Raina Washington came to Walker in the sixth grade. Her wide smile breaks across her reflective expression and she laughs, “I remember begging Mr. Brown (former Admission Director, Class of ’94) to let me stay all day! I loved it.”
As an A Better Chance family, the Washingtons were committed to finding the right fit for Raina. Raina shares that after visiting “all the W’s” – Westminster, Woodward, Whitefield schools – she knew Walker was the place for her.
“I kept telling her dad, Robert,” reports Mom, Jen Washington, “if she doesn’t get in Walker, I don’t know what we are going to do. We received the email that Raina had been accepted and from that day on we saw another side of our child. She created a list of things she wanted to accomplish at her new school and she has done them ALL.”
Now a Senior, Raina has been a bright spot all over campus. She’s served as an Admission Ambassador, an anchor for the Walker News Network, supporter for the younger Robotics teams, member of the Girls Who Code team and worked in the Extended Day program. This year she is a Peer Leader to ninth-graders and Honor Council President.
“I feel like it’s a great chance to teach others,” she said of her time on Honor Council. “I had an Honor Council infraction early on, and it taught me so much about myself.
“Today, when others are facing Honor Council, they always think I’m going to be this scary person. But, I know it’s more important for them to learn something about themselves, so they can do better next time.”
Challenging Walker’s students has always been one of the great strengths of our program. Encouraging students to try new things, to reach for a goal, to push for a better grade is still part of the culture at our school. Raina says it’s really difficult to name a favorite teacher, crediting many for stretching her to do better.
“I think the best thing they do is help you get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” she said. “If I have to choose, it would be Mrs. LeBron. In Middle School. She cares.”
Raina’s parents recognize that her teachers have had a terrific impact on Raina in her seven years at Walker. “We are so proud of the woman Raina is becoming and we know that her future is bright. We are so thankful to all the teachers and staff that saw potential in raina and gave her the confidence she needed to live out her dreams.”
A candidate for the Posse Scholarship (the Posse organization identifies students for their leadership and academic potential), Raina is waiting to see whether she will be selected as a recipient for a four-year scholarship to an elite school of her choice. High on her list? Texas A&M, where she thinks she might major in Agricultural Business and minor in Foreign Language.
No matter where she goes, we know Raina will do great things.
“I was walking in the Lower School this week, and everywhere there are these signs about staying positive, you know? Glass half full. I think no matter what happens, I just have to remember that. My glass is always going to be half full.”