Ally Schoenberg ’16
Currently Attending: University of Pennsylvania
Years at Shipley: 14
Activities & Positions Held: DECA, Student Mentor, Volleyball; Yearbook Co-Editor, Field Hockey Co-Captain, Admissions Ambassador Co-Head, Will Trippley Tutoring Head, Community Life Representative, Chess Club Co-Head
Free to Be Me
Shipley surrounded me with a welcoming, enthusiastic, and accepting community that left me free to be and do what I wanted, while learning along the way.
I will always remember watching my handmade balsa wood bridge hold 35 pounds before finally crashing to the ground in engineering class. The moment reminded me of the benefits of risk taking and how great it has been to be in a school where risk taking is encouraged and supported. Without the support of my advisor and college counselor, I may have never taken the class and never experienced the feeling of satisfaction as I watched the success of my bridge. In a few short months, I went from knowing nothing about engineering to building the second place bridge in my class.
Teachers Who Care and Make Time
I have great relationships with so many teachers, and whether it is for extra help with schoolwork or just to chat, they always make themselves as available as possible to students, proving how much they care about every student.
A United Community
Westward Ho is a fourth grade field trip where, after studying the Oregon trail and the old American West, students dress up in old clothes, pack wagons, and walk to Ashbridge park for a day filled with activities and games. The fourth grade teachers select a few high school students to come back and help them run the activities, and I was lucky enough to be asked to help. Still, even as a high school student, I looked forward to this day every year. Westward Ho embodies the united community that Shipley has; connecting fourth graders, high school students, and faculty, in a fun, educational, and exciting day.
Blood, Sweat & Tears
I was the yearbook editor my senior year, and the saying “blood, sweat, and tears” barely describes the energy I put into the book. Being the yearbook editor is all consuming; it requires using every free minute during the day to work on the book, track down seniors and others for photos and information, a keen eye for editing, and a lot of hard work and creativity. There were a few times during the year where I was honestly concerned we wouldn’t finish the book on time, and I can’t think of a moment where I was more proud of myself, and my co-editors, than when we got to see our final product. This was a moment like no other because there was a physical product that was proof of all of our hard work! I am grateful for yearbook and Mrs. Greenwood for having taught me dedication, perseverance, and how to take pride in my work.
Becoming a Better Writer
My most influential teacher was Ms. Greenberg. I had her both in 10th grade and again in 12th for honors English. English was always my hardest subject. Articulating my thoughts clearly and succinctly was never my strong suit, and in 10th grade Ms. Greenberg pushed and challenged me to become a clearer and more independent thinker and writer. Somehow, though her goal was to get me to become more independent, she was by my side through the whole process. I was lucky enough to have her again two years later, which allowed her to truly see my growth as a student, something she was not shy about sharing. In addition to being an influential teacher, Ms. Greenberg also acted as a mentor to me outside of the classroom, strengthening our relationship.
My most memorable Shipley moment is when I received my first diploma from my little acorn. I remember sitting as a tiny Acorn watching the towering seniors accept their diplomas from us, but I never realized how much it would mean to me 14 years later. When my Acorn handed me my diploma, I realized I had come full circle, and that my Shipley career was coming to an end. While this made me extremely sad, it also made me appreciate Shipley for everything that makes it special; there is no other place where a piece of paper colored with crayon means so much to someone.
Plans for Fall 2016
I am so excited that in the fall of 2016 I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania. I knew that I wanted to be at an institution that shared values similar to Shipley, instilling in each student a love of learning and the importance of compassionate participation in the world. In addition, I am really excited to attend Penn to further explore interdisciplinary coursework that I have been introduced to and loved at Shipley. I am not yet sure what my major will be, but like Shipley, Penn enables each student to take the time to find what they love and pursue it.
My future ambition is to find a career that I love and that makes a positive impact on other people and the world. While I am not sure what field this will be in, I know that I will find something that I am good at, that I love to do, and that makes a difference in the world.
Shipley has prepared me to be confident in who I am, who I can be, and what I can achieve at the collegiate level and beyond.