Why Support TGS by Elaine Wright
I spent kindergarten through fifth grade in a local public school system, and while I liked it, sometimes I felt held back academically and that my options were limited. My parents thought I might be happier in a different school environment. My mother had become acquainted with an alum and a parent of The Gregory School, was impressed by their experiences, and felt TGS might be a good fit for me.
After some research and an inquiry, I visited to spend the day with another student. She took me to all her classes and I loved every minute. Everyone was friendly and I didn't feel like I was at school because the environment was so open and welcoming. I immediately applied for admission and scholarship for the following school year. My parents and I were thrilled when we found out I had been accepted.
Since starting as a TGS student in the sixth grade, my education became something I would have never imagined. I had always liked school but I hadn’t really considered what was possible. At The Gregory School, I was always able to take courses that met my academic needs. For instance, I began taking Algebra I in sixth grade and continued on to several other high school classes during middle school. What's best is that those credits were applied to my high school graduation requirements.
Because I was permitted to enroll in advanced classes earlier, I was able to take five Advanced Placement (AP) classes in my junior year. Thanks to the schedule flexibility, since ninth grade I was able to simultaneously study three languages, French, Spanish, and Latin. The Gregory School academic environment is both rigorous and supportive.
In addition to academics, I discovered a variety of extracurriculars at The Gregory School. I participated on the swim and basketball teams and belonged to several clubs on campus. I gave back to the TGS and Tucson communities, tutoring others in our campus Writing Center and volunteering in language classrooms at the International School. I loved exploring different activities and developing my interests.
At The Gregory School, I had incredible opportunities for experiential learning, such as class retreats to ropes course activities. In ninth grade, I visited Google Headquarters with some classmates. In my junior year, I traveled to Israel with four other students to represent The Gregory School at a physics competition held at the Weizmann Institute. We were one of only five schools from the United States to be invited that year and placed fourth internationally.
I am now halfway through my junior year at Princeton University, where I am majoring in electrical engineering with minors in linguistics and computer science. This year, I’ve been conducting computational linguistics research with one of my favorite professors who I’ve known since freshman year. Thanks to the individual attention I received at TGS, I’m accustomed to working closely with teachers and have formed strong relationships with several professors here.
I decided to pursue engineering largely because I loved the creativity and challenge of competing in the international physics tournament with TGS four years ago. Outside of my major, I’ve taken fascinating classes in literature, history, and linguistics, and studied Spanish history and art abroad in Toledo, Spain for a summer. I’ve picked up another language, too, since TGS–American Sign Language. On campus, I am involved with the Society of Women Engineers, ASL club, and my eating club. I’ve continued to play basketball and am captain of the women’s club team. This summer, I’ll be interning as a software engineer at Microsoft. Though I am not yet sure about my post-graduation plans, I know I want to apply my interests in engineering and languages to fields such as computational linguistics, human-computer interaction, and accessible technology.
I had these educational and personal experiences at The Gregory School and beyond because of the generous people who donate to the Annual Fund and the Arizona State Tax Credit. I am forever thankful for you! You have made a profound difference in my time as a student and in my future.