It was not an overnight decision… do you take a leap of faith halfway through grade 11, taking on new subjects, fitting into a new environment, adjusting to a new school culture? For a couple of months, we dissected the concept of starting anew, letting go of the road that led us this far and forging a new path towards the building blocks of something new. Courtney joined St Andrew’s School for Girls in the final term of grade 11. It was nerve-racking and would take courage to make friends, take on a new subject and catch up on grade 10 and grade 11 syllabi in the time span of one term… and not forfeit her passion as a rower. During Courtney’s interview, Mrs Nooy had assured her she would not be embarking on this journey on her own and that there would always be an open door to offer help and support… little did we know at the time to what extent the support, commitment and selfless dedication of the teachers and coaches at St Andrew’s School would offer. Each teacher from Courtney’s various subjects reached out over and above the call of duty to provide assistance in gaining ground on various parts of the curriculum. The time had been taken to put together a file of all the notes and work that needed to be covered in the new subject to catch up. Dedicated teachers offered extra time before and after school at no expense to help Courtney through difficult sections of work. The support provided was beyond what is expected from an educator and I realised just how passionate the staff at St Andrew’s are in building their scholars to become the best version of themselves and find their true potential. The culture of inclusion and diversity is phenomenal, and the drive to allow scholars to speak their truth and stand for what they believe made a huge impression! To know that everyone’s opinions matter and that everyone has a voice and can use it to make the world a better place. The environment at St Andrew’s allowed Courtney the freedom to be herself and in doing so, respect the freedom and views of others. The importance of doing what is right and virtuous with grace and integrity. House activities allows scholars to make new friends and broaden their minds to creative thinking, sparking curiosity to learn more and thrive as our new generation of problem solvers. St Andrew’s School for Girls is a devoted community, a place to call home where families share a sense of belonging. The Old Girls Association is undoubtedly one of the strongest networks of support I have ever come across, ensuring the journey as a member of the St Andrew’s sisterhood continues. As a rower, Courtney was in awe of the selfless coaching and dedicated time sacrificed by the rowing coaches. Focus on building and developing their potential as rowers and supporting the crew as a united team, standing together as one. Overcoming challenges and obstacles were taught through time management and believing in the capabilities of each member of the boat. The well-being of the crew was always first and foremost, leading to the astounding rowing season and unforgettable memories of the 2020 Rowing Championships. Our leap of faith was undoubtedly the best decision we could have taken, and I could not be prouder to have been a part of this Community. Thank you, St Andrew’s, for teaching Courtney that there will always be a St Andrew’s sister to turn to and that the ability to ‘build her own empire’ is a reality!