Words by Kim Vreeland
After spending 14 years at Academy at the Lakes, Maty Stals ’22 is headed to Florida Gulf Coast University to study finance, and she feels fully prepared. “Academy is a place where you can feel comfortable to be yourself, to find the things you enjoy and pursue them. Academy supports everyone and helps them become the person they want to be.” Maty also added, “Smaller class sizes encouraged me to feel comfortable asking for academic help and allowed me to comprehend material more easily.”
Maty shares that Academy prepared her for her transition to college. “I feel comfortable with the idea of making connections with new people.” Maty made many connections over the years by taking advantage of the limitless opportunities at Academy.
From playing the violin in second through sixth grade to serving in organizations such as Key Club and National Honor Society to leading Peregrine as House Captain in fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade, Maty reveled in all of it, especially House Day – a longstanding tradition at Academy, “I love how everyone gets to experience the feeling of being on a team.”
Maty also played tennis and volleyball, the latter creating some of her favorite memories, “ I looked forward to every volleyball practice because Coach Saxton made our team feel like a family.” Maty shares that volleyball senior night was a night she will never forget and that her teammates are some of the sweetest girls she has ever met, “Being able to play my last game of volleyball with Emma Haslam ’22 while also seeing my family and closest friends watch was very special to me. Being able to spend time after the game with everyone I love and shedding many happy tears are moments I will never forget.”
Maty shares that she is grateful for the friendships she formed at Academy, “The friends I met at Academy are the people I can consider my family – a community that I can always fall back on if I ever need help. They are friends that will last a lifetime.”