Kimberly R. Drew
St. George’s School, Class of 2008
That’s Kimberly Drew in a scene from The Prep School Negro, describing the social do’s and don’t’s she quickly had to learn when her dream came true – to attend an elite private high school. Kimberly, now in her second year at Smith College, shares with us what happened when her dream became reality…
When I was first introduced to the boarding school life style, I was thrilled. I saw the rolling green fields and smiling faces on boarding school advertisements. I knew immediately that it was my destiny to be a part of the “boarding school elite.” After getting accepted to the Wight Foundation, a scholarship program that works as a support system for middle-schoolers interested in boarding school, I knew that I had the artillery to head off to high school.
My gilded dream very quickly became a reality in the fall of 2004 when I showed up for my first day at St. George’s School in Rhode Island. I went to freshman orientation and jumped right into the social life on campus. I was shocked when I realized that I was the only new female African-American student admitted that year.
After the bumpy ride of my first year at St. George’s I realized that it was time for a change. I had to take time and reassess why I decided to attend a boarding school. I had never wanted to go to St. George’s to be black or be a woman; I could do that at home. It was not my job to be a representative for my race or feel that I had to act a certain way around my classmates. I knew that I went to St. George’s to step out of my comfort zone, so that year I joined the field hockey team and began hanging out with some of my classmates. I found out that by being comfortable within my own identity and not allowing it to limit me that I could accomplish a lot.
I am very thankful for all of the lessons that I have learned from my experience at St. George’s. My words of wisdom for current and prospective PSNs – take time and assess yourself and ask why you are at your respective school – because at the end of the day it is your journey. Don’t fear change or challenges, because I know that I would not be who I am if I had not taken a risk on myself.
…Kimberly R. Drew
Smith College ’12