Cassandra Mitchell ’17 graduates from Ridley on May 27th, ending one chapter of her story and beginning another. While Ridley will always be her home, come September, Cassandra will be packing her bags and travelling 11,121 km to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she will attend New York University’s global campus.
Cassandra’s Ridley journey began three years ago and, in that short time, she fully has embodied what it means to be a Ridleian. She has been active in every aspect of a Ridley education – academics, arts, athletics and co-curricular programmes. With a strong passion for global change and human rights, Cassandra has led groups such as the Positive Space Group – which was just nominated for a Niagara UNITY Award – and Ridley’s environmental group, the Green Tigers. In her final year at Ridley, she has also led her peers as a school Prefect.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme has challenged Cassandra for the past two years; encouraging her to take risks, broaden her horizons and grow as a learner. However, academics were not the only valuable aspect of Ridley that Cassandra has benefitted from.
“Without a doubt I would not be going to my dream school next year without the amazing support I have received here at Ridley. I have been given the opportunity to grow as a learner through the IB programme, and grow as a leader through prefectship and the clubs I’m involved in. During my time at Ridley, I have been given so many opportunities to further my education. I have to, once again, mention the IB programme because it has helped me so much. I am a more intelligent, more thoughtful, and just a better person because of the programme. I am so grateful for that privilege, but I think the most valuable thing that Ridley has given me has nothing to do with being a student. Through the amazing people I’ve met, I have learned how to listen, and have developed some of the most meaningful relationships of my life.” – Cassandra Mitchell ’17
The network of students that spans campus is so vast, connecting all aspects of Ridley life. Students have friends in their houses, in the studio, on the field and in the classroom, creating a web of support. That deep connectivity has given Cassandra many memories to look back upon as she prepares to walk across the stage on Prize Day 2017.
“I’m going to miss the maple tree outside of the Marriott Gates. I pass it on the way to school every day and in the fall, it turns the most spectacular shade of red. I’m going to miss trying to squish seven girls on a four-person couch in house meetings. I’m going to miss reading all the plaques around the school and imagining faces to all the names I don’t recognize and imagining what the classrooms and the dining hall and the hallways looked like 100 years ago. This is a special place.” – Cassandra Mitchell ’17
High school graduation is a big step, but the promise of adventure and discovery has Cassandra eager for this next chapter. New York University’s global campus’ purpose is to foster the next generation of global leaders. Cassandra will be among likeminded individuals, who believe in the future and are prepared to dedicate their lives to changing the world. Beyond the invigorating academic and intellectual experience Cassandra is preparing for, she is also excited for the opportunities that await her in the Middle East.
“What attracted me most immediately was the ethos of the school. The vision of the institution is something that I am so excited to be a part of. The second, more superficial, selfish reason I am so attracted to the school is the location. I absolutely adore travelling and exploring places I’ve never been. The Middle East is an area of the world I have yet to explore, full of cultures I can’t wait to immerse myself in.” – Cassandra Mitchell ’17
On May 27th, Cassandra will become an Old Ridleian, connecting her and her classmates to over 8,000 alumni spanning the globe. Cassandra will continue to grow during her journey abroad and is excited to see how Ridley transforms as well.
“I’m excited to watch Ridley grow. I’m excited to watch the plans I hear about now come to fruition. I can’t wait to come back here to visit and find that the school has grown to be even better than I remember it.” – Cassandra Mitchell ’17
Congratulations to Cassandra and the Class of 2017 as they embark on their great journeys beyond the Marriott Gates.