LWHS students and recent alumni share their experience in their own words.
Throughout my time at Lick-Wilmerding I have discovered that it is a truly unique environment. Lick is a community of leaders who are learning how to make an impact on the world, big or small. Leadership at first can seem daunting, but with support from fellow students and the faculty it becomes less so. There are many different kinds of leaders at Lick. Some are involved with student government, some are leaders of clubs, some are team captains, but I have learned that a leader can also be someone who simply does what they love. I discovered that I was a leader by accident. I knew that I love to sing, so in a conversation with some of my friends who also love to sing, we started an a cappella group. There are countless opportunities to try new things, make mistakes and take ownership of your experience. While at Lick, I’ve learned that my drive for learning and taking leadership lies in what I am passionate about.
My favorite things about Lick are the community and the culture. In addition to finding a friendly, happy community I’ve also found that each person here has his or her own individual talent, interesting hobby, or a story worth knowing. At Lick, no matter who you are, there is a platform for you to shine. At times the workload can get tough and schedules can be demanding but students work through these times together. In the end, smiles are abundant and students are happy because not only do they work very hard, but they do so with joy and pride. It’s this shared mindset among students that creates an environment where students are driven, yet always incredibly supportive of each other. You need not look further than a track meet, dance concert, or community meeting to experience the tremendous amount of support Lick students show one another. The Lick-Wilmerding community has taught me to work hard with pride, to push myself and others to explore our full potentials, and to support others and their talents, stories, and interests.
When I first visited Lick-Wilmerding, the warmth and vibrancy of the student body made the school feel like the right place for me, and my four years at LWHS only confirmed that initial impression. One of the things that makes LWHS special is the school’s commitment to nurturing the whole student: the “head, heart, and hands.” I have been grateful for the support of my peers and the thoughtful guidance of my teachers as I have explored ethical thinking in English class, played jazz for elementary school kids during Jellis block, and worked on the lathe in woodshop. LWHS students do so many different things, but come together in their support of one another and their enthusiasm for what they do.
My transition to LWHS was at times challenging, as Lick differed drastically from my middle school experience. Lick’s small, welcoming environment helped make this transition much less intimidating. I went from rarely being challenged in middle school to finding myself constantly being confused in class. I not only learned how much I can accomplish on my own, but what my limits are. I learned how to ask teachers for help, something I hadn’t done or seen as necessary in middle school. I also felt myself grow as a person with the help of the different volunteering opportunities offered throughout the school year, from clothing drives to fundraisers.
Lick made me aware of the world around me and the positive impact I can make in the world.
I will eternally be grateful for the opportunities Lick has provided for me, and the community that I've discovered here. This is a place where you can be whoever you want to be, and each individual is encouraged to be the best version of him or herself. Lick is unique in that it encourages people to go out of their comfort zones and "put your foot in the circle." Without this culture, I never would have discovered my passions and met my closest friends.
It was in Dance 2 sophomore year that I grew most as a person, being forced to be comfortable making a fool out of myself in front of others and hurtling full speed ahead into the unknown world of 8-counts, isolations, and Martha Graham. I had NEVER danced before, but the dance program provided me with an extremely welcoming community that supported all my creative endeavors (and failures), and taught me the importance of taking risks in order to improve. The dance family that I joined simply reflects the attitude of the larger Lick community – one that is supportive, and that embraces taking chances and pursuing something you've never done before. Through this experience I realized how important it is to try new things regardless of skill or expertise, and have come to a deeper appreciation of the opportunities Lick provides to put yourself out there. Lick is the reason why I feel comfortable expressing myself in ways I never imagined I would, and I will always fondly look back on my time at Lick with gratitude.
Lick-Wilmerding High School has changed and shaped my values inside and outside the classroom. The community at Lick, from the students to the teachers, is incredibly caring, gifted, and definitely inviting. During my time at Lick, I've developed a passion for social justice and combatting the system of oppression because of the leadership and diversity conferences Lick encourages students to attend. I've joined the dance program, swim team, basketball team, and track & field team, and I must say that Lick students are the most supportive and spirited individuals I've ever met. The opportunities are endless at this school, and the community is genuinely there to support each individual in any of their endeavors.
I had many options when the time came to pick a high school. Ultimately, I chose Lick-Wilmerding because high school is a very formative time, a time when you start to become a person with your own beliefs, views, and values. I thought about who I wanted to be in four years, the environment I wanted to grow up in, and the community I wanted to be shaped by. I knew I wanted to be surrounded by the values, ideals, and people of LWHS and never doubted that it was the right school for me.
Looking forward, I have Lick-Wilmerding’s “head, hearts, hands” philosophy ingrained in me and a strong desire to better the world. Whatever I do, and whatever paths I choose, my experience at LWHS taught me to think more globally and make sure that my actions benefit others as well as myself.
Nowadays, it’s hard for me to remember what it was like not to go to Lick. I came from a public middle school, and when I got in, I was ecstatic. One of the things I looked forward to the most was going to school with people who truly wanted to be there. I have not been disappointed in the slightest. Here, going the extra mile is a standard, and Lick is so much more than rigorous academics. Nowhere else could I have built a floor lamp and choreographed a dance in the same semester that I learned how to write essays in Spanish and graph rational functions in math. Lick’s culture of acceptance, perspective, lifelong learning, and community is truly eye opening. Every teacher cares about a student’s progress and engagement, and does their best to make sure we fulfill our full potential.
One great aspect about Lick-Wilmerding is the small class sizes; you can get help from teachers as needed, even outside of class. The teacher-student relationship is a perfect example of the unique tone of the LWHS community. Friendships span across all social boundaries, between teachers and students, upperclassmen and lowerclassmen. With so much diversity of student interests, you can easily find yourself active in a club or two, playing sports, and auditioning for the play – all at the same time! It can be challenging to maintain a perfect balance, but you’ll never feel like there isn’t enough to do because there’s always something new to try.
755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.