From 2000 to 2020, Twenty Years of Building On an Ellis Education

It is hard to believe that it is 2020! I was an Ellis sophomore when we hit 2000 and could not have imagined all that was to come in the next 20 years, nor the value of my time at Ellis. When I speak with Ellis alumnae a recurring theme is the importance of the foundation that Ellis created which allowed them to flourish in their lives beyond the School.
It was only after graduating from Ellis and attending a variety of other educational institutions that I truly understood the value of my education at Ellis. I quickly realized, and maintain to this day, that it is the skills that I learned at Ellis above all else that have made the biggest impact on my personal and professional life. Be it research, critical thinking, or writing, what I learned at Ellis allowed me to succeed elsewhere.  

It is not just the hard skills that I learned at Ellis that have served me over the years. Risk taking, time management, confidence in my voice and my right to be heard—these are all vital pieces of the Ellis education that have helped make me who I am. For many years I assumed that some of these traits that seem so inherent in Ellis graduates developed organically at the School. When I first returned to work at Ellis, I was shocked to learn during a tour of the Middle School that each grade focuses on specific skills such as time management and risk taking. I suddenly realized that the skills that have served me above all others were not a fluke that came from attending an all-girls school but through the deliberate and thoughtful planning of Ellis faculty and staff.

It is so impressive to me, when I speak with Ellis alumnae around the country, how many note that they channel their inner Ellis girl whenever they meet a challenge, and remember that if someone else has figured it out—with time, effort, and hard work—they can, too. This inner resilience and faith in oneself is perhaps the most valuable gift from Ellis. 

I am so appreciative of all the ways in which our alumnae continue to support the School—to share their stories of how Ellis has shaped their lives, to stay connected through Reunion and Alumnae Connect, and to give back to the school through the Ellis Fund. Please join us in keeping the Ellis community strong for years to come!

Written by Carly REED Carstens ‘02, Director of Development and Alumnae Engagement
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