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One of 360: Vernette B. '24

By Sandra Santana
Our One of 360 series continues this month with Vernette B. ’24, a sophomore day student from right here in Troy, NY! Read on to learn more about Vernette’s favorite Emma traditions, journey into coding, and how family keeps her inspired.
On Home…

I am from Troy, NY, and I have lived there for my whole life. My parents are both immigrants from Ghana, which is a country in West Africa. I visited there once, but because of COVID, I haven’t been able to go in a few years, but hope to visit there again soon. I also have three older brothers. My parents have worked really hard to provide my brothers and I with the best life possible and to give us opportunities they didn’t have growing up. Their hard work and ambition is what motivates me to achieve the goals I set for myself.

On Emma…

I learned about Emma from my dad because one of his friends told him about the school and how it was located right in Troy. When I was arriving for a tour of the school and coming to the campus for the first time, it was like I was entering a castle! I couldn't believe how gigantic the school was! I learned a lot during the tour, and the information I learned made me realize that I had to apply. A few months later, I enrolled at Emma. Emma is truly a special place for many reasons. The ones that stick out to me the most are how Emma offers a variety of classes that I could choose from to explore my interests, and also how the teachers here take time to help out students and make sure that everyone understands the topic they are learning. I also love the community Emma has because everyone is so nice and supportive to one another, and it is a really good environment to be around.

On Coding…

I’m very passionate about coding. I’m in a program called RPI STEP, a program with different STEM classes taught by RPI students that is for nationalities underrepresented in the STEM field and for low income families. I take virtual coding classes every Saturday and I love it. The first class I took of coding was during the summer and I learned so much, and now I have done two semesters of the class. I plan on taking computer science classes here at Emma my junior and senior year, and I’m also considering a career in computer science in the future.

On Language…

During quarantine of March 2020, I decided to learn German since I have family who live in Germany. But over the past two years, I’ve been going back and forth with it because of my lack of time because of school and my other activities. I only have time to learn it again during my school breaks, so I would really like to learn the language more and hopefully become at least conversational in the language. I would also love to learn Twi, which is the language my parents speak and a language spoken in Ghana, and become fluent in that language too. 

On Traditions…

My favorite Emma tradition I would have to say is May Day, but Revels is a close second. I experienced my first May Day last year and it was so fun! The Maypole dance, the energy, the outdoor activities, and the nice warm and spring weather was amazing. It was overall a fun day and spring happens to be my favorite season, so it was also nice to celebrate the new season of spring too.

Thanks, Vernette, for sharing your passions and contributing to the Emma Willard School community in unique and significant ways. We look forward to seeing the impact you will have as you continue to serve and shape our world!
    • Vernette B. '24

    • Vernette B. '24 and her brothers in Ghana

    • Vernette B. '24 and friends celebrating Emmaween!

    • Vernette B. '24 and friends after track practice


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Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
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