A hush fell over the audience as the MLK Day Assembly opened with Dominique Mejia ’04 singing, “I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid, I’ll rise up, and I’ll do it a thousand times again,” the beautiful anthem by Andra Day. She had the girls’ full attention immediately. This former Oldfields student is now a Dean of Students at KIPP Infinity Middle School in Harlem, New York, and she was a perfect choice to be one of the inspirational speakers at the event. She talked about her insights as a student and, now, as an administrator. She shared how being at an all-girls school allowed her to focus on herself in the safe circle that is Oldfields so she could go out into the world with confidence. She also specifically thanked Mr. Anguita, her calculus teacher, for telling her to stop whining and try again – a skill used many times since her days at OS.
Antoria Howard Marrow ’77, currently the Associate Attorney General for Administration and Management for the State of Connecticut, also shared her story. As one of the first African-American students to graduate from Oldfields and the first African-American May Queen, she had some interesting insights to share with the girls about her time at Oldfields. Antoria encouraged current students take full advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, starting with all Oldfields has to offer. “Don’t wish away your time here. Enjoy every minute!”
Also joining us was Jaime Bell ’96 who started the Black Awareness Club at OS and now works as an Academic Success Strategist at the Community College of Baltimore County. Jaime said one of the best things that comes from being an Oldfields girl is having sisters in every corner of the world that you can call on any time!
The final panelist was Linda Boateng ’05 who, as she pursues her CPA license, reminded the girls that getting started is the hardest part when facing any daunting task. Just jump in and do something!
The insights of our inspirational alumnae combined with the talents of current student performances by Images, the steppers, and the African dancers, made for a wonderful morning together honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thank you, Black Awareness Club, Diversity Committee, and faculty advisor Christine Gilmore for organizing this wonderful event. Also thanks to Michele Harrison, Community Service Director, for the day of service which took place on Sunday, January 15, Dr. King’s actual birthday. It was an inspirational week at Oldfields!