We were excited to hear from Baaba recently that her graduation from Liberty University is fast approaching and that she has been accepted into Johns Hopkins to continue her post-graduate work! Baaba is remembered fondly on The Hill for her sincerely kind and warm personality. Baaba, originally from Ghana, was very involved on campus during her two years at Oak Hill in activities ranging from cheerleading to taking a leadership role in our Youth Group. Her love of God shined through in all her relationships on campus and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Baaba was also very serious-minded about her studies and took great advantage of the resources available to her–it was not uncommon to find her visiting her teachers during 8th-period tutorials.
Oak Hill Academy is proud of the success and long tradition of our international students. Our quiet location in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia leads to a campus community that is very tight-knit, and we rely on each other to make community. Our international students have always played a big role in this sense of closeness, and Baaba is among the best examples. Although homesick at times, Baaba truly invested in the relationships here among her peers and faculty and was, in turn, fully embraced by Oak Hill Academy. In a recent letter back to our Dean of Girls, Baaba shares the special place that Oak Hill Academy holds for her:
“Hi, Mrs. Crede! I hope you are doing well. I miss you all so much and hope to come visit this summer! I wanted to let you all know, and hope you can extend this to all the teachers who taught me, that I am graduating with a B.S. in psychology this May!! And I got accepted into Johns Hopkins this fall to continue my master’s degree in clinical mental health. Oak Hill really changed my life. Meeting you and all the other faculty on that campus is how God turned my story into something beautiful, a story I can be proud of. I treasure every memory I made there. It is an honor to be part of the Oak Hill family, and I look forward to seeing you all soon!
In a follow-up conversation with Baaba, she shares with me the powerful idea that the most lasting impact is the confidence that she developed at Oak Hill Academy . She relates, “OHA was the first place I ever had teachers believe in my capabilities, and they made me see it, too. I remember the moment, in summer school Algebra, when Ms. Sargent made me believe in myself. I’d never been good at math, and she actually taught me to an “A” on my final exam! She took her time and taught me as much about myself as about formulas.”
(Oak Hill Academy offers a summer school session that is often a great place to start. For more details visit here: https://www.oak-hill.net/summer-school/ )
For Baaba, it was this confidence that was her Turning Point. “I can’t stress enough how prepared I felt heading off to Liberty University. It (college) was harder than I thought, but I wasn’t scared. I knew that I could develop relationships with my professors because I’d done that at OHA. Campus life at Liberty wasn’t overwhelming because of my experience of campus living at OHA. I was ready!” Baaba also mentions that she was able to graduate from Liberty University in three years, largely due to the college credits she earned her senior year at OHA through our dual college credit program.
Baaba’s choice of Liberty University proved to be a tremendous fit. She gives a lot of credit directly to the Oak Hill Academy College Planning Department, and in particular, Mrs. Groves. One of the attractive features at Liberty University was the spiritual opportunities they offer. Baaba sees that as an extension of what she experienced at Oak Hill Academy. “I definitely feel that I was able to grow closer to God during my time at Oak Hill Academy. I think the structure and the quiet times offered gave me much needed time to think. I became very thoughtful and intentional in my spiritual life while at OHA.”
We look forward to Baaba’s coming back to campus for a visit soon!