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Stand-out GAC Alumni Thrive at Vanderbilt
  • Academics
Stand-out GAC Alumni Thrive at Vanderbilt

Molly is studying Child Development at Vanderbilt's Peabody College. She is surrounded with opportunities to bring out her unique gifts as an individual and a scholar, and she is taking full advantage of all Vanderbilt has to offer. She is a fellow with the Susan Gray School, working with special-needs students on social skill development. She is an ambassador with the Next Steps program, meeting one-on-one with Vanderbilt students with special needs to facilitate healthy eating habits during weekly lunch, to aide in academic and extracurricular planning, and to foster relationships with the students.  She serves as an advocate for inclusion within the Vanderbilt community. Molly has had the opportunity to engage with influential researchers in the field of Developmental Psychology to discuss their work and is excited for the opportunity to now be involved in research herself. She will be working with Dr. Rittle-Johnson in her research lab studying children’s cognitive processes as they learn algebraic concepts. This is part of a collaborative study with researchers at Harvard.

Another alumni in the Peabody College, Megan Eberhart (class of 2014) is a graduate student studying for her master’s degree in Human Development Counseling. She is currently a research assistant for a project implementing academic interventions for low-performing students in metro area schools. Her goal is to become a school counselor in a middle or elementary school setting. “I’m really passionate about helping kids navigate academic, social/emotional, and behavioral obstacles within a school setting so they can reach their full potential.” A lifer at GAC, Megan credits her teachers with preparing her for the academically demanding graduate program. “I still owe so much to Mrs. Runkel and AP Lit for strengthening my writing skills—skills I still put to use today in writing the many papers my program requires me to write. My teachers throughout my time at GAC were always so supportive of me, not only as an academic but as an individual as well. Their support and encouragement is something I have carried with me throughout my academic career, and something I hope to give to my students as a school counselor.”

Jack Hollier (class of 2018) is studying economics. He believes the AP and honors level classes he took at GAC thoroughly prepared him for Vanderbilt. “After a few months of college classes, I have realized that GAC teachers have provided me with a strong foundation in all subject areas, so I can succeed in difficult courses. Looking back, I am extremely grateful for the preparation that GAC provided!"

Two alumni are student-athletes at Vanderbilt. Devin Cochran (class of 2016) plays football while pursuing a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Human and Organizational Development as well as a minor in Religious Studies. He is a strong believer in resilience, adaptability, and personal growth, all skills that were fostered while a student at GAC. He balances playing football with his volunteer work, which includes serving as a mentor with the YMCA Community Action Project. As part of this work, he teaches kids time management skills, how to balance sports with education, as well as the significance of social cognizance. His goal is to play in the NFL but also sees himself managing a logistics company or starting his own non-profit so he can give back. Part of what has helped him succeed at Vanderbilt is the writing skills he developed while at GAC. "Writing in college has proven to be the most important skill hands down. If you can write well, you can succeed, and here at Vanderbilt this skill takes you far in just about every class."

Kaylann Boyd (class of 2016) is pursuing a career as an Educational Diagnostician. She has a passion for children with learning disabilities. A student-athlete playing soccer, Kaylann is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women's Studies. “GAC prepared me for Vanderbilt by teaching me how to use great writing skills, time management, and, the biggest of all, how to communicate. Being at GAC, I was always comfortable with expressing what I believed in and I think that has helped me be vocal in my classrooms here at Vanderbilt as well.”

  • Academics