Kayla McKeon '18

Kayla McKeon '18

Swim & Diving
Animal Assisted Therapy Program (Founder and President)

Hometown: West Bridgewater
Attending: Amherst College

When did you start at Thayer?

I came in 9th grade. I was nervous about going to private school, because I had been in public school my whole life. I just really didn't know what to expect. When I came, I was really excited because everyone was so nice. Everyone was really welcoming, and I felt that I found a home here.

Talk about how you started the Animal Assisted Therapy club on campus.

I took a summer course at Brown University, and they have their own animal assisted therapy program. I petitioned Mr. Thompson, my advisor, and then I had to go in front of the Community Council. It took a lot to get approved  because my club involved a dog coming on campus. I just had a passion for animals my entire life and I really want to minor in psychology, so I thought it would be cool to mix the two. Lily, the golden retriever, comes in once a month. Students can sign up for different time slots and de-stress. It’s really fun. 

What were your favorite classes while you were here?

I loved African-American history with Mr. Dixon because I hadn’t had the chance to go in depth in that subject before. We learn bits and pieces, but in this class it was cool because we got to learn more than we usually do. I just love the way Mr. Dixon talks about it, because he's very informal, but he's also very informative at the same time. It's nice because it's just a really safe space where you can talk and explore new ideas and everything.

What are your plans next year?

I’m going to Amherst College. I want to go into forensic psychology and minor in Latin.

Did Thayer help shape these plans or interests?

When I came to Thayer I decided to take Latin my freshman year, and I fell in love with it. Now, I'm one of three kids in AP. That's probably the biggest part of my Thayer career that I love. I got to explore Latin, and that's going to be a big part of my life in the future. 

Did College Counseling help you during your college search process this year?

Definitely. I just told them what I liked in a college because it wasn't really about the place or how big it was for me, it was more about the intellectual feel. The top two colleges they recommended for me were Amherst and Swarthmore. They both had the environment that I saw myself in. It was right down to the last minute, and I ended up applying Early Decision to Amherst.

Who was your most challenging teacher?

Mr. Cedrone, but he would challenge you in a way that made you understand everything. When you left the classroom, you’d understand all of it. I had him for AP Calculus and then for programming. I ended up getting a five on the AP programming exam.

If you could give any advice to incoming freshmen, what would you tell them?

Explore your options.I did that and that was the best possible thing, because I came in, I had never taken Latin, and now I absolutely love Latin.