Malia C. ’23

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I would love to give you prospective students a really warm, albeit virtual, welcome to Menlo as you begin to explore our school. Why I chose Menlo - I can’t really put the feeling into words, but when I walked onto campus, I fell in love with the sense of community and family that each person kind of emanated. The closest thing I can compare it to is like being wrapped in a warm blanket. It was so magical, and I think what is so beautiful and special about Menlo is that it is a community fostered on growth, fostered on positivity, and fostered on bonds. Menlo really cares about you as a whole person. Your academic life, whether you are an artist, an athlete, your physical and emotional well-being - Menlo cares for you in every aspect of your life. That’s what makes it feel like a family, a close-knit community in which you grow as a person right alongside your peers, teachers, and coaches.

School spirit is so much fun - spirit weeks, it’s so much fun to immerse yourself in all of that - to get all decked out, everyone in the stands, clad in blue and gold. It really makes you feel lighthearted and motivates you to be your best self. I love the commonalities, but also the differences between students. I found my tribe of people, people who I play sports with and with whom I share classes, but you also meet so many students who come from different backgrounds and have interests very different than your own, but Menlo’s tight knit community where you get to know everyone, means that I have learned so much I never knew existed. We are brought together in this common setting, Menlo, to learn from each other’s differences and to grow from these differences, and to appreciate the diversity of what each of us brings. Menlo is a place that allows you to do that safely, and I think that’s incredible.

High school has challenges, but it’s more about how you get back up after struggling. Menlo teachers work with you to help you understand and pivot from that struggle. It’s about recovering from a missed shot, a disappointing grade, a misunderstanding with a friend; Menlo is so well-equipped to help you get back up from those challenges. The challenge is recovering from those challenges, but we come to realize that we can do it, and that we are going to be better for having learned through those challenges.

My activities include swimming and water polo, which foster a sense of community within the competitive activity. I also never knew I’d be a beekeeper - it’s the process of seeing the honey and seeing your hard work become something.

I love that math has no textbook and is completely hands-on. We’d get a problem, be scratching our heads and then work together to solve the problem. It has taught me that we learn the skills we need rather than skills being lectured to us, and it is an impactful way to learn. You discover things on your own, discover why things make sense. It worked really well for me to learn this way rather than being told something by the teacher.

Why is Menlo special? It’s the home, the family, everyone is here for you, everyone wants you to succeed. II think that’s a unique culture to be a part of; everyone is equal, teachers, students, coaches. Everyone is brought together here on campus, and that creates relationships. Although the academics are amazing, at the end of the day, what sets Menlo apart is that they focus on you as a whole person.