To educate a girl is to invest in her future and the future of our world. With a mission to develop bold and creative contributors to the common good, Miss Hall’s School is paving the way for tomorrow’s female leaders to get an exceptional academic education and the opportunity to develop values core to the human experience: authenticity, respect, honour, and growth.
Miss Hall’s is where teenage girls from 24 countries evolve into changemaking global citizens. By the time they leave their Holmes Road campus, they are equipped to energise around ideas and collaborate on passion projects with confidence, vision, and voice. They are ready to spark the change they want to see in the world.
For some students, such as Keely O’Gorman ‘22, that starts even before they graduate. She’s already improving lives through Bags of Hope, an initiative she started to provide reusable shopping bags filled with toiletries to residents in Pittsfield’s emergency winter shelter. It’s a bigger, better version of a project she tackled with classmates in 2020. “It really fits with what Miss Hall’s does with philanthropy,” says Keely, who is off to Harvard in the fall. “It’s local. It’s something that can be done every year, and it’s needed. Ideally, we wouldn’t have as many homeless people, but I cannot change that on my own, so I chose this as something that could help improve people’s lives.”
Her project is part of the School’s signature Horizons programme. What she’s achieved is down to the impact of the interdisciplinary and experiential programme: bridging the classroom to the real world, empowering students every step of the way.
Horizons activities are woven into the fabric of Miss Hall’s. Every Wednesday, all students join the well-evolved programme (it’s been around for nearly 30 years), to participate in leadership programming that includes community learning and internships at more than 75 professional offices, businesses, nonprofits, and arts organisations.
The programme starts in the ninth grade, when students explore self, identity, and community. They work with peers to learn about and put into practice principles of equity and inclusion, health and wellness, and leadership. Specific topics include intersectionality, race and ethnicity, ability, citizenship and nationality, nutrition, sex education, media literacy, and financial literacy.
In 10th grade, they explore the concept of “place.” Miss Hall’s location in the Berkshires of Massachusetts – an important locus of arts, education, and nature in the Northeast – makes it a great place to learn about environmental, cultural, and socio-economic theories. Students work in groups toward a final goal, and later in the year, delve into personalised individual and group projects designed to make a positive impact in the local community and the world.
In 11th grade, students choose from a host of local internships, volunteer at nonprofits, write for an international literary journal, develop a new TedX conference, work for the campus media team, code a new app, and more.
In 12th grade, they step into the world of passion projects. This is when they turn what they learn into action, tackling personalised projects, combining research and activism, and. participating in professional internships.
The MHS Global Citizenship Group is another example of the global changemaking happening each day on the Miss Hall’s campus and beyond. Ninth and 10th graders, together with students from Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, are addressing issues of teen pregnancy and reproductive health in a local community in eastern Rwanda.
They are developing informative and accessible booklets that cover topics such as safe sex, consent, and reproductive health. “We want to provide these young girls with the necessary tools and information needed to be leaders and also empowered advocates for their own health,” explains MHS ninth-grader Idalis De Jesus ’25.
Information is power, which is why each booklet includes medical resources, illustrations, stories from young women, and news about women’s health. They will be translated into “Kinyarwanda,” the native language of Rwanda, as well as French and English, which are widely spoken there. “We want the next generation to be safe, to know more about their bodies, and most importantly to know their rights,” adds MHS ninth-grader Lily McDonald ’25. “As we collaborate, we are learning to understand perspectives different from our own, to be respectful, and to have a sensitive understanding of other cultures.”
Research has found that graduates of girls’ schools are better than their peers at co-ed schools at bridging racial and cultural divides, contributing to their communities, fulfilling civic duties, communicating opinions, and developing their leadership skills.
Miss Hall’s graduates embody these traits. Since the School’s founding in 1898, it has inspired bold and creative contributors to the common good and continues to do so, 124 years later. See for yourself.