Becoming an EMT was always something Sejal Porter '15 wanted to do. With the arrival of the pandemic, she had even more reason to pursue it. Sejal is now working 16-hour shifts, sometimes five days a week, on an ambulance serving all of the hospitals in northern Colorado, assisting a lot of COVID patients. On the front lines since last summer, Sejal truly “sees” COVID and is grateful to be able to help. Before the pandemic, Sejal expected to be at NYU and spend a semester abroad in Tel Aviv. She graduated from Arapahoe High School in 2019 and traveled to Europe for six months on her own, skiing in the Alps and attending wine school in London. Unfortunately, after Sejal started NYU in January 2020, she was sent home seven weeks later because of the pandemic. That’s when she decided to become an EMT. She hopes to be back in school in New York in January and pursue EMT training there on the 911 side. Studying abroad is still on her list too. We look forward to seeing what Sejal does next!

Did you know the first typewriter was originally made for a woman who was losing her eyesight? This is just one example that inspired St. Anne’s alum and Technology and Innovations teacher, Jason Takahashi ’01, to teach his students the value and potential of technology to provide unparalleled access to information and opportunity. After graduating from Skidmore College, Jason worked as a web and graphic designer - eventually becoming the visual and creative director for a national touring band called Papadosio. He then moved on to teaching tech across the Denver Public Schools district before joining St. Anne’s full-time in 2019. As we keep moving through this unprecedented school year, Jason is actively seeking ways to encourage students “to be open to what is possible with tools like 3D design and printing, as well as learning to program and code.” Given the rich history of St. Anne’s as an inclusive home for healing, Jason hopes “to inspire empathic engineering by weaving the spirit of our Founding Sisters with the help of these incredible tools.” As the son of a polio survivor and graduate of St. Anne’s, he feels “personally called to this mission and [is] really excited to see how current students connect with it as well.” Check out the article Jason wrote to learn more about how inclusion has led to historic breakthroughs in design and innovation that benefit us all: https://www.technologydesigner.com/2020/06/01/inclusive-design/

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. 

Georgia Kelly Rising ’97 knew from a young age that she wanted to work as a nurse for the underserved. At 17, she began to work as a nurse’s aide at Swedish Medical Center and continued through nursing school until she finally became a medical ICU nurse at Denver Health after graduating college. The bulk of her experience is in intensive care and emergency services. She was a travel nurse living in Seattle, Alaska, Hawaii and Northern California and came back to Colorado in 2010, taking an assignment again at Denver Health within the critical care department. About five years ago, Georgia switched to working at a family health clinic as a charge nurse in the Westwood neighborhood of Denver. The historically Latino neighborhood is about 80% Hispanic and as of 2016, about a third of its population was below the poverty line. Once COVID hit, Denver Health, which owns the clinic, launched a “virtual hospital at home” service for all of its patients. Georgia works for the service once a week making calls to anywhere from 3 to 35 COVID patients several times a day. She not only helps them monitor their symptoms from home but also works with Project Angel Heart to deliver them meals. Denver Health started the virtual hospital program expecting a surge of COVID cases, but it is now a way for high-risk patients to get the care and access they need from home.

Growing up at St. Anne’s, Georgia says, helped to shape some of her decisions today. Her oldest daughter just started preschool at St. Anne’s, and she has a younger daughter at home. We are grateful Georgia is back at St. Anne’s, now as a parent and as a hero to us all. 

Before Scott Yeates ’96 founded Mythology Distillery, he owned (and still owns) a real estate development company. But, during a ski trip with friends in Haines, Alaska, he was inspired to create and build a brand around the Colorado lifestyle, forged by the stories and experiences we share. His goal was for customers to create their own “mythology” with his spirits.  Enter Mythology Distillery, launched to the public in 2018 and recently named “Best Colorado Distillery” by 5280 and Westword and more than 31 gold, double gold and silver medals from national competitions. With 12 employees and a production of over 50,000 bottles this year, Scott hopes to go national and expand in states such as California, Illinois and Texas next. Distilling is the company’s primary focus but it also hosts a cocktail bar in the Lower Highlands area of Denver, which 5280 rated “Best Cocktail Menu” last year. Scott also creates limited-edition spirits by partnering with local vendors like the Denver Botanic Gardens to grow botanicals to use in a specialty gin and Teakoe Tea to infuse vodka with its tea. Visit Mythology in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver to support our local businesses!

After graduating from Cherry Creek High School, Dan Hampe ’05 decided to move to Santa Barbara on a whim. At the time, he was mostly interested in studying architecture and the environment and how the two influence each other. But his interest in art started to grow and he landed an apprenticeship with Dave Zaboski, a respected artist and Disney animator in the early ‘90s. Dan credits Zaboski in building the foundation in the art Dan makes today and his knowledge of painting, color and technique. Around 2013, Dan moved to West Oakland, CA, a hotbed for new artists. He and his three roommates, one of whom was SAES classmate, Graham Bandt-Law ’05, moved into a large warehouse space-turned studio.  Dan spent the next few years working on his craft in Oakland. He began exhibiting his work and hosting events, which ultimately led to him finding his current art dealer, Ryan Rehbock. His art is constantly changing but usually encapsulates an element of time and motion, telling a story or journaling his current state of mind.  “The only thing that is guaranteed,” Dan says, “is that the painting will take on its own identity, leaving the end result fairly unpredictable.”  Dan draws inspiration from surrealism and artists like William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Salvatore Dalí, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He’s had exhibitions all over the country and has been shown at Art Basel in Miami for the past two years.  Dan says he’s been successful because he plays by his own rules and creates art in his own way. The values Dan learned at St. Anne’s equipped him with the strength to take “leaps of faith”.  He remembers St. Anne’s as a safe space to take risks, something he carries with him as he moves forward on his journey as an artist.

Check out CPR's podcast, "Higher Education in the Pandemic" with Ryan Warner who interviews St. Anne's alum, Bailey Walker '16, current high school senior at Colorado Academy. In the podcast, Ryan examines how  colleges and universities are shifting and adapting to remote learning and how  students feel about it.

Thank you to our former May Queens for sharing some of their memories from their May Day experiences. From one former May Queen, “To this day, St. Anne's continues to be a small but mighty community of young students, dedicated teachers, thoughtful administrators, hardworking staff members, and invested parents, each of whom are committed to upholding the founding virtues of the school and cultivating a space where students learn not only how to be good students, but how to be good people. I am forever grateful to have been part of such a special community.”  

Additional sentiments from former May Queens:

"It is an experience I will never forget; a special and magical time; it was the time when it finally hit me that my time at St. Anne’s was coming to a close; such an important tradition; a rite of passage...What I remember most are the songs…the songs from May Days past have stayed in my heart over the years - these will always be with you...in holding that title, I also represented my class as a whole."

Click below to watch a video from former May Queens: