Leaving and Returning – a story about the support Hillel gave you and how Hillel is home

Actions speak louder than words, and when Hillel says it is “home,” they genuinely mean it. After walking the halls of Hillel since 2005, last year, due to COVID and online school, I chose to switch to a full-time homeschooling program. Although the plan was always that this would only be for a year, the decision of leaving the familiar halls of Hillel was tough. As I began my new schooling, I quickly realized how much I missed my day-to-day interactions with my teachers, maintenance workers, and people in the athletics department whom I had grown to love like family. I also realized I missed and now appreciated the individualized care for my academics and well-being from my teachers and guidance counselors. 

Even though last year wasn’t a typical year, students had great things to say. Junior Moy Sutton said, “the flexibility of being able to be home some days and be in school others was great for me. It allowed me to never really miss any class learning for whatever reason I wasn’t able to attend physically;  I thought it was a great component of the online/in-person option and would love for it to be an option for the future.” 

Now that I’m back “home,” I truly realized how much I missed my home away from home. The support from Mr. Johnson, the guidance counselors, and the teachers has been nothing short of amazing from the day school opened. All the smiles, laughs, sports, and clubs we missed last year haven’t skipped a beat. I can confidently say that Hillel has not changed nor been affected by COVID. Although they can’t always see my smile because I’m always wearing my mask, the love and support from day one have been amazing. Although homeschooling was great while it lasted, nothing is like Hillel. Hillel constantly checks up on me and makes sure I’m happy and thriving in the new environment. This type of treatment and personalized love and nurturing is something no other school offers, online or not. 

Overall, my departure and return to Hillel were smooth and easy, thanks to all the unconditional love and support I received. Although I can’t technically say I’m a “lifer” at graduation, I know that Hillel will forever and always be a home for me and will continue to support me throughout my entire life and the decisions I choose to make.

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