In our second installment of our Student Spotlight Series, Resident Advisor Elyse McGrath wrote about Senior Dhawani Gondalia, who Elyse has the pleasure of working with this school year.
Since her arrival on campus, I knew that senior Dhwani Gondalia would be a great asset to our hallway. Originally from India, Dhwani is a returning student at EF Academy New York.
Dhwani arrived early as a Storm Leader to help new students move in on campus. Each storm leader was assigned a hall to support, and upon learning that Dhwani would live on my hall for the year, I asked her to be our assistant. Before the new students came, Dhwani spent her time helping us get ready. She took the lead on decorating the hall and preparing our bulletin board, which both came out looking great. Every request we made was met with a smile and a job well done. My hall partner and I felt so fortunate to have Dhwani there to help us, and to know that she would spend the rest of the year as a member of our hall family.
Once the school year started, she continued to be a strong positive influence on our hall . Her attention to detail has led to many important clarifications that have benefitted all our residents. She continually sets a good example for all the students by arriving early to all our check-ins and meetings, working diligently through study hall, and turning in all her assignments on time. In addition to all of this, she is always kind and helpful to her friends and peers.
As the term has worn on, I have gotten to know Dhwani better and better. While she helped me make and put up Halloween decorations, I learned that she is an avid horror movie fan. Ever since successfully walking through a haunted house in an amusement park as a child, Dhwani has enjoyed scary movies and experiences that would give chills to those of fainter heart. While talking about college applications and life at EF and in her home country of India, I learned more about her family.
Dhwani is also very willing to share her culture with others, a characteristic that I believe embodies the spirit of EF Academy. In our conversations together I have learned about her childhood home and school life in India. She enthusiastically discusses her culture and traditions and helps bring them to life on campus.
Given all of this, it was no surprise to learn last Sunday that Dhwani had been made a prefect for our hall. As a prefect, she will continue to support the residents of our hall, both house parents and students, as well as the school community at large.
Next year, Dhwani hopes to attend the University of Texas to study neuroscience. I look forward to seeing the other wonderful things Dhwani will do in her future!
Written by Elyse McGrath, Residential Advisor and Teacher at EF Academy New York