Senior Spotlight: Abigail

Throughout her time at Bennett, Abigail has truly made her mark. She will be graduating with an impressive collection of awards, scholarships, and experiences, reflecting her dedication to academics, community, and leadership.

In her freshman year, Abigail earned third place in the national Civic Action Project Multimedia Contest with a project on how gentrification affected thrift store prices in her community. She created a detailed presentation, including a thesis, research, and solutions, and even wrote letters to local officials to highlight the issue. Abigail was awarded the Ewing-Jones Scholarship for two consecutive summers, allowing her to take classes at the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institution. This scholarship is awarded to only one student from Chicago each year.

As a sophomore, she received the HFS Three Pillars Award, recognizing her academic excellence and community involvement. This award included a special luncheon with HFS board members to discuss opportunities and growth. In her junior year, Abigail led her team in the Space for the Benefit of Earth Challenge. Their project on a waste management system for Mars was one of 10 chosen nationwide, and they presented it at Blue Origin’s Orbital Manufacturing Complex.

In the summer of 2022, Abigail participated in the Yale Young Global Scholars program, where she took classes on solving global challenges and worked on a capstone project addressing the wealth divide in the U.S. education system.

Additionally, she spent two summers at The School of The New York Times, taking journalism classes and immersing herself in writing and reporting. Her first summer, she wrote an article on her journey to embracing her curly hair and the effect the media had on her perceptions of curly hair. The following summer, she explored immigration in NYC, interviewing individuals about their views on the American Dream, including an immigrant from Honduras, an immigration judge, and a student studying abroad.

This year, Abigail was named a Coca-Cola Scholar, earning a $20,000 scholarship for her leadership and service. She also received the Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship, which comes with $4,000.

Why did you choose/decide to go to Bennett Day School?

I imagined my high school experience to be a time to explore what I was most passionate about. I was drawn immediately by the project-based learning (PBL) curriculum and the freedom to learn about topics that interested me. Throughout the application process, I was introduced to amazing people who soon would have such an impactful presence in my education. I was content with my choice and eternally grateful for the experiences I was already gaining.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I will be attending Northwestern University where I plan on double majoring in journalism and political studies with a minor in legal studies. I hope to become a foreign correspondent, reporting on stories from around the world. In the future, I envision myself going to law school to pursue a career as an immigration lawyer.

What’s your favorite project-based learning (PBL) memory?

Although I have loved all the projects I got the opportunity to work on, my first trimester PBL was my favorite. We focused on democracy and worked in groups to develop a mock presidential election. My favorite part was the independent portion. We were instructed to research an issue we were passionate about solving and create civic action. I was passionate about talking about gentrification and decided to research the effects it had on thrift stores. I organized my own ‘pop-up’ thrift store and collected donations to give out to my community. Although I learned a lot from my research, I learned even more by talking to my community and creating change.

What advice would you give rising seniors?

Don’t be afraid to be your most authentic and confident self, especially during the college application process. Reach out for help when you need it, take care of yourself, and always utilize the resources around you. In the end, everything happens for a reason and you will all end up where you need to be!

What are you excited for after Bennett?

I am excited to implement the skills I have learned at Bennett in a different learning environment. I also can’t wait to be a part of campus life and hope to join many publications and clubs!