"Although Exeter is known for its academic prowess, the true advantage of coming here is the people you get to meet."
A senior from Brooklyn, New York, Mykel Miller is both a Prep 9 scholar and a Jack Kent Cooke scholar. He is a student listener; a dorm proctor for Main Street North; member of Fem Club, PEA’s feminist organization; a varsity athlete; a founding member of the Young Brothers’ Society; and the children’s coordinator and board member for Exeter Student Service Organization. Mykel plans to combine a pre-med track in college with a dual major in international relations and women and gender studies. Below, he shares his ESSO-related experiences.
ESSO is a collection of 70 clubs centered on community service. My job is to oversee the children’s clubs, where we work with young children from the community, teaching them to play chess and different sports like basketball and Quidditch. I make sure the clubs have the materials they need, recruit new students and that the individual club heads are doing their jobs. As a member of the eight-person ESSO board, I have a part in looking toward the future of ESSO.
My first experience with ESSO was during my lower year with the preschool gym class. One of my friends brought me over to the gym and almost instantly, I was being chased by 30 kids, mostly 4- and 5-year-olds. A big reason why I am involved with ESSO is the fun of working with kids. As much as ESSO’s intent is to help the community, playing games and spending time with the children puts life into perspective and lets me take a break [from the rigors of Exeter].
Learning what it’s like to lead and manage [other people] is something that I’ve had to get better at while being on the ESSO board. Between the 15 clubs I have to oversee and just living my own life, I really have to manage my time well.
Ironically, my favorite moment with the children was when one of the kindergartners was crying. Usually very energetic and playful, she sat in the corner and avoided everyone. After a little playful teasing, I learned that she was having such a bad day because she couldn’t watch TV earlier that morning. I sat there thinking how funny it was; it forced me to think about points in my own life, and I realized that whenever I am angry, in the end, it’s probably not a big deal and I can move on.
Although Exeter is known for its academic prowess, the true advantage of coming here is the people you get to meet. ESSO has given me the opportunity to interact with the community of Exeter, New Hampshire . . . and it’s given me a new perspective on both PEA and life as a whole. I definitely see myself as a pediatrician someday. With the amount of time I spend working with children and my interest in medicine, I feel it’s a fine blend between the two.