Every SYA donor has a story about why he or she chooses to give. If you are inspired to tell us why you support SYA, please email the Development Office.
Here's what some of our donors are saying:
Margaret, Conklin FR'74, left, and Alice Conklin FR'74
“We give to SYA because fluency in in another language has immeasurably enriched our personal and professional lives, and we want to make sure that high school students today have the same opportunity. We loved our extraordinary French and American teachers, our group vacations from Normandy to Provence, and the lifelong friends we made. SYA gave us and our classmates the language skills, the open-mindedness and the confidence to pursue fulfilling lives and careers anywhere in the world.”
Ameerah Phillips ES'05
"Having spent my entire life living in the same city — in fact, the same house — I saw SYA as an opportunity to branch out. I decided to spend a year in Spain because I hoped to become fluent in Spanish and to learn about a new place and a new people. I even dreamt I would spend countless afternoons eating paella while soaking up the Mediterranean sun. Absolutely no one could have prepared me for the immense change my life would under-go. My year in Spain was transformative! Not only did I learn about Spanish culture and language but, much to my surprise, I also discovered myself. I figured out how I wanted to live my life and what I expected of myself as a global citizen. I give to SYA’s Annual Fund because I want other students to have the same opportunity I had. The support I received from SYA — financial, academic and emotional — shaped the person I am today."
Daniel Zilkha FR'90P FR'93P FR'95P FR'03P
“Having grown up in France and then living for many years in the United States with an American wife, it was important to me that our four children not only learn to speak French but also to understand French culture. Édouard Herriot, a member of the Academie Française before World War II, famously wrote, ‘La culture, c’est ce qui reste quand on a tout oublié.’ Today, our children may have oublié, forgotten, who designed Chambord or what year Napoleon was crowned emperor, but they retain the culture: they still speak fluent French, feel comfortable in France and remember fondly the day-to-day life with their French families in Rennes. They came to understand France while experiencing what all four describe as one of the very best years of their academic lives. They were willing to take the risk of a year away, they learned a great deal and, perhaps most important, they gained a level of maturity that prepared them well for college and life. We all support SYA because there is no other institution that offers such a special experience to so many students in so many countries. Being fluent in other languages and being citizens of the world are increasingly important, and SYA without doubt leads that cultural globalization effort among high school students.”
Susan Getgood FR'79
"SYA was one of the best experiences of my life, but I would not have been able to spend a year in France without financial aid. I give to SYA so other students will have the same opportunity. When I'm able, I contribute to other charities and educational institutions as well, but during lean times I must be selective as to where my charitable donations will have the greates impact. That's why I make a point of contributing something to SYA every year."