She Didn't Start at Dunn, But This Transfer Found Her Fit
Like most young people heading into high school, boarding school wasn't high on the list of priorities for Sofia Barron-Kardos. But once she visited Dunn, she knew where she wanted to spend her last two years in high school.
While Sofia liked her day school in San Francisco, she wanted to explore the possibility of living away from home for high school.
"I really wanted to be at a boarding school where I could really focus on my studies," she said.
So when she learned about Dunn School—located just a few hours south of her home in San Francisco—she asked her parents to take her for a visit.
And when she walked on campus, she knew she had found what she was looking for.
"Having a faculty advisor who lives on campus is so amazing. She's not like a parent, but more like a friendly face who is always there to help."
"First, I just loved the campus," she said about her first visit. "And during my campus tour, Mr. Beck [Dunn's Head of School] came up and talked to me personally. That was really cool."
Once she arrived as a student at Dunn, she jumped into a variety of activities. She has participated in lacrosse, surfing, and drama; been an active member of student clubs; and served on House Council, a leadership committee in her dorm.
"I've been able to step into leadership roles here and try lots of things," she explains, "because it's a small community but also because it's an encouraging community."
A big part of this community support is the advising program, she says.
"I love how passionate and encouraging the teachers are," she explains. "And having a faculty advisor who lives on campus is so amazing. She's not like a parent, but more like a friendly face who is always there to help."
This support is also evident in her Learning Strategies Executive Group, a small group of students led by a learning specialist. "I was diagnosed with dyslexia in the fourth grade, so it's great to have a group of people to help motivate me and help when I get stuck on a problem."
So what's next for this Dunn senior? She was accepted Early Decision at Smith College, one of the prestigious all-women's colleges known as the Seven Sisters.
"You can make the best of any community, and you can make the worst of any community," she says. "But at a small school like Dunn, with teachers who really care, you have some amazing opportunities ... So keep an open mind, and be open to experiences that a new school can provide."
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