Leila Kapadia, a member of the class of 2019, is the youngest WMS alumna to be featured in our Alumni Spotlight. Leila’s time at The Washington Market School was only four years ago, which allows her to reflect on her experience in a way that is still meaningful to her current experiences in the world.
Currently a third-grader at Riverdale Country School, Leila attended WMS from 2016 to 2019. She is one of three siblings who are all alumni of our school, and she even has cousins who are current WMS students! Leila loves revisiting her teachers as well as reading to her cousin’s class. Molly, who was one of Leila’s teachers, now teaches her cousin, so it is an extra special reunion when she visits.
When Lelia reminisced on her time at WMS, she fondly recalled the moments she spent with her classmates in the gym, the dragon who visited for Lunar New Year, and special moments in the art studio. One moment in particular stuck out to her when she was encouraged to draw a friendly version of Chewbacca, a character she used to be afraid of. This exercise helped Leila overcome her fear through art, and was also a fun and imaginative experience creating a new character that represents something joyful instead of being scary.
In addition to the joy she found in art class and playful moments with her classmates, Leila spoke about the valuable life lessons she learned at The Washington Market School, which continue to shape her elementary school years. She vividly remembers feeling nervous and apprehensive on her first day at Hudson Street, but her worries quickly disappeared when she discovered the warm and inviting nature of her teachers. During her time at WMS, Leila was struck by her teachers’ strategies on how to self-comfort in moments of sadness, still carrying those tools with her today.
Leila also learned the importance of community building at The Washington Market School. To this day, the WMS community plays a big role in her life, specifically the friends she was able to make while she was a student here. In fact, she remains close friends with a former WMS classmate who now resides in Greece! Leila’s friendship across continents reminds us that truly special relationships often form at the earliest years and so many of those start right here at The Washington Market School!