The Hartsbrook School

Elizabeth Mealey

High School Class of 2010
Eighth Grade Class of 2006

Elizabeth MealeyA Hartsbrook student from third grade through high school, Elizabeth Mealey, Class of 2010, deeply values her educational experience. When she was finishing eighth grade, Elizabeth says that she did not even look at other high schools, because Hartsbrook offered the most creative options for her. She was and still is a creative person with many talents, so Hartsbrook’s creative approach and its embracing community of students and faculty offered the best opportunities for her.

“My eleventh grade trip to the Camphill Community in Copake, NY has had a major influence on my career path and how I have come to combine my interests and talents in a way that serves our communities,” says Elizabeth. After visiting this Camphill Community, which uses an Anthroposophical approach for living and working with adults with special needs, and studying in German the summer after tenth grade, she chose to spend a gap year at a Camphill community in Southern Germany (Camphill Dorfgemeinschaft Hausenhof, near Nuremberg), before matriculating at Tufts University in the U.S. Elizabeth speaks about the importance of this time at the German Camphill Community as being key to enabling her to understand the benefit of using an Anthroposophical approach in working with adults with special needs. She was also able to see how she might use her talents to serve new or evolving Camphill communities built on that same concept.

Indeed, a recently identified need for a Camphill-like community in Kenya to serve adults with special needs has become a compelling and galvanizing force for Elizabeth’s many talents. As of this writing, she has been studying in Tübingen, Germany as part of her Junior Year abroad through Tufts University, Elizabeth has joined forces with Joab Omondi Ochoro, a Kenyan, who is studying in Germany to complete his certification as a Curative Education Therapist to work with adults with special needs. He plans to start an organization in Kenya to meet the needs of adults with special needs there, where such people are not well served, using an Anthroposophical approach. His dream has resonated with Elizabeth and she is now actively involved in assisting Joab in building this Kenyan project, Jamii Community Village Seme, using her passion for human rights, her website design talents, her program development skills and a new fundraising initiative. [See http://jamiicommunity.wordpress.com]

Elizabeth credits Hartsbrook School’s creative approach with helping her to be prepared to explore new directions and become involved in the Jamii Community Village Seme project. She combines her interests in cultures/human rights and creative journalism to support and highlight this project. With a website that includes English and German text as well as photographs she is focusing her creative talents (including photography and multi-media storytelling on making an impact on our world and how we (including developing countries) can support and include adults with special needs.