With an increasingly competitive college admissions process, grades and test scores are no longer the final deciding factors for students to be accepted into the colleges of their choice. Applicants need to find ways to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Waldorf students stand out in many ways from their peers. These Waldorf graduates bring a unique perspective, set of experiences, and skill set. The Waldorf approach, which incorporates the arts, outdoor education and hands-on learning into academics, helps our graduates stand out as individuals. They are curious, creative, confident, and experienced in working with their peers, their hands, and their minds. Their ability to listen, articulate their ideas, advocate for themselves and others, and work both independently and collaboratively helps them thrive in college and beyond. That is why colleges and universities across the country have recognized the degree to which Waldorf graduates enhance their student bodies.
The Rudolph Steiner School did a study that found that a composite profile of the recent Waldorf graduate tells us that they (practically all) attend college, for which they feel strongly prepared (95%), are accepted to the top three colleges or universities of their choice (90%), complete their initial degree (92%), and often choose thereafter to continue to graduate or professional training schools. They also feel that their Waldorf education prepared them to be creative and innovative, open minded, empathic, and to take on leadership roles.
At Richmond Waldorf School we see how our alumni find meaning in their own unique paths. RWS Class of 2020 alum, Aiden, shared, “My general field of interest in STEM and particularly programming and computer science. So, this year I’m taking classes like AP Computer Science Principles. I’m also involved in my school’s programming club and I’m on my school’s robotics team. This is an area I want to focus on and continue taking classes and courses related to development as I move out of high school.” Aiden, now a senior at a prestigious high school, continues to play violin in the school orchestra while exploring his interests in STEM and computer science.
Another RWS alum, Georgia Chase, graduated from RWS in 2016 and then attended Open High. She continued on to the University of Richmond as an environmental science major with a minor in anthropology. Georgia says, “My plan is to graduate and hopefully work in urban green spaces and work with environmental justice and environmental racism.” Georgia also reflected that now as a college student, “being able to communicate with your professors is extremely important. It can help you so much along the way. And I really think that Waldorf helped me to be confident in communicating and asking for help and asking for assistance.”
RWS Alum in the World
RWS alum, Stephanie Gernetz, graduated from University of Virginia in 2021 and moved to Indianapolis for an enticing job as a process automation engineer at Eli Lilly and Company. There she monitors the machinery that perfects penicillin and other medicines. From her first day of kindergarten to her eighth-grade graduation, Stephanie absorbed the settings and practices of the RWS “environmentally friendly” campus, then followed her residual instincts and interests to a major in environmental science, along with chemical engineering, at UVA.
An internship at Merck added a new interest in pharmaceuticals. Seeking a similar employer after college, she attended a conference for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and landed an in-person interview with Eli Lilly. Stephanie notes, “I felt confident in what I knew, and I was able to present myself with that confidence, which they saw.”
Some of that confidence comes from RWS. Stephanie says, “I believe Waldorf helped me grow to be a well-rounded individual…[which] helped me in my education, because if a scientist is only good with numbers and math, but can’t communicate or involve creativity and expression within their findings or projects, that sometimes does not make for the best STEM-oriented students.”
Our alumni make us so proud and remind us that with a developmentally appropriate curriculum, steeped in the arts and the world around us, students develop a deep understanding of themselves and how to make an impact in the world. Our students leave our program ready for their next adventure and with the quiet confidence to overcome challenges and excel in new experiences. This is why the Waldorf methodology continues to thrive.
Want to Learn More?
We would love for you to explore the Waldorf approach! Get to know us and see if RWS is right for your child.
At Richmond Waldorf School, we recognize that our student’s physical, social and emotional well-being are a key part of their ability to learn and thrive. We look forward to meeting you and sharing more information about Waldorf education.
Richmond Waldorf School is a non-profit, private school in Richmond, Virginia offering Waldorf education for grades Pre-K – 8th grade.