St. Stephen’s truly felt like a community to me beyond just being a school. It was more than just a place to learn certain academic subjects; you were encouraged to figure yourself out as a person. There were plenty of eccentric students and faculty, and that was celebrated; you weren’t expected to fit a particular mold. I liked the fact that people came in with all different backgrounds because meeting other students with interesting life experiences was part of the education and, being a small school, you really did get to know people.
My mother was one of the librarians. I remember when she was considering taking the job, I begged her not to. My mom and I got along great, but the idea of my mother being in my school felt so embarrassing to me. She took the job anyway, and I realized it was a bonus to have her there; I would hit her up for money if people were going for gelato after school, and she gave me the gossip from the faculty meetings. It made the school, even more a part of my family.
Another highlight for me was the theater program. At a larger school, I don't think I ever would have had the nerve to try out for drama performances, but it was truly one of the greatest experiences, and it built my self-confidence. Theater introduced me to a different crew of people, friends who I would not have met otherwise. As you can imagine, anyone who is interested in drama tends to be an interesting, creative person. St. Stephen’s really encourages you to try new things, and for me, drama was a highlight.