By Caitlyn Veal
Covid-19 has altered our education practices, and Ben Gabrovic, who graduated in 2020, took a path in ASW that he believes resulted in his success and set him up well for these tough times.
When he arrived at ASW he described himself as a shy 4th grader who was coming from the US. Coming to a new school lets us grasp new perspectives and beginnings. “The first thing I acquired was an acceptance of different cultures and global perspectives”.
“Thanks to ASW I developed a passion for theatre starting from 5th grade. I was able to consistently develop this passion each year throughout theatre classes in middle/high school as well as performances”, said Ben. He describes getting into trouble in middle school, but says that those years are where we discover ourselves. “During this time I had great support from the teaching staff, one day all 4 of the core class teachers organized a meeting with me to sit and tell me that I could do better and that they knew I wasn’t reaching my potential. Down-to-earth conversations like these showed that teachers really cared and motivated me to do the best I could out of respect for myself and the teachers.”
One piece of advice that stuck with Ben is the term Carpe Diem, “Mr. Pan Adam said this quote to me but he actually endorsed the quote causing it to stick with me,” said Ben.
Sports were an important part of his life as well and he quotes, “Mr. Kearnan during a huddle mid-game said, “our basket is our mama’s kitchen… We don’t let anyone in our mama’s kitchen take a sandwich!” “In high school,” he added, “I developed immensely as an athlete and loved competing with other teams in tournaments”
“I can’t even tell you when but since I was a little kid I always picture myself walking across the stage, getting the diploma, and shaking the principal’s hand with a feeling of such accomplishment”, Ben said. “Especially after seeing my older brother receive the diploma at graduation, I couldn’t wait for my turn.”
He was the graduating class of 2020, and something important he says that should be shared is, “the school helped our class in being comforting and supportive of each other to help us get through IB and so I build super close bonds with classmates that will be kept for life.”
Even though graduation looked a little bit differently than normal he said, “Although the ceremony was pretty different, I think it was unique in an awesome way and I was super fortunate that the school was able to organize a physical ceremony for us.” One more aspect was the visual appearance of the audience; parents couldn’t come onto campus because of the regulations and he more about his experience, “It was definitely weird having the audience be a bunch of cars, but the feeling of walking across the stage was no different.”
Ben says there is only one thing he would do differently if he could do high school again. “I think to offer me more opportunities I would have stuck with HL math in order to apply to more schools in the UK and I maybe would’ve been contemplated taking computer science because I think that it is a valuable subject to know, considering the direction the world is going.”