What motivates a 16 year old to get up in the pouring rain at 5:30 in the morning to go rowing? What possibly can provoke a 14 year old to get up onto a stage in front of 450 people and sing a solo? When I went to high school many moons ago, people like this were considered peculiar or perhaps … odd- certainly not the norm!
Each year I am repeatedly blown away by the level of participation in areas that I personally would never have considered when I was their age. In my day, athletes stayed on the fields and basketball courts, the artists hid away in their studios – period. The two didn’t cross over. What happens here at Brentwood is truly inspiring. Our unique tripartite programme demands students explore their inner passions on both sides of the extracurricular programme.
At Brentwood, students have to cross over – the artists must participate in sports and the athletes must delve into the arts; because of this, stepping out of their comfort zone is the norm, not the exception to the rule. What this tripartite programme does is it smashes down the barriers that have historically prevented students from realizing their potential. Furthermore, it allows students to take the next step; to become the best they can be at everything.
The young student walking off the stage to the thunderous applause of his or her peers smiles not because they have been necessarily brilliant, it is because they have found a place where the effort is encouraged and appreciated. The rower or basketball player laying it on the line in front of his or her community is not worried about failing or saving face, because they have found an environment, perhaps for the first time in their educational lives, which is nurturing, supportive and understanding. After all, they know that every student at Brentwood has to take this leap of faith. It is normal here.