New Points of View
For Blessing Ajayi ’22, the reason to come to SPS was simple: take advantage of opportunities not available at home.
BY KRISTIN DUISBERG
Blessing Ajayi’s first impression of St. Paul’s School could have been a negative one — arriving in a blizzard after a series of “nerve-wracking” interviews at other independent schools, she and her mother got turned around a couple of times before they finally found Sheldon. But the more the Sixth Former from Newark, New Jersey, heard from the Admissions staff about SPS, the more readily she saw herself becoming part of the community. “I started to learn about everything they had here — orchestra, languages, all of these clubs I was interested in — and started to get really excited,” she recalls. By the time she left the grounds, SPS was her first choice for high school.
The middle of three children — she has an older brother and a younger sister — Ajayi is the only one to attend boarding school. Among the appeals of SPS was the opportunity to study languages that weren’t offered at her local high school: She takes both German and Latin and at one point considered adding Greek so she could participate in the School’s Classical Honors Program. “I love the differences and the similarities of the two languages,” she explains. “While they have different roots — Latin is proto-Indo-European, and German is Germanic —they have nearly identical grammar rules, which I find really interesting. So I can learn this tense or this subjunctive in Latin, for example, and apply it to what I’m learning in German.”
SPS also has given Ajayi the chance to continue her study of violin, an instrument she picked up in elementary school. A four-year member of the School orchestra who “loves” performing for the SPS community, she’s also been involved in theatre since her Fourth Form fall and had two roles in the 2021 Fall Term play “Blue Stockings.” Before COVID-19 disrupted the interscholastic sports schedule, she competed in throwing events as a member of the outdoor track team. Ajayi also is one of the heads of Onyx, the school affinity group for students who identify as Black, African American, or of African heritage and has served since last spring as an Ohrstrom Library proctor.