped prepare the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration to showcase to the school. Pres has given me opportunities to educate my fellow classmates about my culture, which is very important and special to me. 

Coming out of my shell has been one of the many gifts Pres has given me the space to do. This environment pushes us to leave our comfort zone, to ask ourselves those uncomfortable questions, and to truly learn from our mistakes. That is one of the amazing things about being a Pres girl as it has transformed me into an aware, intuitive, and assertive woman and leader. Having supportive teachers that I look forward to talking to everyday is another key component to my experience at Pres. Being able to trust my teachers with my personal struggles, to hug and receive reassurance and advice, or simply stopping by their classroom for a laugh have been connections I am beyond grateful to have made. 

As I’m getting ready to walk down the front steps of Presentation Academy on my last day of senior year, I will be taking all my memories, lessons, and skills I’ve been taught during my time in the building. Presentation is bigger than the physical building itself, but the many strong, independent, and amazing graduates who have come before me. I will be carrying the Pres legacy, and with extreme pride. Presentation has touched thousands of young women, like me, to grow into their most authentic selves. I cannot thank Presentation Academy enough for the past four years full of tradition, fun, sisterhood, and growth. Once a Pres girl, always a Pres Girl.

Pres becomes ‘forever family’

Grace McGregor

“These are going to be the best four years of your life” my older sister told me as she drove me to my first day of school freshman year. I was excited but nervous as I got out of the car and looked at what was supposed to be my second home for the next four years. I adapted pretty quickly and fit in the best I could. Fast forward two years later, after many struggles in and out of school, I realized this wasn’t the place for me. I had a long talk with my parents and decided to transfer. My dad told me, “Don’t tell anyone till you are fully committed, you don’t need other people negatively influencing your decision, do what’s best for you.” That was the best advice given to me in this whole process.

“Let’s do it right this time” my dad told me, the night before my big first day. So, there I was again, walking into a new building not knowing very many people on my first day, just as a junior. I was excited, but not as nervous — something felt different this time, it felt right. With just my first week at Presentation Academy I had so many friends and people who were rooting for my success. I was part of the volleyball team who embraced me and empowered me. I was in the highest classes and could always ask for help when I needed it.

At Presentation you are more than a name on a list and a number in a building. I finally felt like I mattered. I had so many opportunities I didn’t have before. In the summer leading up to my first year I tried out for the volleyball team and made JV. My enthusiasm and determination to get back to the same level as everyone else after not playing for two years was strongly embraced and supported. I was chosen to go on the Varsity only trip to the bluegrass tournament and quickly fell in love with the program. That program now holds some of my fondest memories.

In the winter of my senior year, I even tried to play basketball for the first time in five years. I had all the support in the world even though I was very, very bad. At Pres, every single teacher knew my name, and some were there for me through thick and thin. After two very fast years at Pres, I became co-editor of the yearbook, co-captain of the varsity volleyball team, a student ambassador, and a member of peer leadership.

After two short years I learned high school IS supposed to be some of the best years of your life — it just took me a while and a change of surroundings to realize it. Pres gave me my forever family, sisters who aren’t blood, but I formed bonds with stronger than imaginable, teachers who I formed such strong relations and trust with, the most supportive teammates in the world, the biggest opportunities I’ve ever had, and the best two years of my life.

The Record
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