April Simmons joined the Mary McDowell community in 2007 and was a member of the upper school’s second graduating class in 2015. April currently attends Loyola University of Maryland majoring in speech-language-hearing sciences.
April began her college search based on Northeastern University’s College 101 summer session which she attended during her senior year at MMFS. April immediately gravitated towards a speciality that would help narrow her college search tremendously. “That program exposed me to a range of health science careers that are going to be in high demand in the future. Funny enough, speech-pathology and audiology were introduced immediately caught my attention. When I was younger, I saw a speech therapist regularly and underwent audiology tests as well. I always thought that their jobs had to have been fun, being that I always enjoyed myself when I was with them.” Focusing her search on schools that offered Speech Pathology majors, April and her family toured a plethora of colleges in the Northeast and even ventured to Hampton University. April ultimately chose Loyola University because her tour was very informative and the university was very helpful throughout the application process. “Luckily, as a rising Junior, I feel no regrets and am still loving my school and major.”
Initially, April had not thought about utilizing a study abroad program, but after opening herself to all that Loyola has to offer, she dove head-first into a program that will lead her onto an adventure with two of her best friends. “Study abroad was not at all something that I really thought I’d be interested in, but with all of the support and encouragement I’ve received on campus, I fell in love with the program inCape Town, South Africa. I’ll be going to University of Cape Town next Spring with one of my best friends here at Loyola and another close friend who is currently attending Smith College.”
In her spare time, April does everything from modeling in her school’s fashion show to interning for the Choice Program in Baltimore, a community-based intervention program designed to prevent delinquency and foster youth development. Being involved in the community around her drives April to continue to work with underserved youth, which she plans to continue through the remainder of her college experience. April credits MMFS with helping her see the value of community and helping her reach her potential.
In remembering MMFS, realizing her potential was essential to the success April experienced in the upper school and is currently experiencing at Loyola. “MMFS was very instrumental in helping me to realize my potential. I grew a lot as both a student and person while I was there and learned a lot about myself, in terms of my strengths and even some of my weaknesses. I did indeed feel more than prepared when I left MMFS and transitioned to Loyola. I am now doing work at the same rate and quality as my counterparts who attended rigorous mainstream schools all their life.” April wants to express a special thank you to all of her former teachers that pushed her to her full potential and showed her that she could do things she never thought possible for herself.