Xonatia Values Education as She Looks Forward to Barnard

ABC_XonatiaLeeSrPic_09122014_lg.jpgAs senior Xonatia Lee reflects back on her freshman year, she recalls a young woman for whom college was an an abstract idea. "Before I came (to ABC), we talked about going to college but I never really knew fully what it meant."

In Andover, Xonatia met peers and a community that turned an abstract notion into a primary goal. "Everyone knows here that the goal is getting into a college."

As Xonatia heads to Barnard College in New York City with a plan to study Political Science and International Relations, she says she looks most forward to meeting new people, particularly international students, with whom she hopes to engage on the issues affecting the world. "I am really excited to get their different perspectives."

Xonatia notes that what she will miss most about her four years in Andover will be her host family—the Carmichaels "They have always been there for me", she says fondly, adding, "My host mom cooks really well!"

While Xonatia has broadened her horizons with new experiences included skiing and traveling recently to somewhere with Habitat for Humanity, the biggest changes have been more personal. "Living in the ABC house I definitely learned who I am; what I like and dislike. I've developed into an adult."

Equally important has been the evolution in her own understanding of the importance of educational opportunity. "Being here has definitely influenced my beliefs about the value of education. People living in other communities don't realize the value of a good education. After I came to Andover—where there are good schools and opportunities—it's very clear that not everyone has this available to them, and they are not even aware of it." True that Xonatia!