Inspiring Insights from a Graduate of An All Girls School

Emily Tatum attended Katherine Delmar Burke School, an independent K-8th grade all girls school in San Francisco. Emily currently lives in Chicago and is a Marketing Associate with RIVS Digital Interviews.

Tell us a little about your experiences attending an all girls school. What did you love the most? What would you like others to know about this experience?

I wouldn’t trade my experience at an all girls school for the world. The two biggest factors that made my time at an all girls school such a special experience were the teachers and my peers. Every teacher was dedicated to my growth as a young woman- whether it was my performance in the classroom, performance on sport teams, friends, life, health, and everything in-between, my teachers were my biggest cheerleaders and truly cared about my success and well being.

The friends I made at an all girls school hold a special place in my heart and many of them are still some of my closest friends today- 9 years later. When you spend every weekday with someone for 9 years you form a special bond with the person. Whether they were your best friend or simply your desk mate, you shared an experience during 9 years that is so critical to your development.

What are three qualities you would use to describe yourself?

I am ambitious, confident, and always curious. Really, who I am is mostly attributed to my parents who started teaching me at a young age that I can be whoever I want to be if I work had enough. They didn’t teach me this by saying it necessarily, but by putting my education first. My parents sacrificed a lot in order to give us the best resources for success they could and it started by laying a foundation at an all girls school. My dad was the driving force who wanted my sister, Natalie, and I to attend an all girls school because it was important to him that we were in a learning environment that empowered girls.

At the time, my five year-old-self honestly really didn’t care much as long as the school I went to had a solid playground. Now, I can see where he was coming from. During those 9 years at an all girls school, I started to learn who I was as a female and who I wanted to be as a woman with the help of 43 female classmates and powerful female (and male) role models who were my teachers. I’m not saying I never felt self conscious, awkward, or nervous beginning to grow into my own self during those years, but the all female environment was extremely open and focused on our female growth- mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Do you feel fortunate from this experience?

I feel extremely fortunate about my experience at an all girls school. The one thing I feel most fortunate about is that I truly think it set me and all the other students up to excel in life. I just spent the weekend visiting my best friend who I met in kindergarten. She recently moved to DC so she can work at her dream job at National Geographic. She isn’t the only one doing amazing things in “the real world” post our school experience. When I bump into old classmates or stumble across them on social media, I’m always blown away by where life has taken them. Some are working for high profile companies, or traveling the world, or working for nonprofits and startups. The part that amazes me most is the passion and drive everyone has for reaching their own vision of success. My classmates and friends are some of the smartest people I know and I can’t wait to keep watching everyone grow.