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Winsor girls see a world of possibilities

10/12/2017, 6 a.m.
Students raise their hands in a Winsor School classroom. COURTESY THE WINSOR SCHOOL

“Winsor girls have a passion to create change in the world, and that’s something that the world definitely needs,” reflects Unique, a senior at the Winsor School in Boston, a leading independent school for academically promising girls in grades 5-12.

In its mission of preparing girls to “contribute to the world,” Winsor opens girls’ eyes to their own extraordinary potential in countless ways, from cutting-edge Global Studies to hands-on STEM courses to extensive arts and athletics.

Looking ahead, Unique sees “so many different possibilities.” Thanks to Winsor, “I’m prepared to be anything that I want to be.”

“When I think about Winsor girls, I think bold,” adds Anshi, now a Harvard undergraduate. “Every Winsor girl that I know just pushes the boundaries. Winsor is a place that prepares strong women, in every sense of the word, to take ownership of making the world a better place, to think bigger, to think broadly, and to be able to listen to others.”

Winsor alumnae have been “pushing boundaries” for more than a century. Today, Winsor continues to build on a tradition of forward thinking with a vision of providing girls with an education second to none. In spring 2015, Winsor’s new centers for the performing arts and for athletics and wellness opened. The transformative building project has doubled the school’s educational space, and also includes an Innovation Lab and state-of-the-art new classrooms.

Every space focuses on skills that promising girls will need to thrive in the future.

Located in Boston’s dynamic Longwood Medical Area, Winsor draws its students from across the city and more than 50 surrounding communities.

The school strives to be “a place where everyone feels welcome,” reflects Julian Braxton, director of community and multicultural affairs. Affinity groups are a powerful way in which the school lives out its ideals of welcome and support.

Groups include SISTERS, short for Sharing Individual Stories Through Everyone’s RootS, a support system for girls of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Cape Verdean, and Latina descent; SOMOS, an affinity group for Latina Heritage and Hispanic Heritage students; and AsIAm, for students of Asian descent including the Indian subcontinent.

“The best part,” explains one Winsor student, “is knowing that everyone comes into our group with an open attitude. We bond with one another and share parts of ourselves and honestly become each other’s sisters.”

From the start, “we try to teach girls the importance of actively and positively defining yourself,” adds Mr. Braxton.

Each fall, the school’s Parent Network for Diversity also sponsors a “welcome” event, helping girls and families feel at home at Winsor.

At Winsor, “we want every girl who comes through the door to feel like this is her place,” explains Sarah Pelmas, Winsor’s head of school. As she tells the girls, “You need to be your authentic selves, and be open to everyone else being their authentic selves.”

Winsor’s lessons—and friendships—stay with girls for their lifetimes. The college choices of Winsor graduates reflect the strength of both the school and its students. In recent years, the colleges attracting the largest number of Winsor alumnae have been Amherst, Barnard, BC, Bowdoin, Brown, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Michigan, NYU, Stanford, Tufts, University of Chicago, UPenn, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Williams and Yale. While college is in girls’ immediate futures, Winsor truly prepares them for life.

“We’re excited to share why Winsor is such a special place,” says Pamela Parks McLaurin, director of admission and financial aid and a Winsor graduate herself. When she talks to girls, she weaves a simple invitation into her conversations: “Challenge yourself. Enjoy yourself. Be yourself.”

The admission team looks carefully at every girl who applies, and seeks girls who will thrive here. Intellectual curiosity, academic ability, motivation, a generous spirit and a respect for difference are all part of what Winsor seeks.

On Friday, November 10, the school’s annual Admission Open House will offer interested families a firsthand glimpse of Winsor girls and teachers in action on a typical day.

To learn more, please call the Admission Office at 617-735-9503 or visit www.winsor.edu.