Future Dragons Find Fantastic Opportunities

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Gianna Franco, Staff Writer

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After the arduous application process, the grueling testing day, and the constant anticipation of awaiting the letter, accepted and waitlisted 8th grade applicants finally had the opportunity to come to Maggie Walker and experience a day in the life of a MLWGS student. It was important for any future students to feel as comfortable as possible. A cheery handmade poster held up by students reading “Welcome Future Dragons!” greeted the students as they disembarked from their buses. Then, upon entrance to the Bluestone lobby on the first Future Dragons Day, students were were met with the sounds of violins, cellos, and violas from the Maggie Walker orchestra. If these activities for Future Dragon Day in the past year seemed  a little different to any of the current students at Maggie Walker, Dr. Lowerre confirmed that administration had made some slight changes. He explained to the Jabberwock that these changes all have to do with giving the Future Dragons the most educational and valuable experience possible in the short hours they are observing the life of a Maggie Walker student. The change in name also came with a new purpose. “The name ‘Future Dragons’ implies that they’re already going to attend this school,” he explained. This need to “recruit” as many students as possible is the result of an increase in competition from other specialty centers. Because more specialty centers have popped up in the more populous counties over the past two decades, Maggie Walker is not the only show in town.

For a handful of current Maggie Walker students, these whirlwind days were spent leading groups of Future Dragons around the school, talking with them in their classrooms about what makes Maggie Walker different from other high schools, and answering questions, ranging from the homework load to athletics. For many students, doing all of this served as a good reminder as to why, through all the crazy assignments and long nights, they even decided to attend MLWGS in the first place. Grace May (‘20), a Future Dragon leader, commenting on her experience, said that “the appeal of Maggie Walker had kind of been lost on me over the two years but after I was a Future Dragons leader I could see the brightness and excitement I felt my shadow day.”

Of course, even with successful Future Dragon days like this year’s,  there are always areas for growth and improvement. Having the wait-listed students attend the Future Dragons Day with the accepted students is one of the things Dr. Lowerre is hoping to change. “It breaks my heart,” he stated, “for some of the wait-listed students, it’s almost like showing them everything they could have, but can’t.”

The goal of the Future Dragons Day, instead of being to demonstrate to the 8th graders statistics college acceptance rates, should be to show them the comfortable atmosphere of the school, emphasized Lowerre. Maggie Walker’s reputation is as a school so rigorous that it scares away deserving potential students from even applying. Hopefully this idea will be deterred with these Future Dragon Days, so that even more students are compelled to apply and help Maggie Walker grow both as a school and a community.

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