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PDS Portraits: William Scarlett '19
PDS Portraits: William Scarlett '19

"I took a class last year called Constructions of Race in American Literature with Ms. Lee. It completely changed my perspective about PDS, about learning in general, and about myself and what I can do.

When I came here in 9th Grade, I thought, "Wow, people here are really accomplished," and "people here are really privileged." I found myself wondering, "Am I good enough?" But as a junior in Ms. Lee's class, I was able to share my personal experience, my personal understanding. From the response I got, my confidence grew. I realized just how much I've learned in life, especially what I've learned from my parents, who emigrated from Jamaica. It finally clicked in that class how lucky I am, and how much I have to offer.

Ever since then, it's been a great feeling being part of this community. As part of my senior project, I'm going to work with the history department faculty to develop a unit for sophomore students to delve into some recent history and current events, with a focus on reflecting and listening to one another's words. We spend a lot of time in school and in society just trying to prove our point, but it's much more valuable to tell the whole story, to find ways to listen and really understand one another.

One of the most exciting and rewarding moments of my time at PDS was sharing my work with the Upper School on Martin Luther King Day. I was really nervous at first, but hearing others speak and perform gave me the courage to go up on stage and read my poem. I felt that everyone paid close attention during the event and followed up with thoughtful conversation. But I want to keep going. My hope is to continue these conversations in and out of classrooms and be a part of more dialogue within the PDS community."