|Year of Entry: 2008
||Age at Entry: 16
||Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Choosing to attend the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) at Mary Baldwin College was the right choice for me for a plethora of reasons. Most importantly, I had been bored in school for some time and needed to be challenged intellectually. The program gave me an incredible opportunity to learn at a higher-level and an accelerated pace that I had craved for so long while also providing me with a safe, encouraging, and supportive environment to grow in. I was surrounded daily by other students who had the same drive for and devotion to learning that I had always known. Unlike the regular high school I would have attended, every PEG student I came across was also there because she wanted to learn, improve, and achieve.
At first I thought the adjustment from my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia would be a hard one; I thought perhaps the distance from my family (and the climate change) might be too much. To my relief, PEG and the Mary Baldwin community made feel as if I was close to home, helping to me develop to my fullest extent. During my time at Mary Baldwin I gained the courage to run for various school government positions and was elected every time. I became more independent, confident, and proud of my successes. By my sophomore year I even began a part-time job. PEG made it clear to me that I truly could accomplish anything I put my mind to.
Participating in the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted was one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in my life, and it is something that I will never forget. I will forever cherish the knowledge, memories, and friendships that I have taken from the experience. Without PEG and Mary Baldwin, I would not be the person I am today.