St. Louis is not an easy place to move to in 8th grade.
We moved here when my older son was 13. We didn’t know anybody, and the phrase “Where did you go to high school?” left us scratching our heads.
The plan was for our sons to attend the nearby public high school, but one day my son came home from middle school and said, “I need to go somewhere where everyone has to start over. Where everyone is a freshman.” That led us to De Smet Jesuit.
We took the one-hour tour and we were told “these boys take care of each other; they look out for each other.” That’s what we were searching for. When you move to a new city, you have to rebuild your community. We had lost our fundamental sense of community, and that’s what resonated with me: this is a place to come find your people.
You don’t have to be an athlete. You don’t have to be an all-star. You just have to be yourself.
At De Smet you always have the opportunity to do something bigger than yourself. That’s what so special about this place.
De Smet challenges the boys to break from their groups. You’re not going to start in homeroom with 25 of your best friends from grade school. They tell you this from day one, and they give the boys the support they need to build lifelong friendships.
That was my older son’s experience. My other son is one year younger. He has a big personality, a big group of friends, and we knew he’d be fine wherever he went. He didn’t want to leave his amazing group of friends from his middle school, so we registered him at the public high school. We went to the orientation. We looked at the 600 hundred or so kids in his class, heard the principal say he would know our son’s name by the time he graduated (four years later), and we asked him to shadow at De Smet one more time. When he came home that afternoon he said “They know who I am already. And they care about what I want out of high school.”
The personal impact within one day was what changed his mind.
He made the difficult choice to leave his middle school friends because he knew deep down De Smet Jesuit saw possibilities in him that he couldn’t yet see in himself, and it wasn’t as an extension of his older brother. He opened himself up to building a new group of friends at De Smet while keeping the connections with those he had in his prior school.
As far as participating in school activities or teams, I would have told you our boys would have been two-sport athletes and left it at that. Yet, at De Smet they became so much more than just student-athletes. That is the beauty of De Smet—you don’t have to be just one thing or one dimensional. Athletes participate in theater and write for the newspaper. Boys who love to eat join the Burger Club.
My oldest son became president of the medical club. My younger son was a member of student council. As a senior he decided to join the chorus with his friends.
Picture football players, lacrosse players, and basketball players standing on the risers in choir next to the lead in the school musical.
Thanks to Mr. Sherrock they all found their “voice” in the chorus. And when you’re provided that type of environment, you naturally can grow as a person.
If you want a school where the focus is not just on academics but on developing the whole person, where the education of boys is celebrated, and where boys grow into amazing young men, De Smet Jesuit is that place.
Boys come out of high school physically transformed—most look like completely different people! Why not match the exponential change these years will have on in their physical appearance with the opportunity to nurture them both spiritually and academically?
There’s nothing better than a Jesuit education. De Smet is such a special place.
Your son has no limits here.
—Catherine B., mom to graduates from the Classes of 2017 and 2018