How Might We Change the World?

Westtown is in the business of producing changemakers, and we have been for more than 215 years. We’re a Quaker school after all, and if you know anything about Quakers, you know that Quakers take action. They demand change. They seek justice. They find ways to live lives of success and meaning.

“We are inspired and encouraged by your commitment to cultivating empathy in your students, as well as your aspiration to ensure all children become changemakers."

We were honored, then, when we were selected to be a Changemaker School by the famous Ashoka Organization. Westtown is one of only seven pre-K through 12 schools (and the only boarding school and the only Quaker school) in the Changemaker School network in the United States.

Creating a world where every child masters empathy – that is the mission of Ashoka’s Start Empathy program. Ashoka is a global network of social entrepreneurs whose vision is to enable “an Everyone a Changemaker TM world: one that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges; one where each individual has the freedom, confidence, and societal support to address any social problem and drive change.”

When they announced Westtown designation, the team wrote, “We are inspired and encouraged by your commitment to cultivating empathy in your students, as well as your aspiration to ensure all children become changemakers."

Examples at Westtown of students as changemakers abound, from the second grade study of the coral reefs that culminated in a fundraiser to help save them, to the Middle School’s “Take Back the Tap” initiative that reduces the use of bottled water on campus. Westtown’s Action-Based Education puts students in the center of their learning, encourages exploration and discovery, and emphasizes real-world problem-solving. It also reflects our deep commitment to service and, yes, fostering empathy in our students.

 

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