Last week, I flew to Houston for a whirlwind 30 hour visit. After going through the application process for my dream post-graduation position, I was elated when KIPP Houston invited me to town for their final interview and selection day. My excitement quickly turned into mild panic as I began planning my stay and realized it would be difficult to navigate and get around the fourth largest city in the country without a car, and without familiarity with the area.
Confused by myriad areas of town and foreign interstate loops, I reached out to a Bryn Mawr alumna from Houston. When she found out I was coming to town, she offered to help me find accommodation, gave me advice on how to get around, and invited me to spend the evening with her and other Bryn Mawr alumnae the night before my interview. One of her friends, another alumna, picked me up from the airport, provided me a delicious welcome to Houston with authentic Tex- Mex for dinner, and drove us to the gathering. That evening, I witnessed and was a part of something incredible. For the last three and a half years I have heard that Bryn Mawr’s community extends beyond campus through its immense and active alumnae/i network, and on Thursday night, I experienced the power of our community first hand.
The four amazing women who welcomed me to Houston did so with open arms and open hearts. They were genuinely interested in my experiences and wanted to know all about my time on campus as well as the position I was interviewing for. They gave me advice and encouraged me in ways only mawrters could, reminding me to be confident in myself and my abilities. At the end of the night, they anassed me and my first “adult” interview in front of bewildered onlookers. Their willingness to help, interest, and support showed me how the community we build within the castle- like walls of Bryn Mawr extend well beyond them into the world outside.
After an anxious weekend waiting, I am ecstatic to share that I have been offered a position with KIPP Houston as an elementary school partner teacher and graduate fellow. When I shared the news with my new friends and fellow mawrters, they enthusiastically let me know they were eager to help me make Houston my new home after graduation. I may not know many people in Houston, but I know the Bryn Mawr community and the four incredible women I met that night will be there for me, and that is absolutely priceless.