Our 13 year old force of nature is a confident, tenacious, gentle, outgoing young woman, in no small part because of Hirsch. This magical place did something no other institution or individual has done: they presumed her competence. They saw her wellspring of talent that hid just below the surface, covered by a mask of unreliable speech and a body that didn’t always cooperate with what her brain wanted it to do. They allowed her to grow into her innate abilities and cultivated ones that needed more nurturing. The friendships she has formed at Hirsch are rich and nuanced, with a level of compassion and understanding often not seen in even adult relationships. The curriculum and subject matter into which she is immersed is complex and varied; Alex studies everything from monomials in mathematics to reading Homer’s The Odyssey in philosophy. There is truly no other place that offers all the pieces of the pie the way Hirsch does because this is a place that believes in trying again, doing more, going farther and pushing harder. It’s a place where boundaries are not just broken but obliterated and where minds are satiated, not stifled. It’s a place that SEES our children.