American Hebrew Academy - Review #5
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||North Carolina State University|
|Home Town, State||Columbia, NC|
|Years Attended Boarding School||2|
|Activities During Boarding School||Varsity Volleyball Varsity Track and Field (2 years) Theater productions (2 years) 4 Corners, Charity fundraising group board member (1 year) A Cappella Group (2 years) Minyan Band, Worship group (1 year)|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The mandatory Jewish studies aspect of AHA is a very important thing to me. The religious undertones of the school make it very unique. However I think the most important aspect of the Jewish life on campus is that it was not at all demanding that a student take a certain viewpoint on the religion. All sects of Jews are welcome at AHA, along with non denominational students, and students with no knowledge of their religion. AHA was a vehicle for better understanding our customs and religious ideologies from a sort of objective point of view that allowed us as young adults to have independent thought processes about our religion. It helped us to make up our own mind as to how and if we wanted to be practicing in the future. I always admired how AHA also catered to the most observant students as well, even if some might view it as a hassle.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I was a very shy person before I went to AHA. I was wary about meeting new people, and I wasn't sure how I would fit in. The AHA community was so welcoming, and helped me develop into a more self assured person.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would have honestly paid more attention to my academics. AHA had a very rigorous academic program. I did well in my classes but I could have done better. My advice to kids going to boarding school would be this: Don't sit in your room watching TV all day. Go meet someone. I promise there is a group of kids somewhere doing something that you can join in with. Put yourself out there.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the unity it brought to the table. I am from a rural town in NC with no Jewish community, and AHA brought me into the loop. It gave me a new found love for my religion and its culture and practices.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Sign up for as many art classes as you can! The instructors in the art department are amazing, and the facilities for you there are endless!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The small classroom setting was perfect for someone like me. The set up of the room (everyone sitting around a table) creates a low stress environment where all of the students are comfortable asking questions of their teachers. The instructors themselves are all pros in their fields, and happy to help the students in any way possible.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every student is required to take a fitness credit for every semester. The facilities available to students at AHA is absolutely amazing. They had any sport you could imagine. Playing for a sports team also counts towards your PE credit for the semester. It really promoted sense of health within the community. The sports teams themselves were always very supportive within their groups, and it was a nice atmosphere to be in.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Every student is required to take a certain amount of performing arts credits. This allowed students to access their creative side in a way they might haven ever done before. You could be involved in student productions, musical or straight plays. We also had an a cappella group on campus. During the school day you could take an acting class, or a performance story telling class, or audition to be a part of AHAs premier improv comedy group. I loved the support that everyone on the program had for each other. No matter the event, the caliber, or the people involved, much of the student population would be there cheering their friends on.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I love how AHA has a constant stream of volunteering opportunities . It really gives you a chance to do something selfless. There are many different forms of community service opportunities at AHA. I have helped at food banks, sorted items at charity shops, helped build structures at charity homes, and many other activities.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved that we had sort of "RAs" who are college graduates who live in the building with us and are there to chat with and help us out with anything. I also loved the fact that we called our dorms "houses" and the faculty member in charge of the house the "house parent". It really promotes a sense of togetherness and by the end of the year they really do feel like family. The rooms themselves are small, but big in terms of a 2 person dorm room. they are furnished, equip with closet, desk, bed, and dresser. There is a kitchenette with a fridge available 24/7 along with 2 common areas upstairs filled with couches and chairs and space for students to hang out, study, or have meetings.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was always delicious. AHA kept a kosher kitchen but always managed to make sure there was a good and healthy variety of food at all times. On special occasions/ once every so often the kitchen would have special menu items such as hibachi, make your own waffles, a smoothie station, etc.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
We were in walking distance of a target shopping center. The location of the school is in a nice part of town, and I felt very safe making the mile or so walk to and from the grocery store, or to a restaurant and back.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Since our schedules were so packed full of mandatory things, our social life was our school life. We ended up bonding with people over anything from an English class presentation to a musical theater production.
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