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The Woods Academy

Where curiosity and confidence thrive.
Caring & Community-Building
Sarah Bash (2013)

I am a little over halfway through my third year at Colby College, and I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. I absolutely love living in Maine, and I have grown so much during my time at Colby. I am double majoring in Physics and Philosophy, and I have no idea what kinds of adventures my life has in store for me after graduation next spring.

I think about my time at Woods often because I learned so much about kindness and compassion during my time there. I will always remember teachers like Mrs. Piwko, Mrs. Taverner, Mr. Clubbs, and Ms. Kasten as a few of the most caring individuals that I have ever met, and I feel incredibly lucky to have taken their classes. They inspired me to push myself academically and offered me all of the support I could ask for. Classmates like Noah Montemarano, Grace Heming, Ana Harmsen, and Madison Sotos taught me how to listen compassionately and showed me what friendship truly looks like. I feel immense gratitude whenever I look back on these friendships because they each pushed me to grow in distinct ways. All of these people brought so much light into my life and showed me what community truly looks like.

My three older brothers – Nic (2001), Chris (2003), and Jamie (2009) – all attended The Woods, so I knew many of my teachers well before I walked into their classrooms for the first time. In fact, Mrs. Piwko met me only a few months after I was born. I always felt so at home during my time at woods, but I did not realize how rare that can be until well after graduation. There was such a powerful emphasis placed on each student’s sense of belonging, and I am so grateful for all of the care that went into my education. Woods showed me what it really means to build a community by fostering friendships and modeling kindness. Community is extremely important to me and has been a huge part of my life. As one of the CAs, or Community Advisors on campus, I work to build community among my residents and ensure that the first-years on my floor have a smooth transition to college. I use the listening skills I learned at Woods almost every day, and I constantly push myself to become a more compassionate person. Another huge part of my job is working to make the campus a more inclusive place. As a CA, I have been able to continue meaningful conversations that my friends and I started during recess at Woods.

As a proud member of the Colby Woodsmen Team, I also travel all over New England and Eastern Canada to compete in a mixed bag of events based on old-time lumberjack skills. Through the team, I’ve made an incredibly strong and supportive group of friends. Like the friends I made at Woods, each and every one of them has taught me something new about what it means to be a kind person. We chose the motto “one team one love” to emphasize the importance of maintaining an inclusive and accepting community on the team. I feel extremely lucky to be part of such a warm community, and I am so glad that I came into college knowing just how supportive communities can be.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been part of The Woods community. During my time there, I gained confidence in myself and my ability to grow that I would not trade for the world. The people I met there had such a huge impact on my life and pushed me to grow more kind and compassionate every day.