Justice Robinson is one step closer to her Harvard University dream school thanks to her years at Ivy Prep.
On June 30, Robinson will move to Massachusetts to join the freshman class at the prestigious boarding school, Phillips Academy in Andover, the alma mater of former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, and a host of judges, physicians and international diplomats. Robinson, 14, will attend summer session at Andover and return for the new school year on Sept. 9.
The straight-A student landed a full scholarship at Phillips, which costs nearly $50,000 a year, after impressing recruiters with her grades, test scores, leadership skills and laundry list of school activities at Ivy Prep. Robinson served as president of the Student Government Association, a student ambassador, a member of Ivy Prep’s Beta, drama and poetry writing clubs, and more.
“Ivy Prep helped to build my character and cultivate my people skills,” said Robinson. “It provided me with the right environment to grow and to be a leader. Without it, I would still be shy and not able to do this.”
Robinson joins a handful of other alumni who have landed scholarships in boarding schools after their middle school years at Ivy Prep. The college preparatory curriculum and focus on professionalism, responsibility and perseverance helps push students to become independent learners.
“I am so excited about going to Phillips,” Robinson said. “The level of independence and responsibility it takes to be successful in boarding school prepares you for college. I will be able to participate in so many classes and so many clubs, and still have time for my homework because I won’t have to drive anywhere.”
Robinson said she fell in love with Massachusetts during Ivy Prep’s sixth grade field trip to Harvard. A talk about boarding schools at Ivy Prep’s High School Exploration Fair in 2013 opened her mind to the possibility of applying to high schools out of state. Robinson met a representative of A Better Chance, a student service agency that helps minority students gain entry into private schools. She began the application process in October.
“It was strenuous,” Robinson said. “I had to write five essays and go on seven or eight interviews. Being an ambassador at Ivy Prep made interviewing easy for me. I was used to talking to adults and meeting new people.”
When the acceptance packet from Phillips arrived in March, the eighth grader was floored by the news. “My mom said that I could only go if I got a full scholarship – and I did it,” Robinson said. “We were freaking out and screaming, ‘I got in! I got in!’ ”
Dwayne and Beth Robinson are proud of their daughter’s accomplishments and ecstatic about her future at Phillips. “Justice is a leader and an over-achiever,” Beth Robinson said. “Her lowest grade at Ivy Prep was a 96 and her highest was a 105. She has always been on the principal’s list. But Ivy Prep gave her more than just an education; it prepared her mentally for this. They gave her leadership opportunities that would position her for greatness.”
Joy Treadwell, principal at Ivy Prep Gwinnett, said Robinson “thrived” at Ivy Prep and gained confidence in her abilities because she was inspired by her studies to step outside of her comfort zone.
In May, Robinson gave a speech at Honors Day thanking school administrators, teachers and her fellow classmates for their support. “The last few years have been the highlight of my 14 years of living,” she said. “Ivy Prep has improved my life. I know I have a great foundation for high school.”
Robinson plans to remain a Massachusetts resident for college. “I want to go to Harvard,” she said. “I love math, science, writing and acting. One day, I may be a spy or a U.S. president.”