Below are some Testimonials from alumni.
Grade 12 Batch of 2023
As a student at Head Start, many things we did on an everyday basis at school made little to no sense to me at first. Why was it compulsory for every one of us to play a sport? Why were some of our assessments, not written tests but theatrical presentations? Why was the research presentation in Grade 12 given so much importance?
It was only when I began preparing to leave the four walls of this school that I began to realise the significance of the educational philosophy that Head Start adopts. The international college admissions process is a demanding ordeal. From writing essays for colleges to presenting your resume and extra curricular activities impressively, it is a mammoth task!
Throughout the process, Head Start was a pillar of support not only because of the familial and supportive teachers that surrounded and aided us but also because the holistic education I’d had meant that I’d already done so much of what was needed to fill an impressive college application without realising it. Learning music, sport and theatre from a young age made me appreciate these activities and engage with them wholeheartedly, not only because I needed them on my resume. A unique experience of being a student at Head Start was that entrepreneurial efforts at school were always encouraged. From founding our school magazine to starting a community service club- I had the freedom to choose what interested me and set up ways to pursue them at school.
Furthermore, the tenets of independent research, curiosity, ethics, and the emphasis on writing as a skill at Head Start let me express my opinions clearly and concisely, a boon in disguise in a world where clear communication is becoming increasingly important.
Most importantly, the 16 years of my life I spent at Head Start made me realise the importance of being a humble, grounded, empathetic, and caring individual. Shouldering the responsibility for planning and executing school events, and embodying the values of
acceptance and inclusivity that our daily meals and bus rides inculcated in us, I formed some of the closest and most loving relationships of my life- with students and teachers alike. Head Start made me realise that life goes beyond excellence in academics, that life derives meaning from the love and happiness that we give out and the relationships we foster. I am, and will always be grateful for having been a part of this family!
Grade 12 Batch of 2020
In my first meeting with Riad Sir when I was just starting the college application process, he voiced a gut feeling that I would do well at Carnegie Mellon, and encouraged me to apply - and that is exactly where I wound up. Head Start and its community and faculty were invaluable to me as I went through the college application process, whether it was through providing support for my school initiatives, writing letters of recommendation, or through guidance and feedback on essays. I had help and support through every stage of the process, right up to making a decision about which college to attend.
The work ethic that HSEA instilled in me and their academic and extracurricular curriculum are a big reason why I have been able to adapt to life at college. Head Start exposed me to a wide variety of sports, music, and theatre from a young age, and it was through those experiences that I found my love for dance and theatre, which I have continued to develop since coming to CMU. Additionally, through projects such as the mentored research project we undertook in the eleventh grade, or through managing the graduation and music fest, the school gave us our first taste of the kinds of projects we would be involved in during our college years.
Grade 12 Batch of 2019
One of the reasons why my transition from school to college was easy was that Head Start had already given me many of the tools that I would need for a liberal arts education. I had learned how to think and write clearly, how to gather and evaluate evidence for the argument I wanted to make. I’m especially grateful for the literature classes I took at school, because they gave me a peek into what it might be like to do a literature major in college. Looking back, I see many things in those classes at Head Start that I wove into my essays and class discussions at college. My teachers helped me figure out what I wanted to do next, and the discussions I had with them about my choices for further education were immensely important.
Even outside the classroom, I was encouraged to think for myself and form my own opinions, and to learn as much as I could. The extracurricular programmes at Head Start let me explore multiple things outside academics – music, theatre, sports – and boosted my college applications. Later, at college, I was able to participate frequently in various non-academic student activities because I had done similar activities in school.
Head Start let me dabble in a lot of different things, and the philosophy of the school set me up well for the academic and student culture at Krea University.
Grade 12 Batch of 2020
The close relations fostered with our teachers during High School, have given me confidence and encouraged me to do the same with my college professors. Working with them one-on-one has led to some exciting collaborations and definitely helped during the COVID year.
Furthermore, doing A-level English has helped immensely not only with the creative writing pursuits I have taken up in college, but also with writing scientific articles which my course at Manipal Academy of Higher Education is very demanding of.
Tina Rose Abraham
Grade 12 Batch of 2019
Head Start was the first place where I was shown an important truth - that education is not limited to the four walls of a classroom. The emphasis on music, athletics, theatre, and dance enriched my learning and made me actively seek out a balance of academic and extracurricular pursuits when I arrived at UT Austin. Collaborative projects like writing original plays and organising our seniors’ graduation taught me to find joy in teamwork, and eventually led me to discover my love for studying organisational psychology and employee engagement. Classroom discussions and volunteer initiatives instilled a deep sense of responsibility and encouraged me to reflect deeply on how my decisions affected the world around me. It was this civic sense that later prompted me to apply for student leadership and peer mentorship positions at UT.
Like many students, I struggled with imposter syndrome in high school, which often made me attribute any successes to sheer luck and held me back from taking new opportunities and risks. My teachers were quick to notice my tendency to minimise my accomplishments, and firmly but lovingly encouraged me to acknowledge my wins and give myself credit where it was due. Thanks to them, I arrived at college armed with a confidence that allowed me to try out every extracurricular opportunity and apply for any leadership position that came my way. When it was eventually time to apply for jobs towards the end of senior year, I breezed through tough behavioural interview questions because of the vast number of experiences I could refer back to.
Now, recently graduated and working in Austin, I draw on the many lessons that my time at Head Start brought me as I adapt to life in corporate America. When I’m praised for my verbal and written communication at work, I think back fondly to the English literature and language classes where I nurtured my love for the written word. When I find myself growing anxious before a presentation, I centre myself with a breathing technique that I first practiced while preparing for the Talk Series back in school. Head Start gave me a well-rounded educational experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone, setting me up for success at college and beyond.
Grade 10 Batch of 2015
I really don't think words can express what Head Start really means to me. The freedom and culture of the school exposed me to a lot of opportunities to prepare for college at Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and helped develop me as a person. Head Start gave me a great foundation which helped me take charge of my responsibilities and always ensured I was sensitive to everything and everyone around me. I'm extremely fortunate to have been a part of the first batch of HSEA to finish 10th Grade. I'll always be indebted to my teachers and mentors for playing such a huge role in preparing me for higher studies and shaping me into who I am today.