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Freedom to Grow: More than a High School

Written By: 

Megan Risewick

Marketing and communications intern Megan Risewick is a junior at EDS, and she has been an Eagle since seventh grade. She is passionate about promoting the Upper School and building its social media presence. She is also an active member of our Student Leadership Council, academic bowl, cross country, track, and cheer teams. 


When I started at EDS nearly five years ago, I was fairly aware of the things that set the school apart. We had smaller classes than public schools, unique traditions, and the physical classroom environment was much different than other schools. Yet, the way  EDS truly differs from other schools is in the confidence it has given me- because I know my individual voice matters and has the power to change our EDS community. 

I am a generally quiet student who does not ask many questions and likes to figure things out for myself. Going into my high school years at EDS, I thought it would be fairly simple to coast through my classes, not having to contribute to discussions. However, I quickly realized this would not be the case. My teachers have encouraged me to speak up and add my opinion. This has greatly enriched my classroom experience. I can elaborate on my points and understand different perspectives through discussions with my teachers and peers. While this has built my confidence in academic settings, it has also assured me that I should not be afraid to make my voice heard in all aspects of life. In hand with this, I have learned that it is okay to not always be right - that's how you grow. 

The Student Leadership Council at EDS is something I have dedicated myself to advancing and working on perfecting for future Eagles. This year, I am chair of the Co-Curricular Committee, and I have worked to plan events, coordinate favorite school traditions, and manage the social media accounts for the Upper School. Our work in SLC makes me feel like I am working to better the school experience for my friends, and I am very proud of all we have accomplished. We kicked off the year with a summer leaders retreat. We learned to problem solve, work together, and build upon each other's ideas. Creating this strong team makes me feel empowered to speak my mind and set forth new ideas and suggestions without fear. Not only have I found my voice within this group of leaders, but I have received a great amount of freedom from our SLC advisors. I can design and post graphics, form event proposals, create videos promoting events, and hang up flyers for announcements at any time. Since I have established this role for myself within the Upper School, I have been privileged to receive the trust and freedom from my school to pursue these aspirations. 

I know that people viewing EDS from the outside looking in hear about a small number of our distinguishing features as both a school and community. I genuinely believe that our most defining differences, and what I love most about EDS, can only be appreciated through experiencing them. At no other school could I tell my teachers I would like to start taking a marketing internship, and the following week it fits into my schedule. I could not create a proposal for a new event and be able to articulate the value and purpose it holds, and then have complete support from my teachers and other leaders to make it happen. Nowhere else would all of my opinions and observations in class be heard and valued. It is also the simple freedoms I enjoy: off campus lunch days, lounging in comfortable furniture in the commons area, course selection input from students, and independent study and dual credit course opportunities. Throughout my time at EDS, I have been given every tool I could possibly need to succeed. The freedom, encouragement, confidence, and support I have been presented with are truly like wings that will aid me in reaching my goals.