Intensive Path: Kirby Alumnus’s Perspective

Elias Allen, Kirby Class of 2018, now attends UCLA. He reflects on his time at Kirby in the History Intensive Path program.

“The HIP program at Kirby School allowed me to pursue my academic interests beyond the classroom. Conducting research and writing my senior thesis opened my eyes to new fields of inquiry and methods of study and also taught me how to be proactive in taking charge of my education. I developed analytical and critical thinking skills through this independent work which have since proven invaluable. I remember with fondness and gratitude the frequent consultations with my faculty adviser who would challenge me to dig deeper and make connections within my research.

The key element of my experience at Kirby School was how willing the entire faculty was to help me explore new avenues with regard to my education. Instead of funneling me along a traditional four-year curriculum track, the administration worked with me to design my high school experience the way that worked best for me. When I wanted to get a jump start in learning French and Spanish, they helped me find extra classes. When I wanted study abroad for six months in order to gain new perspectives and develop cultural understanding, they made it happen. Whenever I wanted to write an extra research paper, attend a university lecture, or get advice on the trajectory of my academic career, there were always people who went the extra mile to enrich my academic career.“