Sydney at her 6th Grade Graduation in 2016

I would just like to start off by saying I am honored to be the 2022 Brightman Award recipient. City Academy was my home for eight years, and even after I left it continued to support me and welcome me into its community. There has never been a moment where I could not contact a former teacher or faculty member when I needed assistance. The alumni of City Academy have helped me countless times with classes and gave great advice when I began navigating my college application process. Ms. Glassmeyer especially has been a great shoulder to lean on these past two years, helping me find scholarships, internship opportunities and just being a shoulder to lean on.

City Academy has shown me the value of a community, and through service I use the skills I have learned to give others that same sense of community. In the summer after my freshman year, I volunteered to be a teaching assistant with Aim High St. Louis. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into and never could have foreseen the profound impact the program has had on me. That summer I was a TA for the seventh grade English class. Being able to work with my students and teach them new things is an amazing experience that I would not trade for the world. I cherish the bond I have built with my students and each summer I look forward to seeing their academic growth. This summer will be my fourth year with Aim High and I’m very excited to help plan a great session.

Sydney received the 2022 Brightman Award honoring alumni who demonstrate exceptional dedication to community service.

In the future, my goal is to complete my Doctorate in Physical therapy as well as a masters in architectural design. One day I wish to design my own super cool clinic to practice in and help teach people about their bodies and how to take care of them. City Academy helped to prepare me for the academic rigor that I would face at John Burroughs and taught me the importance of perseverance in the classroom. I remember the hard days of 6th grade math. I’d meet with Ms. Oteng after school to go over tests and quizzes in an attempt to make sense of the confusing concepts. Even at times when I would much rather be hanging around the gym playing dodgeball with my friends, I knew that in the end my hard work would pay off. Now six years later, the pledge still rings true whenever I am feeling stuck or lost. I will always remember that I can be the best, by doing my best, in everything I do.

Like any big change, transitioning to JBS was hard, but the teachers and students I met helped to ease me into the new environment. From the classroom to the track, Burroughs has become my home and I am extremely grateful for the friends I have made. Everyone I have had the pleasure of engaging with at John Burroughs has left a lasting impression and helped to shape me into the woman I am today. I am so thankful to have received the opportunity to be a part of the Burroughs community and meet some of the best teachers and friends. I would not have wanted to spend the past six year growing and learning with anyone else.

Thank you all for selecting me to be your 2022 Brightman Award recipient and thank you for listening.

Read More About Sydney

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One comment on “Sydney Williams ’16 – Annual Luncheon Speech”

  1. 1
    Mrs. H. Walker on March 1, 2022

    This is super awesome Miss Sydney! Thank you for sharing your story with us and for being such a fabulous CA alumni! Congratulations on all your accomplishments, thus far, and wish you well as you achieve your future goals! We know you will continue to do your best, by being your best!

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