From our littlest learners to our graduating seniors, students across both campuses are emboldened to pursue their passions and explore their interests, all while being nurtured, supported, and guided by their teachers, parents, and peers. When student passion is combined with a nurturing community the possibilities for students to grow and thrive are limitless. Walk down any hall in any building at Mount Vernon and you will find one inspirational story after another. Today, we are sharing six examples. Through their dedication and hard work, students like Addison Vogt, Class of 2023, Lower School students Tucker M, Nathan P, and Oliver, Connor H, Class of 2025, and Madison Z, Class of 2029, and are in their chosen areas while expanding their networks and opening new pathways for their future.

ADDISON VOGT – Social Entrepreneurship with a New Product Launch
Upper School
Addison Vogt, Class of 2023 invented The Conversation Game, a set of conversation starters to help teens manage social isolation and anxiety. Addison first started the project two years ago while taking the Innovation Diploma (iD) Social Entrepreneurship course. The class was a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Schoolyard Ventures program. Social Entrepreneurship aims to develop leaders who build innovative and sustainable social enterprises that deliver impact at scale. Like her entire class, she was affected during the pandemic and experienced social isolation and anxiety. To invent her product, Addison worked closely with her classmates to understand how they could make a real-world impact, “The conversation starters themselves come from observing and gathering data on real teen conversations for authenticity and through lots of feedback, focus groups, and testing.”

Vogt emphasized that after many iterations over the course of a year, she was able to bring the product back to iD, this time as a client, for a Design Brief, where a dedicated team of upperclassmen worked with her to develop a road map to getting her company ‘Kickstarter-ready.’ Learn more about Addison’s story on her website.

TUCKER M, NATHAN P, AND OLIVER W – Lower Campus Club Founders
Lower School

Lower School’s Tree Club has grown in size and sophistication since last year’s original project scope Trees Atlanta, brainstorming what species should go where and mapping the trees that currently reside on the Frontier. Due to the club’s growing participation, the three founders requested a meeting with the School’s Brand Team to develop custom club t-shirts and an advertising strategy. The founders included their designs for inspiration. Although the 3 Tree Club founders displayed attributes including curiosity, integrity, and creativity combined with solution-seeking and innovation, they might not have realized it, but we saw it and are both inspired and proud.

CONNOR HOLLOWAY – International Violin Virtuoso
Upper School
Connor Holloway, Class of 2025, has been invited to play the violin at The British Suzuki Association’s Gala at Royal Albert Hall in London this Easter Sunday, April 9. His passion for playing is evident through the countless hours of practice and guidance from Middle School Music Teacher, Alison James. This is a prestigious opportunity for Connor and a testament to his commitment to the craft. With attributes of self-leadership, creativity, and grace paired with his impressive skill, he memorizes every piece to an exacting standard and maintains his current repertoire for other auditions and events.

His passion for music has led him on an incredible journey. Connor started playing the violin when he was six years old, “I have played every day since my first lesson almost 10 years ago. Along with my lesson with Allison James and normal practice schedule, I play second violin in a four-string quartet at Franklin Pond Chamber Music and I represented Mount Vernon in the Georgia All-State Orchestra in Grades 8 and 9”. His experiences and achievements will continue to open doors for him as he learns new techniques and makes new connections in the music and cinematography industries.

MADISON ZGUTOWICZ – Collegiate Equestrian Hopeful
Middle School

Madison Zgutowicz, Class of 2029, has found her passion in horseback riding and competing. Madison shared her journey towards becoming an accomplished equestrian, stating, “I fell in love with eventing and quickly progressed. As I started excelling, I realized that I could go far in the competition world and even attend college for it.”

Madison’s dedication and hard work have enabled her to achieve success in various competitions while also paving the way for her future endeavors. “I won Overall Equestrian Novice in 2022 at the United States Equestrian Association event in Savannah last July where I competed against 20 and 30-year-old riders. It made me realize my potential. At that show, a UGA recruiter walked up to me and told me there was a spot waiting for me after high school. Now, my family and I have been researching colleges that could help me continue to live my dream. It’s cool to think about where my passion could take me.”