We are living in a time that requires boldness. Faced with inequality, climate change, and humanitarian crises, among others, the world needs bold, empathetic, inclusive leaders.
At Miss Hall’s School in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, 180 students from 21 countries are becoming those leaders — global citizens who know how to create change.
Inspired by pioneering educator Mira Hall, who founded the School two decades before women could vote, girls in Grade 9 to Grade 12 at Miss Hall’s come together on a beautiful, 80-acre campus to find their voices, shape their own vision, practice interpersonal efficacy, and develop gumption — the core competencies of all Miss Hall’s graduates.
Take School President Cherish Buxton from New Jersey, for instance. Cherish is a leader on her way to a future as an environmental activist. “My friends are now captains of sports teams, volunteers at local organisations, and helping hands in the community,” says Cherish. “Most of all, they are the embodiment of boldness. They are changemakers eager to use the skills they’ve learned from being a student at Miss Hall’s in the real world. This is the type of greatness my school inspires.”
The sky’s the limit for Miss Hall’s students — and quite literally in the case of School Treasurer Fernanda Morais Laroca, a senior from Brazil. Empowered by courses in Miss Hall’s Department of Engineering and Technology Innovation, Fer spent last summer tracking a near-earth asteroid and logging late-night shifts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morehead Observatory.
She and her team dedicated more than 300 hours to collecting and analysing data and tracking the night sky. They also interacted with prominent guest speakers from the scientific community. “The coffee intake was off the charts,” Fer notes, “but it was an amazing experience with some really smart, really talented people, and an opportunity to get some hands-on research experience in astronomy, which is what I want to go into in the future.”
By the time students leave Miss Hall’s, they are equipped to energise around ideas and collaborate on passion projects with confidence. They are ready to spark the change they want to see in the world.
The future they envision is built at a girls’ school that does things differently. Miss Hall’s stands out with its inclusive community, personalised academics, and the signature Horizons programme, all of which are core to every student’s success.
Each week, starting in Grade 9, girls boost their social and emotional awareness, learn about global perspectives, and practice leadership skills as part of the Horizons programme. From there, they move ever outward, exploring a sense of place and designing meaningful solutions to pressing local problems. In their final years, students give back to the broader community through service learning, social action, and internships tailored to their interests.
Such an experiential approach bridges classroom learning and the real world, expanding student outlook on career and life. Most importantly, it instills a mindset that everything is possible.
Horizons was a big draw for Aurora Rahman, aspiring immigration lawyer and agent of change. “The opportunity to connect with the greater community, hear their concerns, and find ways I could help was very appealing to me,” Aurora explains. “I learned how to advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves.” This year during Horizons, she is interning with the Barry & Kinzer law firm in Pittsfield.
Elected School Secretary, Aurora is co-Head of the Admissions Ambassadors and of the Crypted 001 Club. She performed in Mary Poppins, is a member of the cross-country team, and is “paying it back” as a Proctor — a senior leader who serves as a mentor and role model for returning students and for new students adjusting to student life at MHS.
“At first, I was very shy and not sure what to try,” Aurora recalls. “But joining different affinity groups and clubs helped me to step out of my comfort zone, engage, and meet people. Seeing the school leaders at the forefront and seeing their passion, having a great Big, connecting with my Proctor — all of that made me see myself in them. I drew confidence from faculty and adults and friends to take that next step, and from there, it was me building confidence and saying, ‘I can do this.’”
For Miss Hall’s students, bold means trying new things, standing up for causes they believe in, or starting an ambitious passion project from scratch. Bold means truly authentic conversations and showing up for each other.
In the view of Head of School Julia Heaton, “Bold is the spark that ignites when a girl discovers her voice, and has the gumption to use it. It is when she realises that the leader she admires is not different from her; it is her. It is moving from, ‘I’m not good enough,’ to, ‘I am more than I ever thought I could be’.”
Mira Hall’s vision to create a school where girls could pursue the highest standards of learning disrupted expectations of what women in 1898 could do. Now, 125 years later, the mission to educate bold and creative contributors to the common good has never been more relevant.
“Miss Hall’s gave me the boldness to run for school Vice President,” said artist, athlete, and scholar Viola Quiles from Dalton, Massachusetts. “I was able to learn about issues that are important to me, taught by teachers who are just as passionate as I am. I was shown the words of strong women leaders, such as Sonia Sotomayor. I was told that could be me one day, and I believe it.”