As high school seniors prepared to walk across their virtual graduation stages in June, St. Anne’s knew its graduates were coping with as much grace, humility, courage, and empathy as possible. That was true of Keely Holt ’16, who decided to defer going to college at the University of Virginia for the 2020-2021 school year. 


After graduating within the top 10 of her class at Arapahoe High School, Keely was expecting to start UVA in person in the fall. But two weeks before school was supposed to start, she got an email saying all classes would be online. Knowing that a remote learning experience was not what she wanted for her first year of college, Keely decided to wait a year to start college in person. And once that decision was made, she started making plans. Since the summer, Keely has been interning for an architecture firm redesigning its website and helping with its social media presence. In a few weeks, she is moving to New Jersey for an internship at a nonprofit whose mission is to raise mental health awareness. She also plans to work in a supportive role at a marketing agency in New York City while nannying in the afternoons. Earlier this year, she was accepted to a gap semester program in Spain from January to April and is waiting to see if she’ll be able to go. Although these past few months were not typical for a recent high school graduate, or anyone for that matter, Keely has learned a lot about herself. Keely is making the most of these past few months, gaining valuable work experience in the process and will continue to learn and grow on the East Coast during this unprecedented time.