Posted on May 7, 2024
Categories: Student of the Month

Damar Wilson, a senior at Hill-Freedman World Academy, has been named Senior of the Month for April. This honor recognizes Damar’s exceptional leadership, dedication, and impact on the school community.

Throughout his high school career, Damar has demonstrated remarkable maturity and initiative. As president of both the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Entrepreneurship Club for the past two years, he has spearheaded numerous events and initiatives that have enriched the school experience for his peers.

One of Damar’s most notable accomplishments was the organization of a highly successful Real Estate Family Night in May 2023. This event showcased the knowledge and skills gained by students in the Real Estate Club and provided an opportunity for students, staff, parents, and community members to learn about the real estate industry. Damar’s leadership and mentorship were instrumental in the event’s success, inspiring other students to present their work to a large audience.

In addition to his club leadership roles, Damar has also made significant contributions to the school community through his role as a mentor and guide for new students. He played a key part in organizing summer orientation for incoming students, ensuring a smooth transition and welcoming environment. Damar’s selection for this role reflects his proven ability to manage large-scale events and programs.

Damar’s exemplary character and leadership skills have made him a role model for his peers and a source of pride for the Hill-Freedman community. His poised demeanor, professionalism, and commitment to service make him an outstanding representative of the school’s values.

Born and raised in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Damar is a proud role model for his younger siblings and cousins. His experiences at Hill-Freedman have not only prepared him for his future career aspirations in real estate or law but have also equipped him with the skills and knowledge to be a positive influence in his community.

As Damar reflects on his time at Hill-Freedman, he emphasizes the importance of teamwork and collaboration in achieving great things. He recognizes that while leadership is essential, the support and contributions of others are vital for success. This insight, combined with his own remarkable accomplishments, makes Damar Wilson an exemplary Senior of the Month.

The School District of Philadelphia celebrates Damar’s achievements and looks forward to seeing how his leadership and dedication will continue to inspire others in the future. Congratulations, Damar, on this well-deserved recognition!

We asked Damar some of our favorite questions: 

1. What does being named Senior of the Month mean to you?

Being recognized as Senior of the Month is a chance to acknowledge my accomplishments, dedication, commitment, and contributions to the city and the district throughout the years. It’s incredibly rewarding and affirming to see my efforts recognized, fueling my motivation to continue striving for excellence in the days ahead.  It’s a significant milestone, representing progress rather than the conclusion of something. It also indicates that there is recognition and gratitude for the incredible students in our school district and their contributions to the community. This is more than just an award or recognition to me. It represents the collective effort and accomplishments of my peers and myself during our time in high school. Gandhi emphasized the importance of taking action and making a positive impact in his famous quote — “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This award serves as a testament to our efforts in bringing about the changes we desired, not just within our school and community, but also on a global scale. We hope that our actions have contributed to making the community a better place for everyone.

2. Why do you think you were nominated for Senior of the Month?

I firmly believe that each person in this world is born with a unique set of talents and abilities. I believe my nomination was a result of my natural leadership abilities. Through my leadership abilities, our school has successfully implemented a variety of enjoyable events, fostered stronger community connections, and significantly enhanced student involvement. In addition, my strong leadership abilities have empowered individuals to break out of their comfort zones and showcase their unique talents. Each individual possesses unique talents and abilities. I was recognized for my exceptional leadership skills.

3. You were nominated by Samantha Gambles. Explain your relationship to him/her. Why do you think s/he nominated you specifically?

Mrs. Gambles nominated me. Mrs. Gambles is an exceptional teacher who joined Hill-Freedman last school year to teach IB Math. Throughout her time at Hill-Freedman, she has consistently demonstrated exceptional teaching skills, unwavering support, and a nurturing presence that has made a significant impact on all of us. Mrs. Gambles is adored by all her students. From the beginning, my connection with Mrs. Gambles as a student and teacher was solid. I have always felt comfortable seeking her support and guidance, without ever compromising the excellent education she has given us as we prepare for the next stages of our lives. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Mrs. Gambles on numerous occasions and various projects at the school, including our very successful Real Estate and Entrepreneurship family fun nights. This is where Mrs. Gambles had the opportunity to witness my leadership skills firsthand, which ultimately led to my nomination.

4. What is one thing you’d like to share about yourself that most people don’t know about you?

Many people perceive me as having everything perfectly organized and all aspects of my life neatly resolved and put together. It’s important to note that my understanding has evolved through experience, as I’ve come to realize that most things involve a process of trial and error. It’s important to stick with what works and repeat successful strategies. If something doesn’t work, you can always explore other options. I acknowledge that I have room for improvement and I don’t strive for perfection. However, I always encourage those I come across to give their utmost effort in order to achieve the greatest outcome.

5. What do you enjoy most when you are not at school?

Outside of school, I find pleasure in reading, immersing myself in theatre productions and performances, and exploring unfamiliar places. One thing that I cherish is the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, whether it’s going out for a fun adventure or exploring the world together.

6. In your opinion, what is the best thing about attending school at Hill-Freedman World Academy?

One of the best things about attending school at Hill-Freedman World Academy is the community. From day one, I knew I was in the right place when it came to the group of people I was surrounded by. All schools have their ups and downs, and we are no different. But what stands out the most about us is our connectedness – how much we get along with each other. The lack of constant fighting and disagreement. They have shown a willingness to allow for errors, foster growth, and promote progress — their approach is adaptable and accommodating. I believe these are some essential qualities that school leaders should possess in order to foster a culture of excellence within a school community.

7. In your opinion, what is one thing that the School District could do to improve our service to students?

Ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of students should be the utmost priority of every school district. In our school district, we prioritize ensuring that our students are actively engaged and involved in the life of the schools and the district. I believe it would be beneficial to increase the level of implementation of this. I believe it would be beneficial to regularly conduct a more suitable student survey. We could do this by offering students the chance to evaluate their classes and provide feedback to the district regarding their perception of the quality of teaching and engagement. It is important for students to have the chance to express their level of connection with their administration and leadership. It would be beneficial to have a formal and optional method for students to provide feedback on their school’s performance to their school leadership and district while maintaining anonymity. Not only would this help the district and the school, but most importantly the students. A survey that asks more meaningful questions… a survey that the district could use to actually make adjustments with.