As the school year kicks off, everyone is working on getting their groove back. From parents getting their kids to school on time, to the teacher who eagerly waits to see if their new curriculum will be better than the year before. It’s pretty easy to forget the underlying beauty school provides and how empowering this process can become for a student. We recently got the chance to interview an HTS alum, David Traver, who graduated in 2011 and now is entering their senior year at Santa Clara University. Take a look as we decided to ask a husky of their experiences as student.
How long were you at HTS?
I was at HTS for 9 years from K-8th grade.
What impacted me the most from being a student at HTS?
Without a doubt, the idea that it isn’t all about myself. Sure, we were expected to do well academically and develop individually, but those feats didn’t surmount to everything. The teachers had an expectation of us helping each other, perhaps in small yet consistent ways. By learning how to put myself in others’ shoes, I realized two things: everybody wants to grow and everybody wants friends.
At what specific point and time did you realize HTS was different and cutting edge compared to other schools?
After graduating 8th grade at HTS, I went to my local public high school. It’s funny, many people told me HTS is unique and special, but I didn’t realize how right they were until I left. Small moments in high school proved how special HTS was: the boy who sat by himself each day, the snarky remarks made towards a passing girl, the rift created between groups labeled “smart” and “dumb”. People at HTS were different because they truly cared about helping each other.
What school do you attend now? How has it benefitted you? What are your current aspirations?
I currently attend Santa Clara University, going into my Senior year as an undergraduate. I’m studying biology with an emphasis in neuroscience and hoping to either continue towards medical school or a PhD to conduct neuro research, particularly in the field of autism. SCU forces me to grow in discipline while learning how to not simply stay afloat in school, but excel in a competitive environment. I’m very lucky to have faculty and peers who make themselves readily available when I need help.
What is your highlight from attending HTS?
Seeing each of us find a voice. There’s this notion that learning with the same people for nine years gets old quick. In those nine years though, I saw each of my classmates find their voice. Whether it was finding a hobby we love or helping each other without prompting, we learned how to speak up and stand up for each other. We didn’t just learn how to speak for ourselves—perhaps more importantly, we learned how to speak for each other.
How has HTS shaped you to be the person you are today?
HTS taught me how to genuinely care about others, something that can only be learned with experience and not simply with words. All the cheesy things you’d expect to hear about helping others were fostered into me because they are absolutely true. Everyone wants to be respected, everyone wants to be heard, and everyone wants to be appreciated—these ideas were taught since Day 1. HTS not only planted an interest in autism and neuroscience, but it also turned those three ideas into convictions which follow me and, to this day, influence how I see people who are similar or different than me.