Meet some of our young alumni, and see the joy and passion that Pacem students are bringing to the world!
Colette Kelly attended Pacem from 2007-2012, and was Pacem’s first graduate! Following her graduation from Pacem, Colette took a gap year to work as a line cook at Détente restaurant in Edgartown, Massachusetts, before attending Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. At Barnard, Colette earned dual undergraduate degrees in Dance and Environmental Science, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017. She is now a PhD candidate in Earth System Science at Stanford University, using the site-specific stable isotopes of nitrous oxide to study its formation in oxygen-deficient regions of the ocean.
“Pacem was integral to becoming a researcher. In particular, I found myself leaning heavily on the principles and strategies learned in Project Class as I wrote my two undergraduate theses — at its core, writing a thesis is essentially Project Class, but on a larger scale. These principles and strategies have stayed with me, only becoming more important as I have embarked upon my PhD dissertation.”
Kiana (she/her) graduated from Pacem in June, 2018. She is continuing to study her passions as an undergraduate student in the Individualized Bachelor of Arts program at Goddard College. She remains connected to the Pacem community as a member of the Board Circle and loves joining in for community events to see what Pacem students are up to now. Kiana remains a strong advocate for Pacem and never misses an opportunity to share her love of the school with others. She says:
“Without Pacem, I would not be the person that I am today. This fabulous education and community helped me grow in ways that I could not even imagine. As a student there, I was given the space and freedom to follow my passions and discover myself as a lifelong learner. Most importantly, my time at Pacem helped me to believe in myself and develop confidence in my abilities. Today I walk through the world proudly knowing my own worth–and a large part of that, I owe to Pacem School.”
Aaron (he/they) attended Pacem as a middle-schooler before moving to the Upper Valley. He then attended Hanover High for three years and ended their high school experience with a study abroad trip to Sicily. There, he lived with a host family and studied at an Italian music high school. Aaron is now an Environmental Studies major at Mount Holyoke College, class of 2024. They are enjoying singing in the choir and playing ice hockey for the first time!
“I often reflect on my middle school years as some of the best times of my life, which surprises my public school friends. Aside from the academics that set me up to thrive in high school, the values I learned at Pacem are still with me to this day. The inclusive environment, and not only allowing but encouraging students to spend time outdoors, are both unique to this school. Because of Pacem, I know what to look for when entering new communities, whether that be when choosing a college, abroad program, job or even friend group. I was given a space to introspect, to cooperate, and to make mistakes. Creatively, I could not have asked for a better place to explore my writing and artistic style. I also discovered my passion for environmental studies at Pacem. In fact, my potential concentration within the field going forward – environmental science communication to youth – was formulated upon reflection of what worked well for me learning-wise in my formative years. I am so grateful to have the hopeful community of Pacem. My values and life are continuously formed by the experience.”