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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Leila Jamali '21

University of Virginia

“I have been able to learn so much at Norfolk Academy, and have also made lots of lifelong friends. The sense of community here is strong and it provides a foundation for lifetime relationships with teachers and peers.” 

Batten Leadership Program Global Health Fellow, Varsity Soccer, Varsity Track & Field, CHKD Club (Vice President) 

Three Adjectives to Describe the Class of 2021: Inventive, Comedic, Unique 

Most Meaningful Activity 
Of all of the activities I have participated in, Fellows has been something I look forward to most. I have learned so much from Fellows and have become a better leader. More importantly, though, I have created extremely strong bonds with the others in my program. 

Beyond the Classroom 
One of my favorite experiences in the Upper School has been my advisory group. Since we are able to maintain our groups, I have grown close with my advisor, Ms. Nasimiyu, and my other peers who have stayed in our advisory. 

Reflections on Learning 
Although this is not a specific memory as it has happened multiple times, I enjoy when our teachers allow us to provide our own input and apply concepts to modern history and current events. In addition, having discussions about certain topics can be hard for students to approach, but the teachers create an environment where it’s safe to share one’s opinions and perspectives. 

Inspirational Teacher-Coach 
The teacher who I am closest with is Mrs. Goodson. She is currently my Anatomy teacher, and she has helped to pique my interest in the subject. I met her years ago when I first entered the Fellows program, and she has since helped foster my passion for global health and medicine. 

A Quick Word About Leila 
“Leila is a learner. She sees the world as an opportunity to question, think, apply, and practice her understanding. She does not fear ‘being wrong,’ but rather sees her moments of questioning as opportunities to delve deeper into content. Her modesty lends itself to Leila being open to correction, which allows for seamless growth throughout her daily experiences. I imagine Leila in 20 years running out of her medical lab screaming, ‘It worked! It really worked,” as she finds a cure for a rare disease as her life-long passion of learning and discovery coalesce into a great finding. She will be excited, humble, and ready for the next problem to investigate.” ~ Mrs. Sarah Goodson, Leila’s Science Teacher 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… my sense of, and commitment to, honor.