Emma Beachy ’18 | #youareims
The one word Emma Beachy (‘18) would use to describe IMS is HOME. “My years at IMS helped me build lasting, lifelong connections to the people I shared the halls with. IMS taught me to think critically about the world around me and examine what I believe and why. No matter where I go in the world, I still feel tethered to IMS and to the community it represents.” She went on to add, “I love the fact that IMS feels like a family. I still feel a very deep connection to the school and community even though I am over 500 miles away.”
Emma said IMS was instrumental in making her the person she is today. She mentioned this comes from the small class sizes and teachers who are invested in their students’ which creates learning fostered in an environment of curiosity and intellectual growth. She said she was encouraged to think critically in classes across all disciplines, and she had the opportunity to see things from the diverse perspectives of her classmates. IMS also allowed her to examine what she believes and why. She was able to reach conclusions about values and ethics at IMS because she was encouraged to consider her individual purpose and how to make the world a better place. Emma said, “If I had not attended IMS, I would not have experienced the support that made that possible.”
So how does this all translate into Emma’s preparedness for college and life beyond school? She said, “As a college freshman, I see clearly the value of the academic preparation I received at IMS. Not only have I acquired the technical skills necessary to read, write, and work at the college level, but IMS has also prepared me well for the major task of higher education, which is to analyze, interpret, and think critically about the information presented to me. Because of my IMS education, I was prepared not only to understand information but to take the next and crucial step of constructing sound arguments around that information and connecting it to the world around me. In addition, I had opportunities to be involved in a number of different areas during my time at IMS, and the skills I gained in leadership, time management, and organization as an IMS student have served me incredibly well. IMS also taught me how to collaborate with others and live in community. At IMS, there were many people I disagreed with on a variety of issues, but we were still able to be part of the same community, respect one another, and reach across divisions. IMS is a place where everyone is valued and we recognize that we need each other to grow and move forward. That perspective has informed my attitude toward the rest of the world and deepened my desire to connect with other people, even and especially those who are different from me.
Emma said of the integration of faith into the IMS experience, “Faith is inseparable from the learning that takes place at IMS. Sometimes that takes the form of discussing biblical text and interpretation in Bible classes, but it goes beyond that. When discussing basic questions of philosophy in AP English, the freedom to bring faith into the conversation was very useful, because religion is tied to central questions about the meaning of existence and our purpose as humans. Because IMS is a space that allows us to enter these conversations with teachers and students, we are able to expand our understanding and get to the truth at the heart of very important issues, and that is what learning is all about.”
Finally, what would Emma tell someone considering enrolling at IMS? We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! She said, “As an incoming high school freshman, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to IMS because most of my friends were going to a local public school. Looking back, there is no question that I made the right decision to attend IMS. I can’t imagine what my life would look like without this place, and I don’t want to. IMS has fantastic academic and fine arts programs that enriched my high school experience, but that’s just a starting point. Belonging to the deeply rooted community at IMS is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, and I am so grateful to be part of it. That sense of belonging will never go away. I am confident that wherever I go in the world, I will remain connected here. This place has had such a profound impact on my life, and I want others to be able to share in that experience.”